Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Brain before tongue
Have you ever said something you really, really wish you hadn’t?
Of course. Everyone has. My latest example came at brunch on Sunday with some friends. It may seem mild to an outsider, but I feel really bad about it.
One of my friends lives in Tampa, my hometown, and was in New York for a visit. About ten years ago, after I first moved to New York, I made a couple of offhand remarks in front of her about not wanting to live in Tampa again, or not liking Tampa relative to Manhattan. She took great offense at these remarks and said I was being snotty, basically.
Well, at brunch, my friend was saying that there are no good seafood restaurants in Tampa. Dave turned to me and joked that we should open one. And I said, immediately and without thinking, “I don’t want to go back to Tampa!”
As soon as the words left my mouth I wanted to reel them back like a fish, because I knew they would offend my friend. Sure enough, I haven’t heard from her since the brunch, though I did send her a brief note of apology yesterday.
Sounds mild, right? And honestly, I’m of two minds about the whole kerfuffle. On one hand, what I said is absolutely true – I don’t want to return to Tampa. I also don’t mean that as a judgment of my friend’s decision to remain there. On the other, I can see how she might think, “Well, now that he’s moved to New York he’s just looking down his nose at us.”
It's not even that I dislike Tampa -- I enjoy visiting, and my desire not to return isn't meant to be scornful of the city. All I’m saying is, it’s not for me. I’m not even sure I’ll stay in New York forever – I just don’t want to go back, you know?
Anyway, I’m probably making more out of it than I should, but I feel kind of stupid about the whole thing. I wish I’d just held my tongue.
(Photo: Mushrooms in the East Village, Sunday.)