I would like to share with you all a new term that, courtesy of my roommate, Katie, will be making its way into my vocabulary. It is called: the Overshare.
The Overshare is similar, but distinct, from the now-classic TMI (“Too Much Information”). A detail is TMI when it’s overly personal and gross. The Overshare, by contrast, is that one additional fuck-you that just did not need to be in your story.
For example, let’s say you were supposed to meet your roommate at a party one night and you didn’t go because you got nauseous. You could explain this in any of the following ways:
Normal Speaker: “Yeah, I didn’t go to that party because I was sick. Sorry I didn’t get to see you there.”
TMI Speaker: “Yeah, I didn’t go to that party because I was sick. I had my head wedged in a toilet for like literally three hours just spewing bile out of my face-hole. Sorry I didn’t get to see you there.”
Overshare Speaker: “Yeah, I didn’t go to that party because I was sick. I had my head wedged in a toilet for like literally three hours just spewing bile out of my face-hole. Also, before I got to the toilet, I threw up all over your new couch. Don’t worry, though, I sprayed some Febreeze on it and turned the cushion over. The stain came out. In fact, I don’t think you ever would’ve needed to know about this, except that I told you just now. Sorry I didn’t get to see you at the party…. And that I threw up on your couch.”
I discovered the Overshare when I was explaining to Katie why her egg slicer, which for a long time had served us both so well, was now a broken pile of strings and plastic resting at the bottom of our trashcan.
My Initial Explanation: “I didn’t know it was only for eggs and tried to use it to slice garlic. That was a dumb idea. Sorry. I’ll buy you a new one.”
Now, that was dumb enough on its own, and I could’ve just left it at that. But then I added:
Overshare #1: “You know, the funny thing is, just before I pressed it down, I had a brief moment of clarity when I thought, ‘This is either a really good idea or a really bad idea. Maybe I shouldn’t do this.’ Then I did it anyway.”
And, because that wasn’t enough, I threw this in as an afterthought:
Overshare #2: “Also, as I slapped it down and broke it, I shouted ‘Yeeeeeeeehaa!’”
This is when Katie stopped me and explained the Overshare to me. She was just in time. I was about to dramatically reenact the entirety of the egg slicer incident with sound effects.
And now you’re armed with this knowledge as well—just in case you find yourself in a social situation where you’re telling a story and the person listening starts glaring at you with blistering resentment. You may in fact be guilty of the Overshare.