Stephanie I and have different perspectives on gossip, and it tends to cause friction. I have a simple philosophy: I do not want to hear anything about anyone that they wouldn't want me to hear.
I don't think I gossip. I just share things with Dave, who's my partner and BFF. So when I get home from dinner with a girlfriend, I want to share what she and I talked about with Dave. During my most recent dinner date with a particular girlfriend, we talked about her man. And the idea that he might be cheating. And the evidence she may have found. So I shared my obvious horror about the situation with Dave. He came back with, "Does this person want me to know this?" It made me feel like his child, not his "almost wife." I don't want to be censored in my home.
Here’s a good example of why I’m so averse to gossip: I have a good friend who's my go-to setup guy. He's a good-looking med student with a great sense of humor. So when I meet a friend of Stef's who happens to be single, sometimes I ask, "Do you think she would like Jason?" (not his real name). Awhile back, I'd mentioned setting up Jason with Stef's friend Stacy (not her real name, either), who I’m a fan of -- she's sweet, cute and seems very intelligent. Stef was way into the idea. Since that time, Stef has mentioned to me, in passing, that Stacy has some serious issues. She continually struggles with an eating disorder that has put her in and out of clinics, rotates therapists and has never had a serious relationship.
I recently followed up with Dave about a possible Jason-Stacy meeting, to which he said, "NO WAY am I setting them up! I'm not unloading that kinda baggage on my buddy."
So here's the thing. If Stef had never gossiped about her friend, I probably would've proceeded with the setup. Maybe they would've hit it off. Maybe they'd be engaged by now. Maybe Jason has a sister with an eating disorder. Who knows? But she did share this info. And now I can't vouch for the girl. And I certainly couldn't set my friend up with her without divulging this very private info, which I shouldn't have known in the first place. Call me dramatic, but I feel that this kind of gossip alters destinies. There was no need for me to know this information about Stacy.
If Dave wants to judge Stacy by what I told him, so be it. I can't control that. I’m still very willing to set up our good friends to see if it works out. He's the one being judgmental by not proceeding with the setup as planned, merely because I shared private information with him as my partner.
Where do you stand on this one? Is gossip damaging or just something that married couples and partners do?
Stephanie Tsoflias is a reporter for WPIX in New York City. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@lifeofareporter). Dave Siegel is a writer and stand-up comedian in New York City. Visit his website, DaveSiegel.com, and follow him on Twitter (@StandUpDave). The Philadelphia area can see Dave perform at Helium Comedy Club January 18-21.