24 January 2013

What I Should've Said

I can never think of the thing I should’ve said when I should’ve said it. Only when the moment is long past – when the conversation has moved on to other things, or when I wake up at 3 AM – do I finally come up with what I really should’ve said. Sometimes it’s days or weeks later. Years, sometimes. Decades, even.

I’m not after the clever comeback, here; I’ve never been a master of Quick Wit and Retort, and my expectations are not unreasonable. I just mean what I would like to have said if I could think a little faster and was a little better at putting thoughts into words. Pathetic, really, for someone who has always made a living, one way or another, with words, but there it is.

Just now, for example, I’m finally coming up with what I should’ve said last Friday. Like I said, quick wit is not one of my strengths.

What happened was this: Scarecrow reconnected on Facebook with a woman who went to the same high school in Florida. Turns out she’s now in the Seattle area, and works in Community Relations and Marketing for our local library. Scarecrow pipes up with how great a resource the library is for me/us. Turns out they’re putting together a series of videos about the library, and she wondered if they might talk to us about it.

There are many reasons for me not to do this:
  • I generally don’t like to make a deal of being disabled
  • I definitely don’t do “courageous” or “inspirational”
  • I don’t much like having my picture taken
  • I’m uncomfortable being the center of attention
And most importantly:
  • When you’re talking, it’s always a first draft
On the other hand, this is the library we’re talking about. If there’s something I can do to help, I’m in. So OK.

So. Last Friday the library lady (I’ll call her Spike) comes to our house with a director, a tech/camera/sound guy, an assistant tech/camera/sound guy, and a whole bunch of equipment. Everybody was very nice, and fortunately they were all dog people, because the whippets were going ballistic. (We always say they normally have better manners, but I don’t think anyone ever believes us. Which is just as well, because they don’t.) The tech guys fixed us up with cool wireless mics, pointed the cameras our way, and we talked about the library and stuff. Although I felt like a total moron, I thought Scarecrow actually sounded pretty good, and overall it was not as agonizing as I had feared. Part of the reason was that they probably spent as much time taking pictures of the dogs as they did of us, and the dogs expressed themselves more coherently.

I’ve had a week to cringe at some of the stupider things I said. Although I don’t get to do the editing myself, I can only hope that the worst bits vanish forever into pixel never-never-land.

I can spend the next decade working out What I Should’ve Said.


  1. Wouldn't it have been nice if they gave you the questions in advance so you had some time to prepare what to say? I hate talking off the cuff like that as well; I always end up saying something that makes me sound like a doofus. It likely wasn't as bad as you remember. Nice to be doing something good for the library.

  2. LOL, good for you! Here I am, an actress wannabe, a public speaker usedtabee, I get nothin'. Hahaha, course I got no whippets! Yea Libraries!!

  3. Very cool that you are apart of something positive for the library. Hope you share the link to the finished product.

  4. You sure have your bookshelves organized!