I hate to admit this, but I’ve done a terrible thing. I willingly allowed myself to be caught up in a paradoxical moment of utter selfishness and embarrassment. Despite my personal vow to never say something so completely nonsensical, I said it anyway.
Recently, in an offhand conversation about someone, I made a statement similar to this: "Well if I were so-and-so, and something like that happened to me, then I would have done it this way!"
Ugh! Can sillier words ever be spoken? Really now, there I was giving comments on someone else’s actions and explaining how I would have handled things differently, and correctly, if given the same chance.
Sadly enough, I had finally become one of those women. I had become an ego-tripper. I was now a person who you would find sitting at the kitchen table with friends while playing cards and drinking tea and talking about people not invited to this little get-together. With the smell of dainty pastries in the oven-warm air, all of us would be laughing loudly and shaking our heads and making tsk-tsk sounds over the seeming mistakes made by others. Then, speaking up, I would verbally illustrate a past scenario with one little exception.
I would star in the leading role.
Yet my imaginary actions would be perfect. My performance morally and politically correct. With deftness and fortitude, I would come to accomplish the inconceivable: I’d turn someone else’s life into my own, and then I would claim to do a better job at living it.
Then, after the playacting and with a contented grin on my face, I would sit back as the other women around the table would nod heads in agreement while forgotten crumbs flake from powdery lips. Taking the last ladyfinger from the plate, it would be my turn to listen silently as someone else gives a similar account while flourishing arms and secretive words tell about this meeting of self-proclaimed gossipers of righteousness.
That isn’t me. I don’t even want to give in to the idea that it might be me. Perhaps I could even blame the horrible lapse of commonsense on the effects of reaching middle-age. However, a recent dinner catering to all ages dashed away my hopes.
Because, at that one occasion, with so many different conversations taking place, the day did not pass by without someone uttering the inevitable same line: "If I were so-and-so . . ."
There is no hope for it. Everyone will have their own opinion on how to handle someone else’s life. I only hope that, next time, I can walk away from such talks. Unfortunately, there is a small problem with that.
I like to play cards and eat pastries.