My life lately is not scandalous enough to justify gossip. I work. I go to happy hour or out to an event or two. I go home. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t hear plenty of other people’s dirty laundry throughout the day. I’d like to say that I never listen to gossip. The storyteller in me, though, loves to hear the more interesting details- a great plot point here, a good line for a character there, and occasionally, a fact that comes in handy for real life.
On Wednesday, my local bartender pulled me aside for an earful. A good friend of mine is dating someone and the rumor on the street was that the date had other dates on the side. As those of you who have been reading since the implosion of my engagement might guess, I’m a little sensitive to the idea of anyone getting cheated on and not knowing about it. I would never wish that humiliation on another living soul.
So, last night I met up with my friend. And broke the news, exactly the way I heard it. We talked through the details, the times and dates, the odd coincidences and decided it seemed highly unlikely that this was true. Honestly, this guy would have to be a genius and a psychopath to have pulled off this scam-of-the-century. But to be safe, my friend headed out to confront the issue head-on in person.
And then, I panicked. While I wanted to be a good and loyal friend, I did not want to be the messenger if any of it turned out to be true. The messenger always gets shot. I didn’t want to taint my friendships with both of them if it was all lies, but I couldn’t keep my mouth shut with a clear conscience if it was true. The eternal gossip-collector’s dilemma.
How did it go? Well, it turns out that this rumor was just that. A rumor. And judging the source, it wasn’t being spread maliciously, just ignorantly. Silly plain old gossip. And even better? The messenger, instead of getting shot, got invited to laugh about the whole thing over dinner for three.
Whew. That was a close call.
If you don’t have anything nice to say about anyone, please go sit by someone else. I can’t handle the stress.