Everyone knows that teenagers are known for the vicious ways they gab and gossip about one another. I remember my high school days quite well when various tidbits of “he said this” and “she did that” would circulate through the hallways. As you probably also know, this doesn’t stop once you get a diploma. Yeah, we might trivialize it as “chit-chat” or perhaps call it some highfalutin’ term that (we think) excuses it as an intellectual “pursuit,” but adults still like to spread good ol’ gossip. Nitpicking about our friends, acquaintances, and that one neighbor down the street seems to be a favorite pastime for some. Does this need to be in other people’s business ever stop? Apparently not. And, in addition, it can get comically sinister.
This past week, my daughter and I were walking around our Mayberry-esque town and decided we had a hunger that only ice cream cones would satisfy. So there we sat, at a local café eating our ice cream and at the table next to us were two elderly women having their lunch. They were dressed in their Sunday best complete with shiny patent leather purses…the kind that close with a loud snap. Quite innocently my daughter and I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on their conversation. They were kind of loud. Believe me, we were not the only ones privy to their conversation. Anyway, long story short, they were straight up gossiping. Bouncing back and forth between friends of theirs and what sort of shenanigans they had been up to. It was like a well-acted skit the way these two ladies seamlessly flitted through their litany of friends, one after the other, never missing a beat or enduring even a second’s lull in the conversation.
One friend they were particularly going on about was Peggy. Poor Peggy. Well, not so fast now… I have it on good authority that Peggy does a fair amount of gossiping on her own so any sympathy you may have for her being the topic of gossip should be disregarded. Apparently these two women were utterly horrified at how Peggy talks about other people. They thought it was downright disgraceful that Peggy should engage in such “tripe.” (I’ll just let that sink in for a bit.)
After their back and forth discourse on the Peggy issue, one of the women summed up the conversation by proclaiming quite loudly, “As if Peggy has any room to talk about anyone. She doesn’t even have all of her own teeth!” Admittedly, I don’t know old people slang but based on how sternly this woman said that line, it sounded like it had to be the ultimate “diss” for the classy septuagenarian crowd. Of course my daughter and I failed to feel the full seriousness of the insult and almost spit out our ice cream from laughing.
I guess the moral of this story is (and something I did not know up until now), it’s okay to be a gossip, just so long as you have your own set of chompers.