Looking for answers to life's questions

My mother was a woman who spoke her mind. She was not one to mince words. I often wondered about that expression. Mom was direct in an abrupt, abrasive sort of way. By the time we were done with a meal at a restaurant, most of my siblings and I wanted to crawl under the table and hide. She was just being honest. The silverware was not clean or the glass had something in it. It was always something and she was going to make sure they knew it. Mom had her standards and they were quite high. I was often of the opinion that people like my mother just needed a set of skid chains on their tongue. Sometimes many of us are in need of those skid chains. Now, where did I leave mine?

I am not much of a verbal communicator. There was very little opportunity to express myself. Staying quiet gave me lots of time to read and I tried to learn how to say things in a kind and tactful manner. I was married to a man for 25 years that did all the talking. Every thought in his head, came out of his mouth. We called it “diarrhea” of the mouth. Have you ever been to a party with one of those people? They monopolize the entire conversation.

That’s when I started to write my words on paper instead of holding them in. Problem solved, you would think. Not so much. Words on paper have no facial expression and you cannot see the writer’s face. It takes work to tell if what you meant to say got to the person you were writing to in the same context. You can’t see the sender smile because they were being facetious or attempting to be humorous.That’s where skilled writers have the advantage. They have my deepest respect. Knowing how to put words together so another can feel what you are writing, is a skill I desparately want to learn.

I can read a note and be hurt by it, while all the time the sender was just trying to elaborate their point. Been there, done that, know it will happen again and again. How many times have we written a note, hit the send button, only to wish we had a lasso to rein it back in and make a few adjustments? I have deleted more notes and posts than I have sent because the phrasing can so easily be misconstrued.

The writers that I truly envy are those that can write funny. They don’t have to be tactful. My folks had no visible sense of humor. At least I didn’t see it. I think I inherited the lack of it. Please let that be a skill you can learn.

Mom and Dad smiling.

Mom and Dad smiling.

My day is always better if something makes me laugh so I search it out. Janet Evanovich is one of my all-time favorite writers for relaxed reading. Her “Stephanie Plum” series guaranteed a belly laugh. I even bought her book on how she writes. Though I rarely read novels since I have so many other kinds of books waiting, I yearn for light and funny. It’s very healing.

Writing is not something I have a good handle on yet. Maybe I never will but I have to keep trying. So, let me say up front, if I offend anyone, it’s not intentional. If I take offence, I’ll get over it quickly. Life’s too short and words are so powerful. Intention is the key here. My intention is to be kind, with a sprinkle of humor or my attempt at it. I’ll keep working on developing tact and getting skilled with that lasso.

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of Tact" (20)

  1. diarrhea of the mouth, I’ve often said that about my eldest son. He never stops talking. How I couldn’t wait to hear his first words, then I wished he would stop for a breath. As for the Plum books, aren’t they great? I especially enjoyed the first ones in the series. I still remember vividly how I laughed out loud at the turkey being shot off the table by grandma, or when she pulled the finger off the dead guy in the casket. My boys hated my reading those because I would be so startled that I did literally laugh out loud, which meant they had to stop to hear what was so funny. Of course not reading the entire context they often rolled their eyes at me that I would waste time reading these.

    I’m not sure why you are worried about offending, I have yet to be offended by anything from you.

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    • Thanks for reading today. My ex’s whole family had the diarrhea problem. Love them, just need some peace. I agree about the early Plum books. I’ve read everything she’s written to get me through this.My son is 45 and he likes Stephanie Plum. My sister almost fell out of the drivers seat on a break from bus driving laughing. I keep looking for more funny.. Good luck with your son.I don’t think they outgrow it.

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  2. I can’t TELL you how many times I’ve sent something I wish I could reel back in. I really related to that. Some people are so very funny when they write. But I think it’s most important to use your own voice. I love getting used to the different voices of those I read. Some like to put *s around actions *smiles*. Some like to use a lot of smileys 🙂 . Some like to use pictures or dots . . . . or CAPITALS! I enjoy learning the voices like I enjoy getting to know people in my real world. You have a nice voice I like reading. I can’t imagine you offending, and I almost always give my writers the benefit of the doubt anyway.

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    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I re-wrote that blog 4 times before posting. I can use smiley faces on texts and email but not so much on regular writing. Every once in a while my mother’s bluntness escapes me. She’s been gone a long time and I still miss her, but the lack of tact made it hard to form friendships. And so the work continues. Thanks for stopping by. You made my day.

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      • Oh! I understand the re-writing thing. I click edit so many times sometimes it locks up my computer! I envy the people who can write it right the first time and click publish. Or at least that’s what I imagine, because they can pop out those posts like clockwork!

        I even re-write comments. Or cancel them if I think they could be misunderstood. Sarcasm can be a wonderful tool or a sharp weapon. I use it carefully. I use smileys in my comments, and not in my writings. I am also more likely to swear in a comment.

        If that’s all it takes to make your day, I’m happy to oblige!

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  3. I think while our parents may influence some aspects of our personalities, when we mature, ‘we’ really decide who we want to be. That’s why four siblings can all be so different. Many things shape who we are: where we live, careers, social influences like friends and trends. But deep down inside, I think everyone can be who they aspire to be and foster the positive traits -vs- undesirable traits. Be confident that if you are honest and true, that will shine through. I think you say it nicely in your closing ‘from my heart to yours’. Just be yourself.

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    • Thanks for reading. I work everyday to be me??, whoever that is. Did you notice the addition of a new last name? The parentals and the husbands had a great deal of power in my life. I’ve taken it back. They all have wonderful qualities and I want to embrace those. I just have to watch myself an not be lazy about catching the not so nice qualities. They are the teachers in our lives. Have a great weekend. I so enjoy your writing.

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      • I see your new sign off now, good for you. Thanks for your visits to Boomdeeadda. Nothing to deep or profound but that’s just me. If we were all the same, life would soon be dull. x

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  4. It must have been difficult growing up with unmeetable standards. I’m glad you turned to the written word. I think you do a great job conveying your feelings here.

    As for Stephanie Plum, it’s one of the few authors I immediately snap up in hard back. I can’t wait to read her books and have been a fan for years. She is laugh out loud, funny. Good for the soul.

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    • Thank you for reading and commenting. It was difficult till I found my own yardstick. Everyone has a hard time with something. It teaches us empathy . We ended up with a wonderful relationship and mom loosened up as she aged but never understood a joke. They both had a harder time than I did. I’m still learning everyday and grateful for everyone and everything. Learning to lighten up is on the top of the list. 🙂

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  5. eyeclic said:

    “Mom and Dad smiling.” OMG! That’s funny. Made me laugh out loud.
    And your writing is developing a nice flow.

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  6. I enjoy reading what you write very much. That picture of your parents “smiling” is really funny, they must be smiling on the “inside”…

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    • Thank you so much for reading and commenting. It was intended to be funny. My mother turned out to be a hoot much later but with a dry sense of humor. I love reading your blog as well and seeing all your creativity. Thanks again for stopping by.

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  7. Enjoyed your post — tactfulness is just kindness and you have that. It comes through in your writing whether you realize it or not. Humor is tough. When it’s well done, it takes high intelligence and a crafty wit. So, keep the faith.

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  8. willowmarie said:

    My grand mother used to say that tact was one of “the gentle” arts like hand written thank you notes, or saying nothing when there are no words. Just so you know…I think you have more tact than your realize and every word you write brims with good intentions!

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    • Thank you so much, Willowmarie. I really try but often we write things or say them that arrives differently to the receiver. I’ve often wondered how that happens. I mean one thing, they hear or read another. The human mind fascinates me. Thanks for reading.

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