I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again; if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. I call it the IYCSSN Rule. It seems simple enough, but in order to be an IYCSSN Rule follower you need to activate an internal filter of sorts. Unfortunately, often times this filtering is not foolproof. It’s tantamount to looking up words in the dictionary. Remember when you were a little kid in elementary school and you didn’t know how to spell a word? You’d holler for your mom to help.
“Maaaaaa, how do you spell psychedelic?”
“You know how to alphabetize. Go look it up in the dictionary,” was the stock reply. Am I right?
So you’d pull that gigantic dictionary off the book shelf and start sounding out the phonemes, “ssss-iyee-ka-d-d-d-el-ick,” as you simultaneously thumbed your way through something like a fillion-dillion pages, each no thicker than onion skin. After getting to the last of the “s” words, it finally dawned on you that you likely never, ever were going to find that word in the dictionary, which meant you were not going to get your homework finished. You probably started to cry in frustration at this point and then you might get the hiccups and the whole night would be ruined because some idiot thought it would be clever to make psychedelic start with a “p,” instead of an “s.” What the heck is that about and why did adults always tell you to look things up in the dictionary when they knew darn well you were not going to find them without help? I mean really… if you don’t know how to spell a word in the first place, how are you supposed to find it in the dictionary? Anyway, activating your IYCSSN Rule filter is a bit like using the dictionary. You might possess the self-restraint required to think before you talk, but if you have no idea that the comment you are about to make will be perceived as NOT nice, you’re not going to filter it out of whatever conversation you happen to be having. Allow me to illustrate this with a recent personal experience.
One day last summer I was at the ball park watching my son play baseball, when one of my best girlfriends announced she was heading to the powder room. She invited me to go along because 1) everyone knows it is genetically impossible for women to patronize a public restroom without a partner, and 2) she needed a little help. Of course, there was quite a long line to use the bathroom, but as luck would have it the handicap stall was vacant. Since my friend needed help, we marched to the front of the line and together entered the handicap stall. After helping my girlfriend, I decided to go ahead and empty my bladder too. I really didn’t have to go, but what the heck, I was already there.
“Wow!” My girlfriend exclaimed, making no effort to look the other way as I squatted over the commode. “You have a big ol’ booty!”
“What?” I asked incredulously. Did I just hear what I think I heard… didn’t her mother ever tell her if she couldn’t find something nice to say, she shouldn’t say anything at all?! The nerve of some people!
“You have a big ol’ booty!” She repeated with a big ol’ smile on her face.
Yep that’s what I thought she said. “It’s not that big is it?” I was not sure whether to laugh or cry.
“Yes, ma’am! It’s a big ol’ booty!” She said it for a third time, still smiling.
I briefly contemplated snapping back with a scathing if-you-can’t-say-something-nice-don’t-say-anything-at-all reprimand. Instead, my own IYCSSN filter kicked into gear and I decided it was neither my place nor very nice, so I simply sighed and said nothing. Reconciled with the idea of plopping my big ol’ booty back on the bleachers and sulking my way through the remainder of the game, I began to pull up my underwear. I was startled by yet another one of my girlfriend’s gleeful whoops.
“Oh! I loooooovvveee your panties!”
I had to stifle a smile because they were, in fact, my favorite pair of panties, leopard print bikini style, and I don’t mind telling you…rather flattering. I was suddenly thankful that I’d taken the time to exercise self-restraint because in that very moment my girlfriend’s sweet smile and twinkling expression revealed that there was not an ounce of malice intended in her big ol’ booty comment. She perceived absolutely no harm in stating, what I sorely faced was, the obvious fact that I do, indeed, have a big ol’ booty. The thing is, in my friend’s mind, big ol’ booties aren’t bad, they’re simply…big ol’ booties. I glanced at my girlfriend and watched her take my hand in hers and begin to swing it back and forth in child-like fashion. It was a gesture that spoke volumes: I could care less how big your booty is cuz you’re my friend.
“Come on!” she said and we skipped along back to the bleachers, hand in hand like best girlfriends often do.
Thanks to my girlfriend, I decided as long as I can squeeze this big ol’ booty of mine into a pair of leopard print bikini panties, life is good. Perhaps my girlfriend’s filter is not quite foolproof. Perhaps it has something to do with age… Did I mention she’s three?
"Yes ma'am! You have a big ol' booty!"
Till tomorrow… Good night. Sleep tight.
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