For once, I’m not being inappropriate or using double entendre.
I am writing about a topic that I get picked on for quite often: my lack of talking.
I don’t like to talk much. It’s not that I’m incapable of holding a conversation, because I am. It’s not that I’m bored with the topic and think I’m better than what’s being discussed, because that’s not true, either. I just like to sit and listen to other people talking. I envy your ability to form words with your mouths into coherent and articulate sentences. It’s a skill I don’t have and that’s a reason why I like to stay a silent observer to conversations. I’m marveling at you, and yes, am even jealous of it. How can you talk so fluently and seemingly without effort? Whenever I talk, I get tongue-tied and discombobulated and unable to form coherent thoughts.
This, my friends, is why I like writing and why it’s my preferred method of communication. I can be concise, deliberate, and methodical in my words and phrases and use words like “concise”, “deliberate”, and “methodical.”
I can take my time and think about what I want to write instead of having to fly by the seat of my pants talking. Plus, I’ll be the first to admit I sound way smarter written than I do holding conversation. It’s true. And funnier. And more charming. And more outspoken. And that I have a dynamic extroverted personality. And that I know what the hell I’m talking about.
Ha ha! I’m none of those things! You fools!
If I may bring up a sore subject for myself, which really, this entire post kind of rubs my rhubarb wrong because it makes me defensive. Anyway, my lack of talking has ruined relationships. Remember that silly stint I did in Texas? The silly thing I moved down there for and I got into a fight over my not talking. So how did you fight if you didn’t talk? Smartass…it was via text. Shut up! I also hate confrontation! Gimme a break, goddamn it. Regardless, there was a fight. He had been *gasp* drinking heavily and started being a total asshole *sarcastic gasp* and I tore him a new one.
“You never fucking talk to me, Erin! How am I supposed to know what’s going on if you don’t ever fucking open your mouth?”
“First of all, fuck you. Be rude to me and I’ll really shut up. Second, be patient with me. I know that’s a lot to ask from you, but just try it. You might like it.”
After we broke up for the umpteenth time, he said to me, “I hope you find a man who is patient enough with you and you open up. I’m sorry I wasn’t that man.”
Yeah, well, stuff that sorry in a sack, mister, because by then, your words meant nothing to me, much like you do now…even though I’m still writing about you, nearly 9 months later. But you know what they say about a woman scorned.
Another example is my past marriage. My former husband never talked to me unless it was something he was interested in, like video games or video games or video games. He really liked talking about video games. Anything else, forget about it. A conversation with him was torturous and I finally decided, you know what? Fuck this noise. He doesn’t want to talk to me, I’m not going to talk to him. Immature? Yes. Problematic? Definitely. Cause of the demise of our marriage? For certain. If you can’t communicate with your freaking husband, the man who sees you naked, then y’all got problems. And I admit to using this as an excuse often when people do harass me about not talking. “My ex-husband and I never talked, so I learned to not talk, either.” It’s my scapegoat. I fully cop to it.
I digress. I’ve compiled a short list of tips to get me to talk. If you’re truly interested in this, please pay attention.
- Thou shalt not say to me “why don’t you ever talk?” By doing so, you just pretty much guaranteed me giving you a look and shrugging my shoulders. Any future attempts at getting me to talk will be met with heavy opposition.
- Thou shalt not tease me about not talking. I like jokes. Jokes are fun, except when they are about me and a known problem I have. Like I mentioned before, I get really defensive about this. Hey, I can’t have kids because of a defective uterus. Wanna joke about that with me, too? No? Okay then. Shutthefuckup.
- Thou shalt please shut your mouth when I do decide I want to talk. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. If I feel comfortable enough talking to you and you constantly talk over me or interrupt me, guess what? No more from me. Don’t be rude, please. Common courtesy dictates that if someone is talking, you politely wait for that person to finish a thought before you interject your own.
- Thou must exercise extreme patience with me, please. If you aren’t a patient person, you’re gonna have a helluva time with me, bub. Part of this goes along with knowing how to deal with an introvert, as well. Realize and appreciate my quietness. Wait until you know I’m comfortable, then gently start a conversation. Please.
- Thou shalt have alcohol. This one is terrible, but sadly, true. Alcohol lowers inhibitions. Part of the reason I don’t talk is because I’m deathly afraid of opening my mouth and something idiotic will spill out. By having a drink or two, I lower my guard and then it’s fair game. A few more drinks, and then the magic talky button gets pressed and I won’t shut up. I don’t know, man…it’s like, science or some shit. Caution: too much alcohol and I turn into a sniper with a sass rifle.
I apologize for coming off as sounding like a total asshole here, but please try to understand where I’m coming from. I want to talk to you. Honestly, I do. 9 times out of 10, I’m having a perfect conversation with you in my head while we stare awkwardly at each other, it’s just I don’t know how to make my mouth work (only in the talking area, if you know whatta mean. WINK).
There you have it. I hope this helps you all understand me a bit better. I’m not being standoffish or conceited. I’m being introverted and shy and afraid I’ll say the wrong thing and then I’ll have to kill myself, and well, been there done that.
Patience. Respect. Understanding of my quirk. That’s it, really. And booze. Whiskey is preferred, but silent beggars can’t be choosers.