I’ve been thinking lately about gossip. I’m pretty sure I know what it means, but thought I’d give the old dictionary a look-see just to make sure. Well – I got the shock of my life. The first definition is ‘godparent’ or ‘sponsor’. Say what?
Further thought brought to mind my grandmother on Mom’s side. She freely admitted she loved to gossip. She was a talker and a half. I remember once, while in a trance listening to her, I had to run to the bathroom.
“Be right back, Grandma,” I said and hurried off. When I came back she was still talking. No one else was in the room. I believe she was spouting off on how Russia had most of our gold and we were too stupid to realize it. She was a hoot.
Okay, the second definition of the word (sorry for the Grandma interruption there) is someone who engages in idle talk or spreads rumors. Now That’s what I’m talkin’ about.
So what is this ‘idle talk’ of which it speaks? My guess is an off the cuff remark that does more damage than we ever dreamed it would. Like in the old Everybody Loves Raymond episode where Raymond’s brother Robert reveals this bit about his wife, Amy. “If you get her laughing real hard, she pees a little.” Good grief! How would you like that known about you? It was just between the two brothers, but still.
Then there’s the hard core stuff as in, “Rumor has it that Kabob stole the fundraising money. I know because Shish saw him walking out with the cash box.” Except Shish didn’t know that Kabob was going fishing after the Save Every Termite Now fundraiser and that was his tackle box he was carrying. Gosh, people, get your facts straight before going all Shish Kabob on everybody.
I don’t think I’ve inherited my grandmother’s love of gossip. I like to know what’s going on in the family, the community I live in, and the world. But I prefer facts to speculation even though speculation (okay, gossip) is often more interesting. And I’ll confess that, on occasion, I get all caught up in a juicy rumor until I catch myself. Especially if it’s funny. Just don’t make me laugh too hard. Know what I’m sayin’?
Do chime in.
Image: farconville Free Digital Photos