Recently, Madonna was on the Ellen Show and challenged adults to not gossip for a day.
This brings me to Scenario 5 in Tangled Ball’s 10 Seconds in Bullying Prevention Series.
You’re in the grocery store after school. You have 45 minutes to buy dinner and get the kids home. They’re due at piano lessons in an hour and they need to squeeze in their 15 minutes at the keys so you can tell the teacher they “practiced.” You’re pretty sure the teacher means an hour a night and every week when you leave, you vow that this will be the week when they actually do that.
Thinking on the fly about a menu, you dash up and down the aisles coming up with ideas of something fast and hopefully, nutritious. The cell rings. It’s one of your best buddies and there is SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT.
You hate to admit it but you heard some shocking news about so-and-so and it kind of perked up your day. Especially, since this so-and-so was a snob to you last year during one of the school fundraisers. You don’t mind taking her down a peg. You would never consider yourself a BIG gossiper but this is too good.
Snap decision. Although you don’t have a lot of time, you’re dying for a little gossip fix. You pick up the phone. You’re about to launch right into it when you’re stopped by the reflection in the glass. No. It’s not that you need to fix your hair or your outfit is just wrong. You notice the kids!! Standing right by you and within ear shot.
You take a breath, get your head screwed on straight and tell your friend that you can’t talk right now. (5 seconds.) You know full well that the next day you’re at work so it will probably be a few days until you’re able to tell your story. By then, she will have found out and the thrill will be diminished.
But in the remaining few seconds, look at your kids and know you just taught them a lesson and they don’t even know it. Since you’re in the ice cream section anyway, reach in and get a treat. This time, it’s you who deserves a little reward.