This week's topic for the Spin Cycle is ... wait for it... Opinions. You would think I'm about to dust off the soap box again, right? Because God knows I'm nothing if not opinionated. But that would be predictable.
Today we'll discuss the most dreaded of all opinions. The Silent Opinion. The judgement you realize has been passed only because of the look on the person's face. The "I have an opinion, but I'm going to fake being too polite to express it and just make a face at you." opinion.
You know that one. Where you're in line at the deli counter at the supermarket and your little one is happily chewing on a binki at the age of 4 and the lady next to you looks you in the face and then makes a point of staring right at the binki and grimacing. When you walk into church in shorts and a t-shirt and the man in the back looks at you in horror (because apparently God doesn't give you credit for being there if you don't follow the dress code).
I can say with all honesty that I managed to mostly avoid the silent opinion for the first 32 years of my life. Then I had kids. Kids- the opinion magnets of the world. Now I get a "look" at least once a week.
Monday I was talking to the mom of one of LG's classmates. As I've said before, he's the oldest of a group of 6 kids that are all within 6 weeks of each other. This Mom wanted to know what we're doing for LG's 2nd birthday. Now, PB and I have had many discussions about this. Did we want a "friends" party? Should we just have one big party and invite his "friends"? Or stick to the family party like last year, and wait another year for "friends"? We decided that due to the time of the year, and our other obligations, we would forgo dealing with 6 two year olds.
When I told this woman that we were just going to have a family party, you would have thought I told her we were planning on shaving LG's head and sending him to Tibet to become a Buddhist monk. The idea that I might not have the time or money to invite her child to celebrate with LG was just unbelievable, apparently. Her face said it all, but I got a nice polite, "Well, that will be nice, won't it? Quiet, really." She quickly moved on to her plans for what we'll be doing when her princess turns 2. Great, sounds like fun. You go all out for a kid who won't remember this come Tuesday.
Don't get me wrong, I don't feel like I need to explain to this woman why we don't want to have a special party for LG's friends. That it's February, and so it has to be inside. Our house is barely LG proof, forget about him and 5 friends. To go somewhere for a party costs a small fortune for just the 6 of them, forget about the cousins who's feelings would be hurt if they weren't invited. My point is, she didn't even give me the chance if I wanted to take it. She passed her judgement, and she was done.
And that's the point of this post. It's why I believe the Silent Opinion is the worst one of all. If you voice an opinion, you give the person being opined upon (I know, look at me and my fancy English) the opportunity to respond. Defend their stance. When you give a silent opinion, you are simply passing judgement. You're saying, I think you're wrong for whatever it is your doing, and you couldn't possibly have anything to say about it that will change my mind.
So, in closing, your honor, I'd rather be thought a loud mouthed, opinionated know it all, than a silent jerk.
To hear more on Opinions, take a ride over to Sprite's Keeper and go for a spin.
Thanks, nice talking to you. We need to do this again, soon.