Sunday, November 22, 2009
I'm Talking, and I Can't Shut Up!
I talk a lot. I know this. And, if I didn't know already, enough people have told me that I should take the hint. The thing is, I just can't shut up.
Talking is a defense mechanism for me. I always talk the most in an uncomfortable situation. My goal is to make people laugh. Once that's accomplished, I feel so much better. If no one laughs, I just keep going. Sometimes, even when I'm doing it, in my head I think "STFU!" - but it just gets worse. And then, I just know that, when I leave, the people whose ears I just assaulted are talking amongst themselves about me! "That crazy woman who never shuts up."
I think there are a few reasons for this. I am the youngest of 4 kids, and we all fall into the stereotypical birth order thing. When I was little, I can remember sitting at the dinner table and feeling frustrated that no one was listening to me. They even used to play this "game," including my parents, where they interrupted me every time I tried to say something. Everyone else probably forgot about that. Not me. At my dinner table, all the kids get a turn, and they are NOT allowed to interrupt one another, even if their stories get a little nonsensical. That's how much I remember that "game."
The other reason I talk so much is that I have the world's loneliest job. My days are filled with toddler talk. As a social person by nature, it is amazing that I can spend the whole day without speaking to another grown up until my husband comes home. Most days, the only people I interact with are the grocery checker or, if I am very lucky, my 76 yr old next door neighbor. I tell everyone that the UPS man drops my packages and runs now because he doesn't have time for me. I have had long conversations with my cleaning lady as well as the man who cuts my grass. My husband is "treated" to a constant stream of chatter when he gets home, which thrills him, I'm sure. My best friend is much quieter than I am, which hopefully means she doesn't mind my ramblings too much.
My mother was also a talker. We were good for each other like that. I remember how hurt she was the time she overheard the receptionist at a doctor's office say, "That crazy lady is on the phone." She called me, close to tears, and asked me if people thought she really was a crazy lady. The feeling she had then is exactly how I feel now. In the past couple of weeks, I have had more than one person make some kind of comment about how I talk so much - the passive aggressive way of telling me to STFU, I'm guessing. Those comments always bother me and make me even more self-conscious. I really TRY not to talk so much. Honest.
I've been thinking about this a lot, lately. Why can't I shut up? So I decided that all this talking, blogging, Facebooking - maybe it's my way to keep from being invisible - keeping connected to the world when I rarely leave my house some weeks. Maybe it's my way of finally being heard at the dinner table.
So, bear with me. I promise not to bore you to tears if you promise to let me tell you a funny story now and then.....