So, one time, I was at a single's ward activity.
It was a BBQ in our bishop's backyard to celebrate the beginning of summer, end of school, summer lovin', whatnot. As such, the timing presented not only people that had been in the ward before, but people who were going to be attending now that they were home for the summer.
I had been attending along with my two best friends since maybe February or April, so I was not one of those new people, so we were just socializing as usual.
At one point, three girls walked into the yard. They were obviously new. If you weren't sure, you just had to look at the typical check-'em-out-looks that the single men were giving them. This had been a really welcoming ward to us, so my best friends and I decided that we'd welcome these girls in under the same fashion we had been! Or, at least, that was the intention.
We start chatting with them, talking about school and work and where they're from and all that good getting to know you stuff. I was talking to one girl in particular who was incredibly beautiful. As her and I got talking she revealed that she had just returned from serving a mission for our church.
This is where everything went horribly wrong. Seriously, just imagine a train wreck tumbling out of my mouth, because suddenly I was letting words out of my mouth. Words that were effectively a conjunction of my thinking, "Holy cow, she's so pretty," and "Dude, sweet, she went on a mission," as well as, "I wonder where she went". Words that combined to, oh, I don't know, MAYBE make it sound that I was surprised that she had gone on a mission because she was gorgeous. And, perhaps that giant mess of words continued on, making it out like I thought only ugly girls went on missions.
Both of which were not thoughts that had ever crossed my mind--I mean, I had heavy considerations of going on a mission myself--but for some reason they just pooped out of my mouth! POOPED. My best friends quickly tried to cover for my misgivings and I stood there dumbfounded at what I had just said because it was so offensive I couldn't even begin to back track from it.
The girl was really nice and sort of laughed it off.
However, she avoided me the rest of the night. And left early.
And she also never returned to our ward.
Yep. I was that person. I will never forget that moment. It had taught me to stick to one thought at a time during a conversation. Too many thoughts apparently equals me sputtering out something incomprehensibly offensive. Oh my gosh. Someone kick me, I was so embarrassed.
This experience has been helpful to me because it's definitely taught me that people say things that they would never even think let alone say out loud. Because you know what? People say rude things that they shouldn't. All the time. Including me. I don't know if I notice it half the time, which is slightly frightening to think about. How many horribly tacky things have I barfed out over the past decade? Let's not think about that right now...
Basically, I've found it easier to blow off other's tackiness, because I've been there myself, to the umpteenth degree. I mean, I've offended someone so much that they choose to go to a different single's ward! That's pretty bad! So I try hard to remember that when someone says something that maybe shouldn't have been said. Because really, maybe they did mean it. But maybe not in that way. Or maybe they didn't mean to say it at all, they just had that all-too-common mouth diarrhea, of which we all suffer from. Because really, we all say stupid things. Really, really stupid things. And I hope that someone else will give me the benefit of the doubt when I say horrible crap without meaning it, too.
Mouth diarrhea affects us all. Let us not forget this epidemic as we strive to love our fellow man and woman who say stupid things... which includes me. (I am so sorry, chick-at-BBQ.)