Other than Larry David, I might be the last person on earth who should be giving advice on stifling it, because rarely have I kept my many unsolicited opinions to myself. Recent events have convinced me there is no need to share all of one’s feelings with others.
Not too long ago a house guest spoke glowingly of how beautiful the back of my house in Malibu looked to him, but for reasons totally unbeknownst to me, he had to add the following, “I don’t particularly like the way the front of your house looks.” I will never know why he had to share this opinion with me. I don’t recall asking him for an architectural critique of my home.
When I first purchased my house, two relatives of mine (their names will not be used to protect the guilty) inspected the few pieces of furniture which came with it and made clear to me what they liked and didn’t. I was very fond of a particular tapestry and they were not. They actually mocked my hanging it. “You have got to be kidding,” was one of their gentler comments.
Again, I don’t recall ever asking for their opinions, but their opinions I got in spades. I hope to have the tapestry appraised some day, and I can assure you that if it is worth any money, I will remove it from my estate before allowing these two scoundrels to get it.
And finally, my wife and I were going to work out at the gym on what until then had been a wonderful Sunday. The new employee at the front desk greeted me and asked whether my companion was my daughter. That was the end of a glorious day. It might have made my wife’s day, but I can assure you it did not make mine.
My wife looks young for her age and I don’t. Our 14 year difference, which is not shocking by Malibu standards, should not have motivated the receptionist to guess the nature of our relationship. I am no Tony Randall or J. Howard Marshall II (the late husband of the late Anne Nicole Smith). I am not on my last legs or I don’t think I am. But because of this outlandish question from an almost complete stranger, my intimacy with my bride has been adversely impacted. Every time I approach her, I recoil at the thought of incest.
So if you ever feel like telling me what you don’t like about my home or its furnishings, or if you are curious as to whether my wife is my daughter, granddaughter, or whatever, please stifle it. Thanks.