Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Art of Slander

Much like any newborn, generally the birth of a new relationship is greeted with much aplomb and cheers from well-wishers, friends and relatives alike. From your close intimates, you're inevitably showered with gaiety, gladness and glee - well maybe just a touch of the green-eyed - but still it's all good.

Blessings and good wishes abound usually. But in her version of the fairy tale, Pretty Panacea is deathly afraid some wicked witch might drop by at the last minute with something less than complimentary to say about her new relationship.

The wicked witches in this instance being her fellow ladies-in-waiting.

The wily northerner has all sorts of tricks up his voluminous sleeve!

Apparently during her brief jaunt to her relatives in the north, Panacea was literally swept off her feet by a barbarian baron. But rather than delight in the discovery of a new romance, Panacea is afraid of relating her good news to her friends for fear of slander.

Paul : So it's still a secret? No one knows you're seeing this virile northerner?
Panacea : Everyone thinks I just broke up with the prince! 
Paul : Your ex? That has been a year!
Panacea : Well the townspeople don't know that. At the behest of the crestfallen prince, the town crier was forbidden from reciting the proclamation of our separation till a month ago.
Paul : Now that's a problem.
Panacea : And there were already rumours spreading that both of us are conducting a clandestine affair.
Paul : Hardly clandestine if we're already seen all over town. You did tell them I'm practically your fairy godbrother with an emphasis on fairy?
Panacea : They wouldn't believe it. And now I'm to announce the arrival of my new beau? Three men in the space of that many months? Where would my reputation be? I'd be branded the town strumpet!
Paul : Those truly your friends wouldn't believe a word of that slander. 
Panacea : I honestly can't be sure they would. 

Beware the power of the sly tongue. Dastardly curses aside, something as simple as whispered calumny can easily transform someone from a prim, proper princess to a wild, wanton whore. Not even a poisoned apple required for that metamorphosis.

Even after much gentle persuasion, Panacea still refuses to reveal her aspiring suitor for fear of censure, castigation and curses from her shockingly judgemental sorority of sisters. Full of inward qualms over the possible loss of her inestimable reputation if her clandestine affair gets found out. Even worse, she lives in dread of insidious calumny carried out surreptitiously amongst her intimates in holes and corners.

So would you call that a friend? So-called frenemies who would immediately jump to the worst possible conclusions when they heard anything particularly iniquitous? As I learned way back in high school, any pseudo-friend who automatically believes the worst of me - and let's be blunt - can take a flying leap off a steep cliff. Certainly not worth keeping in my roster of bosom buddies.

Simple really. When it comes to slanderous gossip... those who care about me won't believe it, those who do believe it aren't worth caring about.


Le Chatelier said...

Every time I read your blog, I have FREE DICTIONARY tab standing by. I agree on the last statement. Very true indeed.

Le Chatelier said...

Every time I read your blog I need to have FREE DICTIONARY tab ready by side, haha. Yeah I agree on your last statement. Awesome!