stick your foot in your mouth
My adult life has been an open book; just ask my husband. He would tell you that on our very first dinner date at a Kirkland, Washington waterfront restaurant, I pretty much told him my life from A to Z, and then some. That’s why it was so astounding that at the end of our date he asked, “Would you like to do this again?”
Wow, I didn’t scare him off.
I’m pretty sure my open book living started quite young for this girl who is one of the most talkative people I know. What can I say? Apparently a lot. As a youngster, I recall engaging my parents’ dinner guests in conversation, even sitting on their laps, without much hesitation or shyness. And along with my brother and my sister, we would sing and dance for any person who would sit down long enough for us to entertain them. I’m quite certain this ability is a Desonier family trait that has been passed down from generation to generation.
Being talkative is one thing, but if your words don’t account for much, that’s all they are – just words.
I admire those who are able to change the world – or at least improve someone’s day – with an economy of words that have more impact than any vomiting of words that I can spew during the course of an hour. My husband, Jerry, is one of those talented people. Forgive me for sounding morose, but I guarantee that years, and years, and years from now, those attending my husband’s funeral will remark on how he was a man of few words – but the words he spoke were golden.
At our wedding reception – a family-only party at our residence – I told both families that one of the things I admired most about Jerry is that he is a man of very few words, but what he says is worth listening to. Of course seeing as his siblings were also at the reception, one of his sisters yelled out, “Yah, he’s an empty book!”
That’s humorous, but far from the truth. My husband’s story is one of family, commitment, and protectiveness. He’s always thinking about what he can do to protect his two adult daughters and how he can keep me safe, wherever I may be. I love taking walks – rain or shine – in our rural neighborhood where dogs, bobcats, and even black bears, have been known to present themselves when you least expect it – not to mention the inattentive drivers who may not notice that I’m trekking along the side of the road. In the past ten years, my husband has gifted me with: waterproof long pants, a sturdy walking stick, a fluorescent yellow vest, a pair of straps with strobe lights on them that I can either wear around my arms or my ankles, pepper spray, and the list goes on. Some wives may take offense to receiving such practical gifts, bemoaning the fact that he must not love me if these are the types of gifts he thinks I really want. I see those practical gifts as a sign of love from someone who wants me to be around for many years to come.
Words, followed up by actions, have the power to change everyone in your corner of the world. Whether hastily spoken harsh words or well-thought out words of encouragement – your corner of the world will be changed. Many of us need to learn to swallow our words and only let escape those that feed and nourish the recipient. I, for one, can cut my dialogue in half, as long as what remains serves to build up those with whom I come in contact.
One thing is for certain; the less often you open your mouth, the less opportunities exist to stick your foot in it.