Little Brother has been lecturing me on and off for a couple of years about how much I share on social media. His biggest complaint comes in the form of a question: “What do I know about you that isn’t on Facebook?” And his second biggest complaint is “Why do I have to read about something that happened to you on Facebook first? Why can’t I hear about it from you BEFORE you post on social media?” Honestly, there are times I think he wants me to tell him something that happened before it even happens to me. His first and second complaints are typically followed by “And why do you have to post it at all? TMI!”
If it’s TMI, why does he want to know? I’ve asked. “I’m nosey.” Yes. And there have been times we have vehemently disagreed on what constitutes TMI. But, I have discovered a new level of TMI even I wouldn’t have ventured into. Oh, yes. A whole new level and I have my mother to thank for it.
One of mom’s amusing pet peeves with Grandma (Mom’s mother) is she (Grandma) will talk to complete strangers and tell them things about the family I don’t even know. Or she tells them details about herself or about some of us that people don’t need to know. First, they probably don’t care to know. Second, if they’re nosey like Little Brother, they still don’t need to know.
Keep this in mind.
I accompanied Mom to an appointment last week because she wanted me there as a second set of eyes and ears. I drove to her house, picked her up, and headed to where we needed to be.
Mom: The name of the man we’re meeting is (and I’m changing the name here) Tom.
Mom: He’s 36.
Me: Okay. And I need to know his age why?
Mom: I told him you’re 46.
Me: Why does he need to know I’m 46? How does my age even come up in conversation?
Mom: I told him I was 66.
Me: This is getting better and better. Why does he need to know our ages?
Mom: We were talking about his 10-year-old son’s school, and the age thing just came up.
Me: Why were you talking about his son’s school?
Mom: His son was unfairly suspended, so I’m helping him look for a private school that’s affordable.
Me: You’re pulling my leg with this, right?
Mom: No. Why?
Me: Do you know Tom?
Me: Never met before?
Me: Are you sure?
Mom: Don’t be a smart ass.
We arrive at the appointment, meet Tom, and I sit back while they jawbone for 10 minutes about everything unrelated to why we’re there. I finally ask if he has another appointment at the half hour.
Tom: We have time.
Me: For this?
Tom: People in Europe typically spend 20 minutes getting to know each other over tea before conducting any business.
Mom: That’s right.
Me: (to Tom) Do you have tea?
Me: Then let’s get on to business.
They finally get on task…for about 20 minutes. Mom explains why she’s there, then dives deeply into information about my grandmother, some health concerns, surgery last year, etc., the neighborhood where she lives, the personalities who live there, etc., none of which mom needed to say. Tom mentions his estranged spouse, how his children are dealing with things, a friend of his, his friend’s economic situation, and some previous jobs, none of which we needed to know about.
The meeting is essentially an hour-long conversation that could have taken place in 20 minutes. Although after all the personal details that slipped out, I did ask a question.
Me: You mentioned your friend who may be helping my mother with some work.
Me: Mom didn’t ask, and I’m surprised she didn’t, so I will. Does your friend smoke?
Tom: Um…does that matter? Is it relevant?
Me: Really? After the first 50 minutes of the conversation here, now you’re searching for relevance?
I’m sorry, but my writing about nose and ear hair issues along with other fun things I discover whilst I age is NOTHING compared to the meeting this particular day. Little Brother can take his TMI comment and put it right up his patottie. Though, LB pointed out the irony. If he ever approached my mother and asked why she needed to share so many things with Tom, she’d tell him (Little Brother) “Mind your own business.”
I’m curious. Where do you, dear readers, draw the line at TMI? Do you ever get accused of oversharing? And what do you consider oversharing?