Monday, May 10, 2010

When should you be a smart ass?

I have this problem. Moments when I could say something, a quip, some sort of response, that could be classified as a smart ass remark. A comment or message with bite and sting. Deserved, most likely. Clever, maybe. The problem is not that I have these moments, like everyone does, but that I don't know when to follow through, commit with confidence or ignore with grace.

An egotistical commentary, a muttered aside, a Facebook message or cell phone text annoyingly vague and elite, a saying or memory from your family or childhood that drives you nuts every time it's brought up. Politics. Religion. Ageism. Sometimes I just want to scream, or more wisely--tactfully and succinctly--say what I really think, instead of nodding and smiling and remaining silent or changing the subject.

Sometimes I do say something, and regret it. Because it doesn't come out well or fans flames not worth the heat. Then I'm left feeling unprofessional or like a poor friend or insensitive human. Sometimes, most times, I hold my tongue. This works half the time maybe, if I'm being generous. Because half the time, the urge fades, and half the time, the urge balloons. And those irritatingly select and too numerous balloons grow bigger still, and I know they're going to pop at inopportune times. Oh the fear and stress and rampant heart rate. But maybe not. Maybe even just one will be perfectly timed and delivered. But after way too much time and contemplation. I must find a solution.

On the TODAY show this morning, there was a panel of women over 50, discussing aging, wisdom, confidence, and beauty. This always gives me some hope and peace. Hearing women who believe in washing their faces with just water, moisturizing, moving, and embracing who they are, be it wrinkles or rituals or thoughts. Feels good and sounds good.

So even though time is never on my side when it comes to smart ass remarks, leading to the ickiness of festering or a rushed, regretful response, I guess I'm hoping it's on my side when it comes to honing the tact and charm of their timing and delivery. Especially when it involves a needed standing up for someone. While I'm rarely a fan the over-opinionated person, may this precarious balancing act over time get better and easier and lead to a mature and thoughtful woman who sheds time for people undeserved.

Being agreeable gets old.

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