Friday 21 October 2016

My big achievement would be to shut my mouth

Published 10/08/2015 | 02:30

I've never been shy about vocalising my opinions. Sometimes I don't have any opinions at all because I'm not up to speed on what people are discussing, and then I shut up. But if I think I'm a connoisseur on any subject, then there's no stopping me. I waffle. And I fill in all the silences. With more waffle.

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And then I often find myself losing the plot and imparting information about myself and my family and all our foibles. Just to fill the gaps. And I now realise, a little too late, that I've been doing it for years. Way back to when the kids were small. If somebody was regaling us with some tale of a child's minor misdemeanour, I would go one better with all of my kid's awful antics and my own shortcomings as a mother. Sending them out knocking on doors to find their own babysitter, shovel brought down on another child's head in playschool, going on the hop from playschool, robbing a fiver from the local shop's till aged five. Stuff like that.

The other mothers shut up and kept their counsel, leading us to believe their kids were about to be beatified. Sometimes I saw them glancing at one another in horror at my gruesome tales. Give me a few drinks and I'd start adding legs. When the Leaving Cert results came out, other mothers merely stated that their kids had done well despite the fact that they hadn't. I, on the other hand, tried to buy points and I thought I was hilarious.

I must add that I am never tempted to share secrets that I've been asked to keep. People would have to kill me for that information, but when it comes to myself, I have no sense of propriety. Problems 'down there', disastrous romantic or not-so-romantic encounters, times I've made a complete eejit of myself. I hang it all out to dry. Mostly starting the disclosures with, "I shouldn't be telling anyone this, but . . ." And off I go. I get so carried away that I'm not even sure if their eyes are glazing over and they are pinching other people to rescue them. Who cares when you're on a roll.

Sunday Independent

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