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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Gossip Sucks

March 25, 2015

I am definitely not a fan of a particular 6-letter word that exists in our vocabulary.  It is a word that has busted up friendships, broke up relationships and marriages, and is capable of destroying the reputations of men, women, and children all over the world.

And no, I'm not talking about the word "PovicH" as in Maury "You Are NOT The Father" Povich either - though I suppose if you look at it, this definition is not that far off from the truth.

No, this 6-letter word that I am referring to is the word "GOSSIP".  And believe me when I tell you I absolutely hate the stuff.

Truth be told, I'm not a fan of gossipy people either, but we'll get to that a little bit later.

You know, I remember the first time I ever heard of the word gossip.  It was in a most unusual place at that.

In one of the very first Archie Comics Digests that I ever received as a boy, I remember there being a one-page gag that involved Betty, Veronica, and Ethel talking at one of the tables inside of Pop's Chocklit Shoppe.  Betty was talking about how she had some "juicy gossip" to share with everyone at the table, and I was at a loss as to what Betty was talking about.

In fact (and this just goes to show you how naive and sheltered I was as a five year old going on six), when I first saw the word "gossip", I thought that "gossip" was a type of vegetable!

Seriously, I thought Betty had grown some fresh gossip in her garden right in between the radishes and rutabagas and that she wanted to share her juicy gossip with her two best friends.  Never mind the fact that there were no vegetables present in the joke at all.  I was convinced that gossip was some sort of food that one would purchase at the produce section of a Walmart Supercentre!

Alas, I was completely wrong.  Gossip is not something you serve as a side dish along with your roasted chicken and baked potato.  Although if one were to traverse down the produce aisle of a grocery store, you might hear a couple of people spreading gossip right next to the display of peaches and cream corn.  And believe me when I say that the corn isn't the only thing with ears.

I'm sure we've all known someone in our lives who is a chronic gossiper.  You know, the ones who are always going around trying to find out the secrets and lies of those closest to them.  They probably would have made incredible private investigators or police detectives if they really put forth the effort.  Instead, they use their deductive powers for bad instead of good.  And instead of helping people, they hurt them instead by spreading rumours and lies about people who came to them in total confidence with a secret or a revelation - all under the belief that the person they told will keep the information under lock and key.

I can tell you that I've been burned by idle gossip before.  Mostly during my teenage years - the period in which gossip can be the most vicious and nasty.  But to most people's credit, the urge to gossip greatly lessens after high school - mainly because we all have developed a sense of who we are and don't really care about how other people are living their lives, so long as it doesn't negatively impact our own.

That said, I get quite annoyed with grown women and men who continue to spread gossip around as if it is their God-given right to do so.  I happen to be living in an apartment building filled with people like this - people who will call up other people to find out everything that is going on around the building in a sorry effort to try and feel better about their own derailed lives by getting involved in other people's.

I don't consider that to be a good thing.  If anything, I consider that sort of behaviour to be disgusting.

I mean, how would you feel if you told someone in confidence something that you really didn't want a whole lot of people knowing, and just 48 hours later your life story is now on public display like your sunday wash on a clothesline - all because you chose a gossip queen or king to confide in.  Wouldn't that make you completely angry?  Wouldn't that give you trust issues?

It's like your entire life story suddenly becomes an episode of "Gossip Girl".  And that would be depressing - especially if you hate the show!

I guess the point that I am trying to make is this.  Nobody likes a gossiper.  Nobody likes being the subject of gossip.  But if you do happen to find yourself as the subject of a nasty rumour or a blanket of half-truths or outright lies...the important thing is to rise above it.  Don't let on that what people are saying is true or untrue.  Just smile and walk on.  Oh, and resist the urge to spread your own gossip about the person who got the initial ball rolling.  That is the wrong way to go about it.  Be better than that!

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