Hello. Is it me you’re looking for?
Rachel must have read my first post and has since texted me her WiFi password, so my laptop is out and ready to go for another scathing blog post.
As I often tend to do, I have spent the last 48 hours thinking about my first post from Sunday and what I wrote. I have worked myself up into a classic tizzy, also as I tend to do.
I feel super dumb for writing about what I want to write about because it’s basically lambasting my constant writing about things that I should probably share by speaking out loud. How contradictory of me! Honestly, I enrage myself, so I seriously do not understand how anyone close to me has managed to deal with my crap for so long.
I get poked fun of for my incredible lack of talking all the time. All the time. Alllll the time. Spending so much time with my dad recently, he has taken to pointing this tidbit out to me. I swear, if he didn’t have cancer, I’d kick his ass (KIDDING. THAT’S A JOKE). No, but seriously, I’m not afraid to slap my own father across his face. I actually did it once, but it was with a slice of cheese. If you ever want to confuse the hell out of someone, slap their face with cheese. They’re all like, “did you just slap me with a piece of cheese?” I sure did.
Anyway, talking. I suck at it. Oh sure, there are occasions when I have been known to ramble and actually engage in conversation, but the thing is, given my lack of talking, I have become a supreme listener. Listening is a lost art. By simply listening to people talk, you pick up on so many things you may have missed had you been fighting for your turn to speak, which let me tell you something: that is one of my biggest pet peeves in the world. I have been part of many conversations where the other person’s sole purpose is to talk, giving no regard to the person to whom they are speaking. If I were asked to give advice on a topic, I’d choose “shutting the fuck up and actually listen to people when they talk.” It’s especially true when that person is like me and aren’t totally comfortable with conversing, so when we do decide to engage, take notice and let us speak. Also, please do not interrupt. I/we tend to think extra long and hard about what I/we want to say, so when you sabotage the conversation, it makes me/us not want to talk because what’s the damn point if I’m/we’re going to get talked over?
I read an article about dealing with introverts and little tips and tricks to help make us feel comfortable. All are good and valid, like starting a conversation while driving or walking, which my mother learned that trick ages ago and knows that if she wants to talk to me, get me in the car. I tried that same trick with my ex-husband due to our spectacularly poor communication skills and that son of a bitch just learned to not go anywhere in a car with me. He became…aware.
I think the most important point of the article and one I embrace most is resort to writing. “Introverts tend to be very strong writers…if they are not sure how to talk about something with you, ask them if they would be interested in writing it out.” Oh sweet, fancy Moses. Yes, please. For gosh sake, one of the reasons I started this goddamn blog was for that very reason! Dios mio! Let me write! I can do that!
Inversely, I certainly do understand how annoying/frustrating it is to be someone who likes to talk to have to deal with me who doesn’t. I’m not oblivious to the struggle you all face. I wish I was graced with the gift of conversation, I really do. I know some people view it as a point of intimacy within relationships: “we can sit and talk for hours…” “I can talk to him/her so easily!” (side note: when the ex and I split, he told me he was seeing another woman and said that she’s “so easy to talk to.” Talk about a slap in the fucking face–not with cheese. I tried to get him to talk to me. Ironic, no? It’s totally fucking ironic.)
And that brings me to my point. Given the events of the last month and a half, “normal” people would want to talk about what’s going on. I do too, kinda, to an extent, but not really. My point of view with that is I’m not the first person in the world who has had a relative diagnosed with cancer. I’m not the first child on earth who is being confronted with the care of an ailing parent. I’m not the first human to deal with stress or feeling overwhelmed by everything. Therefore, I keep my mouth shut.
Serious question time: honestly, what’s wrong with not talking? Back in my younger, more stupid days when I moved to Texas and Asshat 5000 (one of my ultra-mature nicknames for the guy) and I got into the fight that (thankfully) ended the relationship. He said to me, “I don’t understand why you can’t talk. I hope you find someone you can talk to.” I despise when people treat my lack of verbal skills as a huge flaw. I have a rebuttal for that, nearly two years later: I hope you find someone who doesn’t mind your alcoholism which exacerbates your severe depression which then turns you into a verbally abusive asshole. Take that, fucker!
Have I mentioned I’m ultra mature? Because I am.
The problem there (aside from damn near everything) and the problem so many other people have is that they misconstrue my silence and are uncomfortable with it. Why isn’t she talking? Did I do something wrong? God, she’s being such a bitch. Just open your yap hole for once and speak, goddamn you!
I would like to say, however, I damn near talked to someone on the phone last night. I know, right? I made the decision yesterday morning: I’m going to call and talk about something. I even thought out what to say and replayed how I hoped the conversation would go over and over and over in my mind. I was going to call at 7pm and we will talk and the planets will align and lions and lambs and whatnot. But then, I started thinking about what if the person saw me calling and thought it was an accidental dial, which I tend to do, since on my phone, I sometimes hit the little phone icon on mistake because clumsy fingers. The phone would ring and then I’d have to leave an awkward voice mail explaining, oh ha ha ha, no, I did really mean to call you. Then, I started thinking that what if the person was preoccupied and didn’t answer because they were busy and got annoyed I called? By the time 7pm rolled around, I had successfully talked (heh) myself out of calling and resorted to my usual texting. I’m ridiculous, I know. At least I thought about it! That’s something, right?
My point to all this is please be gentle with me, as god knows I’m not with myself. I do try, I really do. Just look at it as an adorable quirk and not a debilitating flaw of mine, okay? Okay.
That’s all. And as usual, reading: thanks for doing it.