A few days ago, I met an unfiltered-person. Similar to an unfiltered cigarette, this person had nothing between a smokey thought and the vocal cords. Whether the thought is kind or mean or just plain strange, out it pops for us all to gawk.
For example, a friend says: I used to spend every waking moment with my ex-husband.
Ultra-filtered person responds: Oh.
Empathy-filtered person responds: I did that with my ex-boyfriend, too.
Unfiltered-person responds: And we know how THAT turned out.
No one complains about the unfiltered-person’s accuracy. And I admit that honesty IS the best policy. But seriously, who says that?
Well, maybe the same person who looked at me when I was 34-weeks-pregnant with E and said: When was your due date? Yesterday?
Or two days later when another guy said: Are you SURE you aren’t having twins?
Oh and lets not forget the woman who, when I was 20-weeks-pregnant, said: Are you pregnant? Where’s your wedding ring? You look so YOUNG.
(Note: I was 27-years-old and wearing my wedding ring. Yes, the woman may have been on drugs. Which are unfilter-ers. So either way, GREAT example.)
Just so you don’t get the wrong idea, I often come home from spending time with my friends and say to my husband: What a great night! I only said ONE socially-awkward comment! And we high-five. (Another socially awkward thing for married couples in their thirties to do.)
I totally understand that sometimes a sentence, that has no business coming out, does. Sentences and ideas that I don’t even AGREE with can fly out of my mouth.
At my bachelorette party, I made a comment in front of twenty friends that, although I have blocked out the details, I distinctly remember that it could have been construed as racist and/or classist. (This is from a person who walked out of Avatar and said: I can see why some people would think the movie is racist.) But the sentence came out and since I’m not from another planet (although my husband often ask how things are on my planet) and can’t freeze time with my index fingers (for clarification click here), I had to let that bizarre comment float into the room and minds of my friends who hopefully let the alcohol and dancing drown it out. Ugh. (Oh and that was back in 2003. It was THAT embarrassing for me.)
As someone who spent a good chunk of my life looking for the manual on how-to-relate-to-other-people-without-alcohol-drug-or-making-out-with-them, I admire the sheer unflappability of my unfiltered friends and acquaintances.
Perhaps you wonder if you are an unfiltered person. Let me reassure you, if you wondered that to yourself, you are not. But if you asked it aloud… well, (insert empathy-filter) I sometimes do that, too.