On why it’s best to keep random thoughts to oneself


Have you ever noticed how these random thoughts just pop into your head? There seems to be no specific prompt for this kind of thought. Or maybe you don’t have these. Maybe it’s just me. Usually, these thoughts occur when I’m doing nothing particularly productive (i.e., walking the dog, sitting on the recliner). Which, thanks to this recovery period, seems to happen a lot.

Maybe some people tuck these thoughts into the back of their minds or immediately toss them into some internal wastebasket. Not me. They usually become verbal, often interrupting some completely unrelated conversation.

For example, there we were, walking the dog on a hot afternoon. Mr. Organization was telling me about his upcoming conference for which he’d created a code to differentiate each group of attendees. Apparently, one of the registrants didn’t like the code assigned her. Actually, she probably misunderstood it and he didn’t bother to explain it — despite the fact that she’d objected twice. That’s my guy, ever gleeful to annoy someone.

So, as I’m mulling over his explanation, a completely unrelated thought popped into my head, and which, of course, I immediately verbalized. He’s accustomed to my doing this. “I wish Anne would come for a day so she can do (i.e., apply color to) my hair. I could try doing it myself…or I could let it go gray.” GASP! Did I say that?

Of course, Mr. Organization (in this case, the Saint) pounced on this. “I love your hair the way it is. Quit putting color on it (or something to that effect).”

Leaning in to me to whisper (as if anyone else would be out strolling in this sultry weather), “I like mature women.”

I think I snorted. I’m sure I snorted. He looked crushed. Because, in fact, he is completely serious about this. He likes my hair short. He likes it with the (ever increasing) gray hairs. Seriously. So there…that random thought, which had I kept it to myself, would have stayed hidden in the recesses of my stash of other random thoughts. But now…having verbalized it…I will have to undergo continuing conversations on this subject.

On the other hand, there are days when I verbalize random thoughts randomly and they go completely ignored. No response. These are usually related to spending money…like “Maybe we should get a new countertop in the kitchen.” Or “I’m going to hire Eric to paint the bedroom.” I could probably spit these out all day long and they would prompt no conversation. Nada.

So here’s the thing. If you — like me — tend toward random thoughts — keep them to yourself. It’s safer. Oh, and if they involve money, just be proactive and spend the money.

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