In general, I am not known for being able to keep my mouth shut. Seeing as I am man enough to admit this, I feel little need to go through the effort necessary to change this fact. However, it does get me into trouble from time to time. One time I actually had to see the Lion king musical, just as an example.
Regardless, I have actually kept my mouth shut once or twice. I realize that this will surprise anyone who knows me. As such, I am prepared to give an example.
One time I was working in a coffee shop up on the beach in Seattle. I was working the counter that day and there was an older attorney present, a pretty frequent regular, enjoying an espresso. He was actually a pretty cool guy. I saw him almost every day and he was always reading a good book. Given how rare that is, particularly in the legal profession, I have to credit him that.
However, I happened to overhear him pointlessly flirting with a young coed who happened to be in the shop. He was trying to appear intelligent and wise and made some comment about how tough it was for Tolstoy to write The Brothers Karamazov.
I almost screamed. Of course it was particularly tough for Tolstoy to write The Brothers Karamazov, given the fact that the book was written by Dostoyevsky.
My first instinct was to jump in with that exact quip. I felt marvelously intelligent to be able to correct the older attorney like that, particularly in front of an attractive female. However, I suddenly decided better of it. The guy was cool, even if he had his Russians horribly mixed up. Correcting him would do nothing but make everyone other than me feel bad, and it just wasn’t worth it. Plus, I probably wouldn’t have done my job much good by insulting one of the regulars.
Either way, though most of my friends wouldn’t believe me, I held my tongue and didn’t say anything. I let the older attorney go on in his Tolstoy written The Brothers Karamazov world. As a result, he wasn’t embarrassed and I still got to feel pointlessly literarily superior for a moment (admittedly for idiotic reasons, but those are sometimes the best kind). All because for once I kept my big mouth shut.