These people have turned what could have been pure nightmare into a long-lasting lesson in generosity and friendship.
I am truly grateful.
That being said, OMG, I’ve had some hilariously inappropriate reactions.
I’m far from a guru of social graces, but I just have to chuckle at some people’s obvious dread of interactions with me — and their fumbling attempts to hide that dread.
I know I’ve made big mistakes in the past and I cringe just thinking about them.
So, I’ve compiled the following handy list of Ten Small-Talk Tips for Cringe-proofing One’s Future. And it’s free!**
- If you don’t know what to say, simply say so — and save us both from whatever you’d blurt out otherwise.
- If my diagnosis scares you for your own health or that of a loved one, share that fear with someone other than me.
- If you’re imagining terrifying possibilities for me, keep them to yourself.
- If you know of survivors and therefore think my situation is a walk in the park, put yourself in my shoes for two seconds before you decide to treat me as such.
- If you’re afraid I may keel over dead during our conversation, maybe it would be better just to smile, wave hello and keep walking.
- If you follow my blog because you care, but just not enough to send the occasional comment or email to respond to my story, don’t mention my blog when we meet in person.
- If you follow my blog out of morbid curiosity, and therefore don’t send the occasional comment or email to respond to my story, don’t mention my blog when we meet in person.
- If you’d rather not know how I’m doing, don’t ask.
- If you have no idea what I’m going through, don’t assume otherwise.
- If you think that not acknowledging my situation is a brilliant social tactic, think again.
- Bonus Tip #11: When in doubt, try genuine good wishes, a smile and a heartfelt hug.
Or, ignore all of the above — and provide me with hours of comic relief.
I’m happy either way.
** Although I am charging big bucks for the names associated with each tip.