Friday, May 05, 2006


OK, so I'm a total label whore. Here are my fabulous new sunglasses - I feel like a glam doll when I have these on. Moreso than usual, even.
Today I took my book and my sunglasses on my new float and wafted around the pool in the sunshine like a paper boat. It was glorious. I actually thought about letting myself drift off to sleep, I was so blissed out. Then again, it would be a shame to miss any of it. This is going to be a great summer to have a pool.My dog was blissed out warming her old bones in the sunshine too. It was a great day.

Here's a question: Is there a distinction between gossip and simply sharing information about people in your family/social sphere?

I'm having a difference of opinion with someone I personally who also reads this blog, and I was curious what other people think. I understand this person wishes to be moral and not engage in idle gossip, but I think they've gone overboard and that it's ridiculous to not be able to have a conversation about events in the lives of people in our acquaintance. This has turned conversation with the person in question tedious and decidedly dull. Actually, I think they are struggling with their own judgmental nature, which is not a problem for me. I can say "My brother got a pet spider monkey" in a way that is matter of fact and not have an opinion one way or another about it. The person I am talking about here would conclude (phlegm's brother can't care properly for a monkey, monkeys are unsanitary - blah de flipping blah) lots of things that involve looking down upon or disapproving the other person's action. I think the problem is not what's being said but the thought process and inherently judgmental nature of the person in question. I value your opinions so what do y'all think?
To clarify, what's happened in several recent conversations with this person is they will break off in the middle of a sentence and say, "oh, never mind. I don't want to talk about people."

Of course, this is not to say that I am never judgmental - when forced, I can be the most ferocious critic, as you may have noticed. I'm just saying if you can never talk about things that happen involving people you know, how much is left to talk about?

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's his or her problem, not yours. This is your forum to voice your thoughts and opinions.
I hate to admit though, I self censor a bit more now that my dad reads mine..it's much less complicated to share with blog friends rather than local friends or family.

I get the feeling that i.e. with your brother and wife etc., it's only things you wish you could express to them and would like to but you attempt to be civil and gracious in their presence. If the truth hurts, too bad. Besides, you are damn funny!

Z said...

Nice shades.

I have had this problem with my blog. All my friends and relations knew about it and I found I could never be truely honest and say all the things I wanted to say (for fear of upsetting people). I decided to change my blog address and set up another one for friends and family. Although I feel a bit deceitful telling them I only have one blog now, I also feel free to be myself a bit more.

Your blog should be a place where you can say what you want to say, and if others don't like it then they shouldn't read it. Everyone needs to vent sometimes, and blogging is a good way to do it.

Heather B said...

Totally love the sunglasses, Chanel can make everything better :)

I think you should feel free to say whatever you want on your blog ... I regret even my BOSSS reads mine so I am always on edge.

But I love how they come back with "I don't want to talk about people" being so obvious!

LJ said...

Absolutely it's judgment that makes the difference. And there's no learners manual for life on earth. We learn from each other's lives and experience - and from talking to each other about that.
I think PF, that it's all in the intent, whether there is unkindness or judgment felt by the speaker. And we all fall off our little pedestals now and then - and speak with venom. Hell, we're human and imperfect. We're also, we bloggers, writers and therefore students of human behavior and a bit in love with language, dialog etc.
And personally, I've been hurt as much or more in my life by judgments I read in someone's face - when they stand there purse-lipped and not talking to me about what they obviously think, and not offering the chance for discussion.
Interesting entry.

Thomas J Wolfenden said...

It's thier problem... Not yours if they've got a hangup about it.

Myself, I enjoy it.

Not that I'd ever acchieve any sort of pleasure from anyones misfortunes or discomfort.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I guess the nature of what is being disclosed is probably central here. I mean, if this is something that you KNOW buddy doesn't want you to spread around, then it's gossip and pretty malicious. Most issues are not so cut and dried, however. It's a matter of judgement. If someone will be really hurt by what you say, best to think twice about it. Otherwise, let fly!!

Dick said...

I ignore most of my relatives, or is it the other way around?

Either way, I got no dog in this fight so I feel much better regardless.

Maven said...

Hey I know what you mean. My mom's side of the family is just like that. I'm not sure if it's jealousy, insecurity or what. But the idea of "live and let live" kinda falls flat on them.

I loathe finding out my mother was yammering about me, because I know how that goes. Just tell me the facts and let me make up my own mind about my own judgements. I hate it when other folks' biases and bullshit taint the actual stories.

In my mom's family it's like a game of "telephone," where things get relayed so many times by the time it comes back to you, it's no longer the same story.

nongirlfriend said...

Everyone gossips and there's nothing left to talk about if you don't talk about people.

Except for maybe bugs.

Nice shades, babe.

Anonymous said...

