Monday, May 18, 2009

Just stand there then.

Sometimes I can be rude.

I'm sure it isn't just me. It must happen to other people. When words just fall out of the mouth and you aren't really sure where they came from or why you said them out loud, but there they are: Out there. Naked and cold, waiting to be dealt with.

This happens to me every so often, mostly in moments of high stress or emotion. Sometimes I think I should carry some duct tape so that when I come to these situations, I can at least think about why I carry duct tape and just shut up before I have to use it.

(As a total aside. It is duct tape... NOT duck tape: "Duct tape got its official name in the 1950s when it was commonly used to secure duct work for forced air furnaces." - 3M website)

One of these situations took place on a recent trip to Australia. I was on a boat in the Sydney Harbour on a glorious sunny day with my then-boyfriend, now-husband, snapping pictures of the coastal scenery when, just as I was about to snap what I deemed the perfect picture of a lighthouse, another couple came and stood right in my viewfinder.

Then, the terrible words that I am constantly reminded of whenever I claim that I'm not rude, swam to the surface of my being and "fell out".

"Just stand there then." I said, unfortunately loud enough for this poor smiling couple to hear, turn around and apologize profusely to me, whom they would probably remember for the rest of their lives as "that rude photographer," or worse.

I think I sputtered an apology and tried to back down as my boyfriend looked at me in utter disbelief. He, who is one of the most friendly, personable people I have ever met, though I do admit my bias, never would have committed such a social blunder.

He still married me, despite this flaw in my character, and is unfortunately now the victim as well as the witness of these moments of indiscretion.

He actually suggested that I name my blog "Just stand there then," and I did, because it reminds me not only of my unapologetic nature that sits beneath the surface, but of my instinct to stand up for myself, no matter how unjust the cause. Perhaps it will serve as a reminder to take my assertiveness and use it for good, rather than for ruining someone's day.


  1. I don't think that's rude. What's rude is standing in front of someone whose taking a picture.

  2. I have the same problem with words just falling out of my mouth when I don't intend for them to, so I feel your pain.

    Standing in front of someone about to take a picture IS very rude. I would have said something too.


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