Scarlett’s Letter August 2, 2013

I shouldn’t let it get to me like I do. I just can’t help it. It drives a little cray cray. Some times more than others. What, now you ask? The “MAYBE game”, of course.

It might just be PMS, which right now stands for “prohibit MAYBE saying”. Please. Is this something all elderly people do? Or just my mom? No. Actually, I caught a friend, my age, a peer, playing the MAYBE game the other day. And I heard my mom on the phone with her twin sister and they were both playing it, together. Yes, I could hear the other side of the conversation, they’re both a little hard of hearing so they kind of yell, politely, conversationally. I could probably hear both sides of the phone conversation from another room. Actually, I did.

The “MAYBE Game”. How does it go? I make a statement, for example, “my toast got cold”, but, really, it could be anything. The response begins with “MAYBE” and is then followed by the most outlandish, absurd, illogical, and totally unlikely scenario, circumstances or list of events that could possibly happen. For example; “MAYBE the sprouted grain in that bread you buy is actually from Mars and MAYBE Oprah sneezed on it”. Except she calls Oprah “Ophra”, with an “f” sound. After a couple of decades I finally had to say something, I finally had to correct her, not so much for Oprah’s sake, but for mine. I said, “you remember the movie ‘Big Fat Greek Wedding’”? Opa! Opa! Oprah is like Opa, but with an “r” in it. So, now, she’s “Orpah”. Sigh.  MAYBE it doesn’t matter. Back to the MAYBE game. So a simple, random statement is made and is followed with by the most outlandish, absurd, illogical and totally unlikely scenario, circumstances or list of events that could possibly happen. But that’s not all, one “MAYBE” is followed by another even more ridiculous “MAYBE”. For example, “MAYBE our toaster was switched with the neighbor’s toaster in the middle of the night by the clowns from the circus. I saw on the news that the circus is in town. Or, MAYBE Michelle Obama eats bologna and that caused your toast to be cold.” This could go on for a few more rounds, but by now, I’ve shut down. I’m no longer conversing.

I don’t claim to be a “know-it-all”, I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do like to think that I am somewhat logical. So, when I hear someone make a statement and I feel the need to respond, I like to run things through the “logic filter” first to see if what I’m about to say makes any sense or is going to be helpful, at all. To play along a little here, MAYBE people who play the “MAYBE game” feel that any response is better than no response. There seems to be a belief that dead airtime should be filled with something, some kind of noise or response or reply, whether logical or helpful or not. Truthfully, I think I’d prefer silence so I could think of the actual cause of whatever it is I’ve made a statement about. Just me? Perhaps Winnie the Pooh’s method would be preferable; if you don’t have THE answer, just drum your fingers against your temple and say “think, think, think” until you actually think of something logical, useful and appropriate to respond with. I’m a thoughtful and contemplative person, and when I’m pondering the questions of life, like why my toast is less warm than I think it should be having just come from the toaster, I’d like a little quiet to allow my mind to weigh all the logical possibilities and arrive at the most logical conclusion. MAYBE I’m alone here.

I am also, believe it or not, in light of my missive tonight, a very compassionate person. I try really, really hard to be considerate, respectful, to listen to all the “MAYBEs” and to sort of apply a little logic to each, out loud, for the benefit of all. But, after the third or fourth round of “MAYBEs”, my compassion gets blurred a little and my logical responses become a little more insistent, a little louder, a little more exasperated. After the fifth or sixth round of “MAYBEs”, I usually have to excuse myself from the room. I try to be polite, I try to be kind, I try to disguise the fact that I’m about to roll my eyes, sigh loudly and say something inconsiderate. MAYBE it’s just me.

MAYBE it is me, today seemed to be worse than usual. MAYBE I’m just grumpy, I feel kind of grumpy, but I honestly couldn’t tell you whether I was grumpy before the first MAYBE game today, or after. MAYBE both. MAYBE I should go fro a drive. MAYBE I should go for a walk. MAYBE I should go for a run. MAYBE I should go to bed early. Just MAYBE.

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