T.M.I. stands for “too much information”. This means sharing more than one needs to or that others want to know. When is information too much? Recently Miss Manners, an advice column carried in many newspapers, received a letter asking just that . . . when it too much information? In particular the writer wanted to know whether or not his/her question or pronouncement of needing to use the restroom was more information than the other guests needed to know. I guess inquiring minds want to know!
Miss Manners responded: "You may be surprised to hear that not everyone is as charmed by bathroom announcements as you seem to be. It is true that asking its location is preferable to running around opening doors, but after that, one need only say, ‘Excuse me.’ Miss Manners assures you that everyone knows why you need to be excused."
Well, excuse me! I rather blurt it out than pee my pants! When Mother Nature calls, that is one call I answer. Is that too much information?
I guess some of us have been blessed with a filter that helps us to determine whether or not our statements are too much information. I was not one of them. I was always taught that honesty was the best policy, but apparently most folks don’t appreciate honesty. They really don’t care whether or not I have to pee. Ha! They might after I soak their carpet!
At our house I refer to the bathroom as the library. Why the library? Well, because some of the best magazines and reading take place in the bathroom. Got to do something while killing the time. What I have discovered is that lots of people do not know what I am talking about when I ask, “Do you mind if I check out your library?” Apparently lots of people do not refer to their bathrooms as libraries. I will probably rue the day when someone actually has a real library in their house.
So, what constitutes too much information?
Telling others that you have surgery is okay . . . but giving the details about the recent hemorrhoid procedure is not appreciated. Telling folks that you have grandchildren is okay . . . but whipping out a photo album is not acceptable no matter how cute the grandchildren might be. Having had lunch at a local eatery—okay, but telling them how it gave you gas is not. One’s sex life—off limits—in fact, the sex lives of anyone in the family is off limits. That nasty rash—off limits. It does not matter how truthful and honest one might be, if it is too personal—it is off limits. It is too much information.
I guess I just don’t have the T.M.I. filter built into my rock garden. I apologize now if I embarrass you by blurting out some inappropriate information that no one wants to know . . . it just the way I am. Not much more I can say . . . except, I need to go to the library now and do some serious reading. Is that too much information?