big mouth Tale – How my filter fell off
Once upon a time I was very quiet. Like a church mouse.
Living in suburbia I was one of only a few bi-racial children in our very small town. Mind you, a bi-racial child with non-bi-racial hair. My parents, bless them dearly, thought it would be super cool if their girly-girly girl rocked a fro bigger than the big brothers of Michael Jackson of Jackson 5. So day after day, I rocked this fro and endured the torture of the cruel school children. I was teased and taunted daily: Called names like microphone head, had kids sticking pencils in my head, teenagers shouting “look at that girl”, telling me I was in the in wrong restroom at school. This went on every single day for years. Through it all I remained stoic and silent.
Then one day, my filter fell off. Lost and never to be found again.
I started sticking up for myself and others. I told me people exactly what I thought and why. Despite the consequences. Still do.
Not having a filter can be quite difficult. I have to concentrate super-hard on not blurting out whatever I am thinking ALL the time because sometimes it is just plain inappropriate. Daily life can be particularly challenging. Take for instance the following scenarios where my lack of filter can really get in the way:
The Grocery Store: Why do the employees always come busting in while I am already crowded in line and push me up against a rack of candy and magazines so they can grab the baskets underneath the conveyor belt? So I ask, “Do you really think the best time for you to be doing is while all these people are in line?” Reply, “Well we are closed.” My retort, “Not until all these people are out of here you aren’t.” Of course the other patrons stare with disapproval. Not that I give a shit. At all.
Holidays: Here is another time my filterless mouth can be unleashed. Crazy shoppers are everywhere. Grocery stores, malls, parking lots. I can be anxious I admit it, but I will not bum-rush the person in front of me at the self-check out at Shaw’s no matter how close it is to Christmas. I wait patiently. Santa doesn’t need his cookies that badly. One year, I had a lady actually start trying to scan her stuff while I was still completing my own transaction. I tried the, “Excuse me,” approach first. When this was ignored, I loudly shouted, “Get back, it is still MY turn!” At the mall, which I really try to avoid at all costs, I find that the, “Back beast,” command combined with a STOP hand signal works rather nicely when frenzied shoppers approach my comfort zone.
Around Catty-Chit-Chattin-Chitters: I cannot stand gabby gossipers. People talking about other people non-stop. Blah, blah, blah. “Those whom gossip with you will gossip about you.” Every heard that one? Ya, well believe it. So, I usually try to just step away and not listen. Buuut, believe it or not this very hard to avoid given I am involved in quite a few activities where much of this nonsense takes place. However, if you ask me a direct question, I will give you a direct answer. Q: “Why did half of the group quit last year?” A:”They said it was because of you cliquey ladies here.” Shocked glances and stares, oh my!
So you see why I really have to watch the no filter thing. Especially in the office. Knowing I don’t have one, if I want to say something but can’t, I just put my hand over my mouth to use as a “filter-substitute.” Of course, I do realize I cannot just shout out, “You have got to be kidding me?!?” out in the open if I don’t agree (behind closed doors, the doors are closed, right? he, he, he). Therefore, the hand thing actually works pretty well.
Most of the time.