Please, don’t tell me

I really don’t remember asking but I must have. It would have been the courteous thing to do and I’m sure that’s how it started. One minute I’m asking the man, an alcoholic in a rehabilitation program, “How you doing?” and the next he’s telling me about hemorrhoids. Just how do you say, “No, really. I don’t need to know.”

My husband says I have a sign. Actually, he calls it a beacon. One that lights up and only certain people see it. These are the people who tell me things I don’t want to know.

In another location where we were pastoring a church I asked a teenager the same question. The troublesome, “How are you today?” Her answer was most surprising as she said quite directly, “My cervix hurts”. Honestly, I couldn’t make this stuff up. She was in a bible study group being led by a college student, male, who gave me a rather blank expression. I was the new one here so I suppose he’d heard things like this from her before.

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Being in ministry it’s not only the polite thing but it seems it’s even my job to ask people how they’re doing but I find myself praying silently at the same time, “please, don’t tell me.”

Perhaps I look too concerned or too caring. Maybe I need to smile less, not look at people in the eye so much?

Of course I can’t do that, most of the time. Only to the ones who want to tell me about physical ailments no one needs to hear!

This is my first link up with Just Write at The Extraordinary Ordinary. A collective of sharing everyday stories written “in theΒ moment”

16 thoughts on “Please, don’t tell me

  1. iamnotshe says:

    Oh honey, i go both ways on this. BUT, in terms of spilling the weird body processes, this is usually saved for friends.

    People TELL ME EVERYTHING! Sometimes I’m flattered, other times i feel like, “OK, well, what can I do”? Or … Just sort of nod my head.

    Not much shocks me, and I don’t kiss and tell. Maybe that’s what people see in you πŸ˜‰ xx

  2. Caddo-Jael says:

    Oh goodness, Debby. I have to agree that some of us wear “signs”–though they may be different ones–mine must be “neighborhood mom”…. God bless you and your family–love, Caddo

  3. Debbie says:

    My daughter used to get dismayed when strangers would tell me their problems at the grocery store (often). All I would have said was something like, “Wow – 3 peppers for a dollar!” πŸ˜€
    When I worked at the Visitor’s Center in Oregon, my boss had a sign up in her office that said:
    “If there’s really such a thing as tourist season, why can’t we shoot them?” ;D
    You’re so right, if you work with people you have to find a way to keep a sense of humor!

  4. Mia says:

    Dear Debby
    This is hilarious!! Thank you for a healthy dose of humor, even though it is true. Actually, come to think of it, they must trust you enough to share these uncomfortable problems!
    Blessings from Heather’s
    Mia

  5. Mama's Empty Nest says:

    Oh, you too, huh? I’ve always told my husband there must be an invisible to me sign around my neck that says “talk to me and tell me EVERYTHING because I won’t be rude to you!” Apparently, you and I are just those approachable kind of people that folks like to tell all to. πŸ˜‰

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