4/31

Today I headed downstairs, stepped outside and immediately recoiled. It was cold. And then I laughed at how quickly I was able to call 55 degrees “cold” when just last week it was 50 degrees in Michigan and everyone celebrated by hanging around outside in shorts.

None of my friends (minus Mackenzie and Christina, my two roommates) know about this blog, so I feel slightly at ease sharing stories but I will still obviously keep all of my stories name-free.

Staying at the beach with 18 girls is risky. We all knew that when we signed up to come. And, as predicted, although for the most part we have had an incredible time, there have been a couple roadblocks. What has fascinated me the most is the stupidity of some people when it comes to gossiping. I don’t care for talking about other people but I have come to terms with the fact that sometimes it is necessary. As humans, we learn from other’s mistakes and, if you are like me in the sense that you figure things out and come to terms with situations through discussion or writing, sometimes it is necessary to talk through mistakes other people have made in order to avoid them yourself.

So gossiping is, on some level, and especially among a cluster of 20 year old girls, necessary. But please, please, for the love of all things good, be smart about it. Know your audience. Talk about people with people that you a) respect and b) trust. Respect is key. If you respect someone’s character, then chances are that they’re a pretty decent person and will let you know when you say something cruel. Trust, obviously, is also important. Do you know that when you’re talking to someone that you’re talking to one person and not to that person’s 10 other close friends as well?

Conflict comes not from gossip, but from stupid gossip. Living in close quarters with 17 other girls has left me slightly astonished at how many people have not yet mastered the art of smart gossip.

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3 thoughts on “4/31

  1. Is there smart gossip? I’m not so sure. I think that underlying every kind of gossip is a layer of meanness, and mischief. But perhaps it’s just my advanced age talking, Larkin. That, and the fact that I was just discussing this very issue with my Olivia who is studying in London for the year, and traveling with friends who love to gossip – it’s made for some uncomfortable situations and tears, which I think is silly…why travel to lovely places and spoil it all with gossip?! Hope you are making the most of the beach though…and the warm sun!

    • I just think that sometimes it’s necessary to talk about things that people have done with people that you trust. A couple of the girls have made questionable decisions this vacation and talking about it was unavoidable. However, I agree that there is often a layer of spite underneath “gossip,” which was why I debated with whether or not to even use that word in this post. I wonder if the real difference I should have discussed is the one that exists between talking about people and therefore learning from their mistakes and gossiping about people with malice.

  2. Might be an interesting post to think about whether there’s ever such a thing as smart gossip. Is gossip ever okay? And if so, with who and for what purpose? I like to lean on the idea that small people talk about other people, medium people talk about things, and big people talk about ideas. Good words to live by. Gossip is enticing, but doesn’t often lead to strong friendships. xo

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