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Snappy Comeback, Where Were You?

We all have moments in our lives when we wish we could have a do-over. It could have been something you said or did, that later bothered you because you thought of something better to say or do. If you’re like me you’ve thought I wish I had said… Well, that’s what this month’s Musing is about. These are a few situations that, given the opportunity, I would have had a much better comeback.

Several years ago I eagerly entered the dating pool after being single for many years. It was time to go out and have some new adventures and find someone with whom I was compatible. So after a few false starts I actually met someone. This someone was very different from me but we had fun together. One evening as we were talking (we used to have some great talks), Mr. New Guy looked at me and suddenly became very serious. It was a little early in the relationship to utter sweet nothings, so I waited with anticipation to hear what he had to say. He said, “Don’t get big.” Puzzled, I thought he meant, don’t get too famous with your writing career that you forget all about me. Ha ha! Boy, was I wrong. He meant, don’t get fat! My response at the time was, “Who plans to get fat? Why would you say something like that?” What I should have said - BYE!

A few years ago after one of my co-workers heard I had gotten a promotion. She questioned me as to why I had been promoted. In her opinion she was much smarter – hee hee (yes she actually chucked when she said that). Forget my two degrees, years of experience and willingness to take on most projects that no one else wanted. However, my response – You might very well be smarter, but apparently I’ve done well enough and proven myself to be capable. What I should have said – ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

Several years ago I stopped by McDonald’s to get breakfast. The drive thru was busy so I went inside. As it turned out, the inside was busy too. As I waited in line for the woman at the counter to take my order a late twenty-something white guy started asking the cashier questions. She was Indian and he asked her if her last name was Patel. Then he said, “A lot of Indians are named Patel.” He asked her if there were cappuccino makers in Indian and wanted to know if she could make the noise cappuccino machines made. He then went on to make that sound. Clearly the women was embarrassed and uncomfortable by this guy’s questions and unwelcome attention. And he just kept going. I thought it had to be a joke. Someone was being punked! But I didn’t see any cameras or anything to indicate that this guy wasn’t just an idiot but an idiot with an agenda. Sadly, I didn’t say anything. Even thinking about it now, I don’t know what I would have said. However, given the opportunity again, I definitely would speak up.

Oh well, life goes on, doesn’t it? We really shouldn't dwell on things we cannot change. I suppose whatever happened or was said occured in the way it was supposed to. But I do believe every experience in our lives means something. At least I can say with the utmost confidence that I’ve learned when to speak and when to let my silence speak for me. As Proverbs 17:28 states, Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

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