Gossip Girls…

President Nicholas Sarkozy and President Obama are clearly bros. They lovingly call each other out in the media, they have their own handshakes. And now, they’ve been caught man-gossiping. I usually don’t write about politics, preferring to read the expert opinion of others. But if there’s one thing I do know about, it’s gossip.

We all have that co-worker who is extra annoying. Maybe he pushes his opinions on everyone way too forcefully. Perhaps she won’t shut up and let anyone in the room get a word in edgewise. Then there are people who don’t work well in groups, even when a bunch of adults need to combine their efforts to accomplish something for the common good.

If you don’t work with anyone you find really annoying, maybe you should evaluate your own behavior on the job…

Discretion is one of the most important lessons that one learns on his or her way to adulthood. Poor Presidents Obama and Sarkozy did not know their mics were on. They didn’t mean to cause an international uproar or to hurt Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s feelings. They were just venting. I recall a similar event from my own childhood.

One of the local universities was conducting a psych experiment and my eight year-old self was included. We were supposed to go in, meet another randomly selected child and then accomplish some tasks together. I think the objective was to study teamwork or social interaction or something.

Right away, I screwed their study. I knew the randomly selected child I was supposed to be working with (from Girl Scouts, thank you for asking). We had been friends since kindergarten. So, even though they obviously couldn’t use us, they still had Debbie and I perform all the required tasks.

The guy who set up the whole thing had buggy eyes, long blonde hair and was waaaaayyyyy too enthusiastic. After he left the room, I leaned across the Legos we were using to build trust and whispered to Debbie “This guy is totally weird.” Debbie giggled and replied “I know”. Obviously neither of us had seen enough Law and Order to know what a two-way mirror was, nor did we understand the point of a study was for people to watch the participants while remaining unobserved ourselves. When the guy came back in to thank us for our time, it was really awkward.

No one talks about other people behind their backs to be hurtful or horrible. Sometimes these comments emerge from insecurity or the desire to bond with a co-venter. Sometimes they emerge from genuine frustration. And sometimes from just plain cattiness. When caught in the fallout of an overheard shit-talk, a mea culpa is required. And the next time that Obama, Sarkozy and Netanyahu get together, things are going to be a little uncomfortable. But Debbie and I got through it when we had to go back for the second session of the study and so will our elected world leaders.


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