I recall once being out for coffee one morning and the proprietor of one of the few bistros I visit, a 45-ish attractive woman whom I otherwise like very much, as she is friendly, chatty, funny and welcoming, just like a hospitality industry operator should be.
“So, I’m off to Hawaii in just two weeks,” she told me. I say that such a trip sounds very appealing and that we were just back.
“Only problem is, I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been able to get done all the things I want to do before I go away. I haven’t even made an appointment for a bikini wax.”
Wait a minute, I thought. Do I want to know this? Do I want my imagination to be going below your waistband, as attractive as it might be down there, rather than just thinking what a decent cup of coffee you offer. In other words, for me at least, that was ‘too much information.’
Now, I’m not a delicate soul, and I have been down certain roads sometimes too many times, and I know how most things work human anatomy-wise and otherwise. Furthermore, I am the farthest person from being prudish. But, you see, it’s a matter of seeing certain people in certain contexts. She serves me coffee. We don’t share a locker-room, bathroom or bedroom, nor am I seeking such intimacy.
Much as I decry the modern era, there are certain facets I like very much, including the breakdown of unnecessary prudish mores. At the same time, I am struck by the fact that some people just maybe go a little too far in their ‘sharing’, some other people go ‘waaaaaaaaaaaaay’ too far in their sharing. Unless I’m your gynecologist, there are just certain things I don’t want to know. I kinda like ‘mystique’, if you will.
So, I have (as a public service, you understand) divided unwelcome information into two categories. They are: Too Much Information (TMI), and Way Too Much Information (WTMI).
It’s all a matter of degree, of course. There are things I might share with my wife or other loved ones that I will not share with the public at large, no matter how fond I might be of individuals therein. Consider, if you will:
– The aforementioned bikini waxing and other intimate cosmetic procedures
– Anecdotes about their family members or old friends whom I’ve never met, unless there is a tale of great importance in a general sense
– Marital woes of an intimate nature
– Stories of your mental breakdown or suicide attempt at 17. I’m not your therapist
– Stories of how drunk you got at some shindig or other. Tales of the debaucheries of others are horribly boring and the sharing of such stories tends to make me a bit wary of you and your life choices.
– Longwinded stories about your pets. If pets are to be spoken of conversations must always go back to the wonders of Max.
– In-depth recounting of the plot of a movie or book the speaker has encountered recently.
– Declaring how urgently you have to pee at the moment of conversation. Just go, then, for heaven’s sake. I don’t need to know
– Your own political, religious, sexual or racial views. I don’t want to hear about them and, if I find them repellent, I will have to change my assessment of you. At times it’s just good to shut-up.
– unless I’m in an intimate relationship with you (or in some cases might want to be if I happened to be single, I don’t really want to hear about your favorite sexual techniques, turn-ons, kinks, and infidelities
– infidelity as a category of its own. If I know your spouse or sexual partner as a friend, and you tell me that you or your opposite is fooling around, I will have to reappraise both of you. I mean, really, I hate knowing that stuff.
– your intimate behaviors with your partner whom I know well. “What – she does that?”
– Criticisms of a spouse or partner when he or she isn’t present. That’s both tacky and cowardly – Tales of abuse in your marriage. Scary stuff. So, what do you want from me. Should I call the cops?
– Any recounting of bowel or bladder habits and woes, incontinence, frequency of movements, and so forth, are just plain distasteful. This is between you and your intimate partner, or you and your doctor
You can probably think of many, many other TMI and WTMI examples, but those are mine for today.