I suffer from an ailment called “L'esprit de l'escalier” .
I know one other person who also has this issue - a character infact – Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan in ‘Youv’e got Mail’)
L'esprit de l'escalier (or l'esprit d'escalier, usually translated as "staircase wit") is the act of thinking of a clever comeback when it is too late to deliver it. The phrase can be used to describe a riposte to an insult or any witty remark that comes to mind too late to be useful, after one has left the scene of the encounter. The phenomenon is usually accompanied by a feeling of regret at not having thought of the retort when it was most needed or suitable.
(Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L'esprit_de_l'escalier)
Many a times I am tongue tied and will not be able to say what should have been said, but later when I think about the situation, I can picture myself saying that and walking away in slow motion with an atrocious background music. But alas, time machine is still a dream.
I wish I had said ‘Go to Hell” many a time
I wish I had said ‘No’, when I actually just smiled
I wish I had said ‘That’s not a god idea. How about this?”, when I actually said “That’s nice”
Wish I had met a Joe Fox (Tom Hanks of You've got Mail again)
I envy people who say what needs to be said at the right moment, and walk away with a smile. They have an impeccable presence of mind, and not carried away by emotions or random thoughts.
But once I tried.
I spoke out at the right moment.
I thought that will be the suitable reply.
I thought after that I will walk away with a victorious smile on my face.
But no. Nothing happened.
I felt all the more worse.
I spend the entire night tossing and turning cursing myself for having said that.
I still do.
I will never be the same person in front of that other person again.
I felt terrible.
If you are of the kind who thinks giving a suitable reply not caring about the other person’s emotion, so be it. Or if you are like me, so be it.
The point is to be yourself.
Do not imitate, because if you do, you’ll end up acting stupid and won’t be able to sleep.
I have accepted that “L'esprit de l'escalier” is a part of my personality. I won’t feel bad anymore. I am me.
Peace be with me. Hallelujah!