Overheard isn’t quite right. More like, “Things said directly to me that out of context, or even in context, make someone sound like an ass.”
We’ve all done it. My best blunder occurred when I was 16. My boyfriend, a notorious pain-in-the-ass-weirdo,* dumped me. Months I had put up with him and the questions and the constant ups and downs. I defended him. I swore I loved him. And he dumped me. I was indignant. Which led me to leave the following message on a friend’s answering machine:
“Well, Kevin and I broke up. But not in the way you think. That asshole dumped me. HE dumped ME! I hate men. Yes, I even hate you.”
Classy, I know. But I digress.
A close friend of mine recently began again communicating with a high school classmate, Garrett. They had lost touch roughly a year after graduation for a variety of reasons, the largest of which she explained to me with the utmost tact:
“I mean, I couldn’t say, I’m sorry I took your virginity and then stopped talking to you, could I?”
No, no you couldn’t. But I’m glad I got to hear it.
To class acts.
*People used to stop me in the hallway to ask me why I was dating him. On one particularly memorable occasion, a jock noted that Kevin was wearing a cape, sporting a nametag that read “El Chupacabra,” and leaping through the hallways declaring “I’m a little fairy.”
Jock: “You are dating that fag?”
Me: “Are you planning on using him to start a fire later?”
Me: “Fag…it’s a term for fire kindling…you know what? Nevermind. Yes, yes I am.”
Jock: “He calls himself a fairy.”
Me: “Maybe he means in the Celtic tradition. You know, scary little things that steal teeth and switch babies.”
Jock: “I’m gonna kick that guy’s ass.”