This 'person' sounds like a Hypocrite! I wouldn't let it bother you, U should be able
to talk about anything U want!
:)

Jay Noel said...

You know - we're human beings, and we're wired for emotion. That includes freethinking and judging. We all do it, and it's impossible to NOT be judgmental at times.

Gossip is when you talk about personal and private stuff about others - stuff the subject of your talk wouldn't want you to be saying.

Regular chit chat is about the happenings and goings on about others. Stuff you could say in front of them about them.

That's my litmus test.

phlegmfatale said...

jacquie - I'm glad you are enjoing my blog - I feel if I can turn my familial hardships into humor, then so much the better.

turboslut - I DO feel I should be able to speak my mind uuncensored here. Life is too short...

heather b - chanel - cure for what ails me. Totally. Yeah, its impossible to keep such limitations on conversation.

lj - thanks for your comment - it's amazing how judgemental people don't realize how sacrimonious and condescending they come off to other people, and very often when it's not even any of their business. And yes, you can always see it in their eyes. Screw the lot of them.

phlegmfatale said...

ranger tom - to put it simply - of course, you are right - it is their problem their hangup.

barbara - what is being discussed is the unfortunate progression of life's deveolution, and not at all repeated with a sense of glee for the misfortune of others - that, to me, makes all the difference.

nuggetmaven - well, precisely that kind of pettiness is to be avoided at all costs - life is too short for that nickel-and-dime bullshit.

nongirlfriend - glad you like my stylin' specs. I agree that everyone gossips - it's a matter of how nit-picky you want your definition of "gossip" to be.


dick - no dog in this fight? All the better for you.

starbender - I agree - conversation shouldn't be so uptight - life is too short!


phoenix - I agree. My feeling is that gossip is when you are passing information along in a spirit of demonstrating how morally superior you are to the subject of your gossip. My feeling is that harmless chit chat does not involve smug feelings of condescension, but more likely feelings of empathy.

CP said...

You know, I hate people. The more people I meet, the more bestiality has become appealing. Seriously.

Who gives a flying fuck about who you are talking about and why? I live for gossip. Thrive on it, in fact. I am the biggest instigator of it. Why? Because otherwise, life is TEDIOUS and oh so boring.

Everyone is judgmental about something or other. Gossip isn't necessarily a BAD thing. It's the passing on of frivolous information, that's all.

I simply think that people have too much time on their hands. People need to get a life. Live and let live, fuckers.

Love ya dollface.

CP.

phlegmfatale said...

cp - I know what you mean - I can think of a couple people I'd genuinely enjoy beating the crap out of. I should be making money spanking deserving people. Caning. Cat-o-nine-tailsing. Bitches.

I think I've boiled it down for myself - to me - gossip is when you are taking malicious glee in spreading information of an embarrassing nature about someone else. In the case of anyone from Hollywood - it's totally warranted. However, when something unfortunate happens to people I care about, I take no joy in that fact, but I do think sometimes it is necessary to share information. Thanks for the comments, cp - you're a peach!

Tam said...

Gee, it got all serious.

I was going to talk about sunglasses.

:o

phlegmfatale said...

We can talk about sunglasses, Tam, 'specially my fabulous new Chanel sunglasses. WOOHOO!

Did I mention I got some glamorous new sunglasses?

June Cleaver's Revenge said...

I love the shades!!!

Talk about what you want to talk about and anyone who doesn't like it? Screw 'em.

Becky said...

I would classify gossip as something you wouldn't say to the other person's face, for whatever reason. That being said, I probably do more than I should, but only for people who deserve it:)

phlegmfatale said...

june c's r - THANKS! I'm wearing the shit out of my righteous new shades. woohoo! And thanks-- I shall!

becky - I classify gossip as talking about people with the intent of spreading hurtful information or taking pleasure in someone else's misfortune. To say you can't share information at all is overly-legalistic. I can envision future conversations with this person:

them: why didn't you tell me so-and-so had their baby?
me: well, I know how you hate gossip.

Alex said...

ok : being a label whore is better than being labeled a whore.

Gossip vs simply talking about fact.
It's not gossip if you KNOW FOR A FACT it's true. And as for non-judgemental people ? NO SUCH THING. Non-judgementals are just as judgemental. Think not? Then why do they always say "oh, I'm not judgemental" in such a fashion to indicate they think judgemental people are wrong to be so.
There is less judgemental and there is overly-judgemental. There is no such thin as non-judgemental.
Starting to ramble but - by not judging someone, you are (in a sense) approving of them, which is very judgemental if you ask me.

phlegmfatale said...

*LOL* good point, alex. thanks for commenting. You actually make several great points, and I agree there are simply varying degrees of being judgmental. Not not rambling - your comment was well stated!