If You Can’t Say Something Nice
July 1, 2015
Tonight, after putting the littlest members of the family to bed (for the fifth time), you sat to write while your husband and oldest daughter watched television.
Your daughter commented, “He’s looking old.” Disgust registered on your beautiful twenty-year-old’s face as she considered the celebrity on the television. You glanced up to see a man about your age whose youthful energy sparked from his eyes.
“If you can’t say something nice…”
“Come on, he is looking old. I mean, he’s at least fifty.”
Ah, to see the world from the eyes of a twenty year old. Perspectives change with age, I suppose. Heck, to my five-year-old, the twenty-year-old is nearing decrepitude.
With the next show, my husband commented unflatteringly about a woman’s outfit.
You glared at him.
“Dad,” the twenty-year-old said, “You’re very critical.”
He shrugged. “What, I didn’t expect to look up and see that.”
You tutted at them both. “If you can’t say something nice…”
He shook his head. “She doesn’t care what I say. She can’t hear me.”
You sigh. “You’re setting a poor example for our daughter.”
“Yeah, Dad. You don’t need to be so judgmental.”
“Just like you don’t need to be assessing that man’s aging on television.”
Her mouth popped open. “That is not the same thing at all. He is looking old.”
It is precisely the same.
If you can’t say something nice.
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