28 Oct We Have Cake At Home
When a friend was offered dessert at a restaurant, he said to the server, “No, thanks. We have cake at home.”
When he told the story later he laughed at himself for including the cake information in his answer. Those of us listening laughed with him, thinking of the times we, too, have given unnecessary, unsolicited information, and before long ‘We have cake at home’ became a tag or marker to indicate that excess information was being given.
After I gave my bus seat to a pregnant woman and told her that I have a new grand-daughter, I muttered to myself, “We have cake at home….”
Sometimes the over-sharing can be charming, as I chose to characterize my bus conversation, but sometimes it can be extensive and dreary.
Pat asked if the design had been approved. Before he got to ‘yes’, Algernon reported the vacation plans of each person on the committee. To Pat’s eye-roll he defended himself by suggesting that a decision had been made in their favor since everyone wanted to get started on the vacations, and aren’t those vacation choices interesting!
Malcom gave his team detailed directions that included so many random facts and opinions that the team had to have a meeting later to decipher what they were supposed to do. Malcom prides himself on being thorough.
Where is the fault? Maybe there is none. Maybe we listeners can use these opportunities to practice our discerning and summarizing skills as we try to tune out the cake. Maybe we speakers can be more judicial in what we offer.
But maybe we all can be more patient with those who think out loud, or voice their observations, or describe every stone on the path. You may be in a hurry to get to the dessert, but some days you have cake at home, too.