CXVI. Gossipy Gabbing -

Another birthday passed, I feel more prone to gossiping. It’s not just me either.

It’s almost comedic and sitcom-like at the sheer proximity between the person being spoken about and his/her distance from the speaker.

With the advent of technology, it is quite ironic how machinery has segued into making gossip more natural than ever. What with text messages, silenced and stashed underneath sturdy restaurant tables, and conference calls, initially an open conversation, free of judgment that transitions into a mass condemnation of the person who had to leave early; Gossip is the most genuine, organic, and non-awkward conversation starter.

Gossiping has negative connotations, but it is in no way a forbidden human fallacy.

As I mentioned in a previous post, adulthood is essentially an open window for judgement-forming. We have acquired experiences and like to draw from them when addressing matters of someone’s decision-making.

To gossip is to critically assess the decisions of another person, not necessarily only to reprimand said decisions. For example, my friend and I could be talking behind someone’s back in the form of compliments, on a wardrobe choice perhaps. A form of communication, the good ole’ two-way street colloquial definition, applies to  gossiping.

A few weeks ago, I was gossiping with one other person in tow. The conversation was completely eased and fluid, akin to a rapid-fire round. As if the time had run out, both of us looked at each other and went silent. A mutual thought fleeted through our minds at the exact same time: Were we doing something wrong?

The next thing I know I’m saying, “We’re just saying the truth. It’s reality.”

That one argument in favor of us not having our halos disintegrate, is the fulcrum on which gossip rests

The Oxford English Dictionary defines gossip as, n. casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.

“Typically” is antonymous to “always”. As we become adults, gossip is so naturally part and parcel of our conversations because we are more inclined to speak the truth.

Many of you may be furiously shaking your head right now, clicking your tongue, or perhaps even muttering expletives at your computer screen in an attempt to inflict voodoo-like hocus pocus.

Hear me out, please and thank you:

Remember when late night television was not filled with Broadway versions of disenchanted high school students and ABC Family shows that transformed topics like murder and sociopaths into G-rated material?

Think back to Bill Cosby’s show, Kids Say The Damdest Things. The crux of the show was a comedic medium for communicating how children speak without thinking. Kiddies tend to speak the truth.

As someone who has never and does not plan to ingest alcohol, I have only heard that those who reach a drunken state, overwhelmingly voice truisms they would otherwise keep on the down-low. (I would suggest that this statement could be gossip according to the definition provided above because I have not confirmed the degree to which alcohol is equivalent to fictional truth serum.)

However, a kid’s truth, is only half the truth.

A kid’s truth, is a single or series of observation(s).
Observations are what you and I see, however, it is what we know, that is the full truth. Say you saw someone who was heavily endowed with luscious eyelashes. There goes the observation. Did you know that she was dawning fake eyelashes? That my friend, is the full truth and my telling someone who may not have known is a form of gossip.

Gossip can make the world a better place. Let’s examine the popular series that came to an unfortunate downfall before I even bothered to watch the final season, Gossip Girls.

On the day of the Upper East Side natives’ graduation, everyone received the same text message from none other than Miss or Mr. Gossip Girl him/herself, cosigned with the infamous xoxo. The characters were labeled as follows: “weakling”, “the ultimate insider”, “coward”, and “officially irrelevant.”

The initial reaction caused by the un-silenced mobile alert, amplified by the acoustics of a privileged private school auditorium, was at once startling.
Upon opening the text, the reactions diversified. As you could imagine, the person called “weak”, was ticked off. The “ultimate insider” formed a half smile on his face, as if he were receiving a prestigious award at the baccalaureate ceremony the day before. The “coward”, well, he was cowering in his seat, and the “officially irrelevant” character was on the verge of tears.

After this fateful reflection at reality, looking into the mirror that is the cell phone screen, the characters transformed. Chuck and Blaire committed themselves to a full-fledged relationship. Both Dan and Blaire hunkered down and settled on NYU - a courageous decision if I may say so myself; though, realistically, I could see how everyone had to relocate here for the sake of the script. Serena deferred from Brown University, which wasn’t so earth-shattering seeing as how she’s one of those buy-ins.

Clearly, this example is partial; The fictional bleeds into reality like a particularly finicky Sharpie permanent marker bleeds into otherwise thick paper.

Regardless, gossip, an enterprise of adulthood, makes us realize that we’re not so distanced from our childhood selves. We shouldn’t be guilt-tripped when gossiping either. If anything, we’re more innocent for it.