I’m not a nervous talker, just a talker. As it happens, I’m also a talker who has a friend who once felt the need to call attention to her talking problem.
This was about eight years ago, after I’d quit my office job to be a full time consultant and have more flexibility for the kids.
That first year of my work at home life, business was slow. Not only was my phone not ringing off the hook, but I also no longer had a parade of people wandering by my office, bringing me their news and gossip and giving me opportunities to exercise my adult-onset-ADD.
It was lonely.
Jen called one afternoon to chat, which surprised me because the two of us had just recently met for drinks with another friend.
As it turns out, that was what the call was about.
“You were talking so much, neither of us could get a word in edgewise,” Jen said. “You totally dominated the conversation.”
Seriously. My friend was sharing her deep, abiding concern that I talk too much.
This was an INTERVENTION.
Raise your hand if this has ever happened to you.
On second thought, don’t. This is my story. Shush.
The first step in recovery is being honest with yourself, right? I realized I’d probably been overly enthusiastic for adult time that evening. I didn’t actually remember anything they might have contributed to the conversation.
Nevertheless, I was hurt. Jen said she was sorry to have to be the one to break it to me, but these things had to be said.
Since I’m still fuzzy on WHY these things had to be said, I guess that means I’m not technically in recovery.
Jen’s call stung for a few days, until I went to a brunch with my aunt and cousins and all our kids. It was loud and raucous and lovely. In a rare pause in the conversation, I shared the story of my intervention a la Jen.
Relaying my story actually took a while. There were plenty of interruptions. I’m far from the talkiest person in this group.
When I finally got it all out, my aunt looked at my sad talking-addict face and burst out laughing.
“I have the perfect support group for you,” she said. “It’s called ‘Anon, anon, anon …”
… You might have to say that out loud to get it. It took me a second.
I guess I shouldn’t have expected sympathy from these guys, all full-on talking addicts themselves. At least they appreciate a good story.
Anyhow…I wonder these days if Jen has had a moment to think about that intervention in the years since. We don’t talk much any more.
She has since married and now has small children. The last time I saw her she had two preschool boys who couldn’t stand still long enough for a quick hello.
I wonder if Jen has someone around with whom she can spill her guts when she needs adult time? Someone who’ll help stave off the crazy that comes with the realization that she’s started constantly referring to herself in the third person, that she’s so frequently used euphemisms for body parts and functions she no longer remembers what the real words are, and that her vocabulary is now mostly monosyllabic?
Anyway, I was thinking about this after my annual exam. My doctor is a really cool older guy who, like me, started a running routine later on in life (… wait, did he say 70? Shoot that’s old), so our conversations usually start with something about running, and then we talk about work (mine, not his, although I do know he doesn’t sign up for a lot of running events because he never knows when he’s going to have to deliver a baby).
By the time we get to the awkward stuff, I just keep talking, partially because he’s actually a very good listener and partially because I’d like to forget I’ve got an octogenarian staring at my hoochie.
… Which all makes me think maybe I AM a nervous talker. In any case, I’m perfectly healthy and don’t really need a check up, and it’s not like I’m going to be pushing out any more babies, so I might as well get all the value I can out of these gyno visits, right?
And I’m fairly certain my doctor isn’t going to stage a talking intervention. I only see him once a year.