Where would we all be without gossip? Everyone does it. It is universal across all cultures, ages and walks of life. Little children gossip, men and women gossip, even that sweet little old lady across the street from you gossips. Even people who say they don’t do it are guilty of it. Actually, the ones who claim to never do it are the biggest gossipers of all. What is gossip? It’s talking about another person behind their back, and not in a good way.
When I first moved into my neighborhood I was bombarded with the gossip of the entire block. Within the first day of living in my house I knew everybody’s business. I knew everyone’s life story. I even knew who the crazy cat lady of the neighborhood was. (apparently, every neighborhood has one. No judgment, I used to have a cat until I went to the allergist hoping he would tell me I was allergic to it so I would feel less guilty about giving him up only to find out it’s dogs that I am allergic to, then I begged the allergist to check again) All of this I learned in a short period of time all due to the magic of gossip. Being the new neighbor, I was seen as a clean slate who needed to know all the dirt on everyone.
I honestly didn’t care to know about the neigborhood gossip. I was more concerned with the fact that for two weeks I had no TV, no cable and no internet as I waited for the magical arrival of the Verizon Fios guy. (why do they take so long) Except I will say, the warning about the cat lady came in handy when I was approached in the parking lot by a woman trying to sell me a cat. The knowledge I had, gave me the ability to see her coming from a mile away. Yes, I’m single, but do I need to fall into the stereotype and start a cat collection in my house? Ladies, if you are single and have one cat, you are okay. Two cats, and you are pushing it. Any more than two, and it’s a slippery slope down to becoming your neighborhood’s cat lady.
I’m going off on a major tangent here, but one night I came home late and as I got out of my car I heard the saddest meow I have ever heard in my life. I saw a hungry stray cat and for some reason I began talking to it. (slippery slope) Before I knew it, by the time I got to my front door I was surrounded by 5 stray cats looking up at me with sad eyes. What was the universe trying to tell me here? Yes, I’m single, but no I am not letting 5 cats into my house. Not going to happen.
Back to the subject.
Right now as I am typing this there is probably someone gossiping about me. As you are reading this, someone is talking about you. To them I say, “gossip away!!” It doesn’t matter. If someone wants to talk about you, they will do it no matter what you say or do. Let them.
Don’t worry about what other people think. Do what you want to do. If you are deciding whether you should do something with your life that you are afraid people are not going to approve of, just do what you want. Look at it this way, people are going to talk about you if you do it, and they will talk about you if you don’t do it. So just do whatever makes you happy. Let the gossipers sit in their little circles and say whatever they please. They are too bored with their own lives so they have to talk about other people to make it interesting for them. They lack imagination.
As tempting as it is, try not to engage in gossip. If someone approaches you with some juicy tidbits about someone else, just walk away. It is a waste of your time. You have better things to do.
The workplace can be a gossiper’s paradise. I remember one summer job I had as a temp in one of those buildings where everyone is in cubicles. I started in the purchasing dept. of this company and just like moving into my neighborhood for the first time, I was considered ‘fresh meat’ for the gossipers. They wanted to know all about me and wanted me to know all about everyone else. People gossiped so much, I wondered how anyone got anything done. I told one person about myself, unaware that I was talking to the gossip ringleader. By lunchtime, everyone knew everything about me except for my blood type. They learned that on the second day.
My point is, if you get the urge to gossip, try not to. If someone tries to make you gossip with them, get away from them. If someone is talking about you, don’t let it bother you. It just means they are bored, or they need another cat.
So tonight as I was pulling into my neighborhood, dodging a stray cat who ran in front of my car, (seriously, why are there so many ?) I began thinking about the gossipers of the world. I know I have been guilty of it, but I hardly ever do it anymore. Avoiding gossip is a daily committment.
I decided that I was not going to live my life worrying about what people will say about me. Imagine if you lived a life like that. A weight would be lifted off your shoulders. You will be happier too.
Remember that show from the 90′s, In Living Color? They had that old lady who sat on her stoop gossiping about everyone in the neighborhood and at the end of every piece of gossip she said, “but I ain’t one to gossip, so you didn’t hear it from me?” Don’t be that person…
p.s. If you read my post last night on the light bulb saga, today it got resolved. The tech guy came to the office and found that it was not the bulb that was the problem. There was a break in the wiring of the unit. To that I say, Agghhhhhh! Oh well, at least I remembered my spoon today.
p.p.s. I have nothing against cats or anyone who loves cats. Also, no cats were harmed in the making of this post. I hope my ex-cat, Pishi is doing well in his new home