Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. That’s me having a conversation with myself. Usually an ongoing commentary on my daily activities. Actually more like an instructional video that sounds like: OK, first you’re going to do this. Then you’re doing this, followed by this, with the word “this” changing to reflect my list of tasks. There is often some muttering going on. Or scolding to the effect of, “that’s not right you idiot,” when I don’t follow my own orders correctly.
I would like to blame this on COVID, but really I can’t because the pandemic has not been around for that long, yet my habit of talking to myself stretches back in my history for many years. I can’t pinpoint the exact beginning but I think it is inherently linked to my marriage. I have mentioned before how quiet our house is at times, with conversations these days seemingly related to meals, house projects, or our kids and grankids.
When I first met The Doc, I was worried about us spending too much time together for fear that I wouldn’t be able to keep up a conversation. Small talk is not something I do well. As it turned out, we both were very comfortable with our silent periods. As the years passed, these silent periods have become longer and conversations shorter. Now days we tend to absorb ourselves in our personal hobbies and activities. That’s what happens when two introverts get together. At some point, I started talking to myself.
So our house isn’t really that quiet all the time. Not only do I talk to myself. I talk to a lot of things. I talk to inanimate objects, like my computer or the dishwasher. I talk to the weeds and flowers in my garden, and to the neighbour’s cat. I am sure that our neighbours think I am nuts as I putter around our yard completing tasks according to my verbal instructions. I talk to myself and other things so much that The Doc uses it as an excuse not to listen.
Me: “Are you listening to me?”
The Doc: “What? I thought you were talking to the fridge.
I have received strange looks at the grocery store. Fellow shoppers staring at me in fear, like I escaped from the bin. That’s usually when I realize I have been muttering my way down the aisles. What I should do is follow those looks with a maniacal laugh just for effect, but I don’t. I close my mouth and try to keep it that way until I get to the cash and have reason to open it. Then my private conversation resumes once I am safely inside my car.
So you would think with all the conversations I have with myself that my small talk skills would have improved. Well they haven’t. The thought of having to make small talk still makes me anxious. I know, I know, I don’t come across as one who would be anxious, especially since I am always happy to express my opinions. But writing and speaking are two different things. Trying to make conversation in a room full of people is something I avoid at all costs. I often try too hard and say something stupid and come off as a ditz. Sometimes I get too emotional and can’t think on my feet or straighten out my thoughts. Other times I stand back and say nothing and come off as a snob. And besides, who wants to hear about my daily tasks or self admonishments? Or hear me complain? Something that happens when I am thoroughly pissed off, like I was for most of 2019. Now that was a tough year to be in my circle.
These days, and for the next several more months, getting out and practicing my limited small-talk skills is going to be fairly restricted so they are deteriorating further. On the other hand, my personal conversations with myself are improving daily. There is an upside to all this. When I talk to myself, the only cheeky responses I receive are mine. It’s pretty hard to stay mad at yourself.
Thank you for reading.
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