I have a friend who is so comfortable with me that she seldom turns on the filter between her thoughts and her mouth when we are talking. Usually, I'm charmed by this quirk of hers and I treasure the wisdom she unknowingly imparts. Occasionally, I'm baffled by her revelations; for example, she recently began a conversation with me by saying, “How is the husband hunt coming along?”
This caught me off guard and I responded: “What on earth makes you think I'm husband hunting?”
“Well,” she said, “Since Vern died, you've lost a ton of weight, had eye surgery, updated your make-up, and you change your hair style almost as often as I change my underwear. Seems like every time I call, you are in St. George, Las Vegas, or some place other than home. What else am I supposed to think?”
Her observations are accurate; however, her speculation as to the reason for my actions is not. The last thing on my mind, at this point in my life, is a new husband.
Thinking that my friend is perhaps feeling a little ignored and abandoned by me, I embarked on a detailed explanation about the flurry of changes happening in my life.
For years, I found my short, kinky, mousey brown, hair style boring. I kept it that way only because my husband told me, on a regular basis, how much he loved it. When I lost his input, my boredom quickly turned to dislike; thus, I began searching for a new style. Initially, I lost weight because, following my husband's death, I lost interest in food - cooking or eating it. Once I lost weight, I realized that my joints hurt less, so I've continued to work at keeping it off.
An inner ear problem impaired my balance and forced me to make a lot of trips to St. George and Las Vegas to consult with doctors so that I could learn the extent of the problem and develop a course of treatment. Treatment called for months of physical therapy. A welcome side effect of therapy was improved muscle tone and posture. My improved balance gave me a new feeling of confidence; so, I decided to try Tia Chi – an exercise that has long interested me.
Eye surgery became necessary because of my cataracts. Prior to the surgery, I was reasonably pleased with the reflection I saw in the mirror. My improved post surgery vision made me less satisfied with what the mirror reflected. When cleaning the mirror produced no improvement in the view and my son laughed at me for asking him if the mirror could be warped, I concluded that updating my makeup and investing in a few new accessories was in order.
When I finish making my explanation, I tell my friend that I’m aghast, and frankly annoyed, that she assumed I was “husband hunting.” Then I received one of those treasures of wisdom that she unknowingly imparts.
“Knock off the ‘I’m annoyed’ crap!” she directed me, “You know people gossip. They speculate and make assumptions all the time. I’m no different. You know I want you happy; so, if I misjudge your motives its wishful thinking - ‘cause you deserve a good man in your life.”
How right she is! When change happens people usually notice; once they notice, they inevitably speculate on the reason. While some speculate out of malice, my friend is not one of them. If she is speculating – or even gossiping – about me, it is done lovingly.
Lesson learned: I will keep in mind how blessed I am to have friends who notice what is going on in my life and take time to speculate about why I’m doing things. It would be truly sad to have nobody care enough to wonder what is going on in my little corner of the world.