Thursday, April 18, 2013

Aging Filter of Straight Shooter

My grandma at her 90th
birthday. Today, at 93, she is
still our beloved, unfiltered
straight shooter! 
There is quite a difference between what runs through my mind and what is actually projected from my well-exercised lips. Not that I tell tall tales or sugar coat my words. Everyone who knows me considers me to be a straight shooter. But straight shooters, contrary to generally accepted notions, actually do filter their thoughts before their thoughts burst forth into audible commentary.

Upon hearing from the barista what my half-caff, skinny cappuccino costs, what runs through my mind is:
It amazes me how much you can get away with charging for something that costs you 50 cents to make and will take about three minutes of your time. You must make $200,000 a year here.
What I actually say (punctuated with an eye roll):
"Wow, that's expensive for coffee with some steamed milk. The profit margin must be high, like for pizza and soft drinks. I hope they pay you well. Meanwhile, I really need to invest in a cappuccino machine."

Upon being asked my opinion by a stranger trying on clothes, what runs through my mind is:
Honey, just because they make it in your size does not mean you can get away with that style.
What I actually say (without making any eye contact as I gather my things and prepare to leave):
"I really do not believe that style brings out your strongest features." 

Upon receiving horrible service at a restaurant, then being asked by the general manager about the experience, what runs through my mind is:
The food was good, but the service was terrible. Either the server was having a bad day or he/she needs to look into other career options.
What I actually say (regardless of whether or not the server is within earshot):
"The food was good, but the service was terrible. Either the server was having a bad day or he/she needs to look into other career options."

Okay, so sometimes the actual sentiment slips past my filter. As I get older, that seems to happen more and more often. In my 40s, it's unbecoming to be so abrubtly honest in public. However, I'm optimistic that I will be considered a cute, silly ol' lady, just like my grandma is considered today, when I get to be her age and my filter has completely deteriorated along with the cartilage in my knees.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 

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