It goes without saying & Me
Posted May 2, 2011on:
I have two experiences in the last few weeks that should have gone without saying.
The first, which I wrote about after it happened, was when a kid at Culver’s gave me a 12-cent senior discount without asking my age. When I wondered how old you had to be to get that discount on the ice cream sandwich, he responded, “Any age you want.”
The second was when I was on tech support for my Mac(s). While we were waitng for my computer to do whatever needed to be done, we chatted.
“So are you retired?” he asked.
“Can you see my white hair through the phone?”
“No. I talk to people all the time. I can tell by the voice.”
“I’m not retired. I’m still working. I’m a writer.”
Lucky for both these folks, I am not sensitive about getting older – can’t quite say old yet. I’m just well experienced.
Sometimes things are best not said. Listening to one of my favorite public radio programs, This American Life, I heard a story about a woman who did not know she was pregnant until two days before she delivered her daughter.
No one could believe she didn’t feel the baby inside, etc. But she had taken a couple of pregnancy tests during the time and they were negative.
What made me think about that episode is that the woman and host Ira Glass decided it was a good idea to suggest to any woman who appears pregnant that she might be expecting.
I think not. One time I asked a woman when she was going to have her baby only to learn that she had already delivered a few month earlier. I felt terrible and I’m sure she did as well.
My comment certainly should have gone without saying. I’m sure I’ve said many other things that could have gone without being said.
On the other hand, one of my mantras as a recipient of words best not spoken is to listen for the intent not the actual words.
I meant to say or do the right thing. But maybe that goes without saying, too.