Friday, April 17, 2015

No Second Chance Sometimes

We have all experienced that moment when we wished we could go back and say what we really meant in a smarter way but the moment has passed and gone forever. When I was a teenager I wished for many retakes of conversations with my mother. I had the gift of the gab and at times acidic words left my tongue unrestrained leaving a pained look on my mother's face. She would walk away visibly hurt and spend the next couple of days humming Gospel music while I thought about what I said and paraphrased it over and over in my mind. Listening to her humming and seeing her pained look hurt more than the lashes she landed on my buttocks when I was younger.
Years later I took my first assignment as a spokesperson and unintentionally amused a journalist who was recording my interview by asking him to reshoot it so that I could retract an error I had made. He smiled and honored me by reshooting then he went ahead to use the original interview with all my mistakes just to humiliate me. I learnt there and then that spokespeople are not given a second chance in real life. There are many other instances like job interviews, office turf battles and domestic squabbles when the smart and witty response that would have made me sound exceptionally smart comes to mind immediately after my turn to speak passes. So I have learnt to have handy notes ready when I prepare for public speaking because even the most carefully memorized lines are not immune to stage-fright.

At 50 I know that if I could go back in time I would prepare for those private mother-daughter conversations the same way I now prepare to speak to total strangers.
feeling sorry.

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