Rumors look cool when they’re spelled like the Fleetwood Mac album title, but in reality, they are unattractive, annoying, and childish. I thought I’d left the days of hearing and being the center of rumors behind in high school, but they rear their heads now and then. Really, you’d think they’d get the hint that I’m not into them anymore. Rumors and I, we broke up a long time ago, and not even a big bouquet of sunflowers can redeem them for me.
When we were a certain age, these kind of funny stories and vicious lies were a way of life. Maybe that is a misconception on my part, but I know in my small-town high school, this was absolutely true. We bonded and broke because of gossip that may or may not have been true. We entertained ourselves with the facts and fallacies of people’s lives because we didn’t know any better.
There came a time, maybe in late high school, probably in college, possibly after nabbing that Bachelors, when we all grew up and found ideas more fascinating than whether or not our friend actually got drunk enough to hook up with this stupid guy we kissed once, five years ago. That kinda thing just lost its bite when we all grew up into better and brighter people.
The fact remains that even these more intelligent creatures we’ve evolved into still love a juicy rumor. It’s human nature, but it’s just not socially or morally acceptable to be a rumor-spreading asshole after your skin has cleared and you have seen a bit of the world. It’s for that precise reason why we created an industry for celebrity gossip rags. We get to indulge in scandal without having a guilt trip with Ben and Jerry on the couch later.
We also enjoy a good celeb rumor because we’re so far removed that we can never be burned by it. We all want to be in the know, but none of us want to be the center of a scandalous (or not so) topic of conversation. We enjoy it from a bird’s eye view, but things change when the camera angle zooms tight around our own faces.
For the most part, a little gossip in social circles never hurts anyone, despite it being a social faux pas. However, there’s a line between appropriate, healthy chit-chat and completely insane lies. Whether we’re talking about our friends or they’re talking about us, it’s just not cool to falsify information for whatever reason. The right rumor has the power to destroy lives if it’s released to the right people at the right time. (Haven’t any of you seen the movie “Gossip!?”)
The sad thing is, we’re supposed to like our friends. We’re supposed to be supportive. We’re supposed to be happy for them when they’re happy, and sad with them when they’re sad. We’re not supposed to attack each other like rabid dogs simply because we’re unhappy, jealous, or bored.
Recently, the rumor mill around me has been on fire. While it doesn’t actually injure me because I am strong enough in my own gait to continue down my own life path, it does piss me the hell off.
It angers me that petty envy can make people try to infect my happiness simply because they don’t have their own kind. It riles me up to know that people I trust are out there breaking that faith for their own entertainment. It’s disheartening to know these faceless gossipers are choosing to weaken our friendship rather than strengthen it. And for what? Less boredom? The debatably tasty morsel of a rumor on the tongue for maybe 30 seconds? What a sad way to treat your pals.
We all talk a little talk, but the difference between talking about Mary’s latest Saturday night and her maybe-that’s what I heard-no way!-STD is the motive. The former is out of natural curiosity, while the latter is vindictive, disrespectful, and inappropriate behavior for a trusted friend. Enough is enough, y’all. Let’s all – old and young, guilty and innocent, me and you – grow up a bit.