I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need close captioning in my life. Or for my mouth. I try to watch what I say. I really do, but “occasionally” I suffer from blurt mouth. You know the feeling. That moment when what you meant to say gets garbled by what you actually said.
To protect myself, I perfected a series of ways I could go through life “close captioned for the cynically impaired.” In essence, I learned how to fake it.
Take those innocuous words that protect you from stepping all over your tongue or other people’s toes. Words like “really?” (CC: Are you out of your freakin’ mind?) or “Indeed” (CC: I do believe that is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard). Lest I overlook our fine Southern friends, a well placed “Bless her heart” speaks volumes.
Back in college, where I spent 13 formative years, I learned how to take notes in lecture halls while sound asleep. I perfected the skills of writing notes, back in the days of cursive, keeping my eyes open and sleeping behind both activities.
This came in handy in the corporate world when we were forced to sit through tedious meetings. Whoever gave upper management the idea that two hours of PowerPoint slides was a great way to excite the workers into doing something was delusional. I usually sat with three or four other female managers, none of whom dared look at each other for fear of falling out of our chairs and rolling on the floor in deranged laughter.
I remember one meeting where the VP droned on so long that I kept nodding off. Revert to previously acquired skills. My colleague was studiously writing down what I thought was everything the bloody idiot was saying. She’d look up, brow slightly creased in concentration, and then write something in her notebook. I glanced over and bit my lip to keep from falling out of my chair and rolling on the floor in deranged laughter. She was listing every Beatles song title she could remember.
We all learn to cope in our own ways. Sometimes it’s listing song titles; sometimes it’s napping with eyes wide open; and sometimes it’s thinking up snarky things to put in whatever work I’m currently writing.
If you hear me utter, “really,” or “indeed” or “bless her heart,” you have an instant translation guide right here.
Do you go through life closed captioned for the cynically impaired?
And why the kitty in the header, you ask? Because more posts get read when they feature a kitty. So there. Bless my heart.