Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Walmart Rule

For Christmas Mr. Awesome received a BBQ apron that says "The views expressed by this husband are not necessarily those of the management." I'm thinking of making him wear this apron all the time.

For as generous, loving, funny, compassionate and kind as Mr. Awesome is he has one flaw that continually lands him in hot water; he has no filter. If he sees something, anything or anyone, he is compelled to comment. Often these comments are blurted out long before his brain has a chance to catch them, edit them and weigh the impact of them and some of his guffaws are legendary. Especially the ones directed to me.

When I was about 7 months pregnant with Dude, Mr. Awesome mentioned to our pastor that I was pretty top-heavy. The experienced husband and father of five just shook his head and backed away slowly. Then when I was pregnant with Crafty I told Mr. Awesome that I was craving rice to which he replied, "You're just like a sumo wrestler!"

There have been countless other foot-in-mouth moments with Mr. Awesome, some directed at me, some to my mother and some to just random people we encounter. He honestly doesn't mean to be rude or to hurt anyone, he just is lacking a proper verbal filter. And there is no place on earth where this is more evident than at Walmart.

Maybe its the diverse crowd of folks that frequent Walmart or maybe its just the time and location we tend to go to Walmart but something about that giant, brightly lit, mega store strips away any shred of social sense Mr. Awesome has. He gawks and comments on everything and everyone we see, so much so that I have made a rule; The Walmart Rule.

The rule is that when we go to Walmart after 10pm on any given night he is not allowed to talk with the exception of answering yes and no questions. He is not allowed to look at, pull faces or otherwise gesture to anything or anyone he finds interesting or unusual. If he finds that he just cannot contain himself he must look at the floor or wait in the van until I am done shopping. This rule is for his own personal safety ... and it works pretty well.

It works so well, in fact, that it is now a universal rule that I invoke quite frequently ... and not just for Mr. Awesome. I have come to learn that a quick wit and a sharp tongue are less of a gift when they are left to their own devices; that there is value and kindness in words unsaid and that I seem far wiser when I am silent than when I speak. I also have realised that I cannot remember a single time when I have regretted not saying something in haste.

The Walmart Rule ... try it.

Every speaker has a mouth; An arrangement rather neat. Sometimes it's filled with wisdom. Sometimes it's filled with feet.
Robert Orben


Jocasta Nu said...

Funny and true! Sometimes the best filter is a piece of duct tape. :)

Cindy said...

So funny!

Although I have not heard a lapse of the walmart rule from Mr. Awesome.