Hi. I’m a chatterbox. How are you? I’m great. You know what else is great? Cats. Cats are so great. My little sister has a cat. Her name is Veronica. The cat, I mean. My older sister has a cat too named Penny. I wish I had a cat. Speaking of great things, the other day I saw this really great…..
Hi. I’m a chatterbox. That is to say, I really like to talk. A lot.
This is something I’ve known about myself for a long time. My big mouth definitely got me into trouble when I was a kid (I recall several talks with my parents about things you DO and DON’T say) and although I’m fairly good now at keeping harmful or embarrassing things from being said, the actual volume of idle conversation leaving my lips daily has likely remained fairly constant over my lifetime.
My parents have told me I’m chatty. My sisters have told me. My boyfriends all told me. My friends have told me. And I cheerfully ignored all of these lovely people while I chat chat chatted away. As long as I’m not so loose-lipped that I become a bad daughter, or sister, or partner, or friend, I generally accept that this is part of who I am and so do they.
However, I can definitely take things too far and as part of growing up and becoming an adult I am learning that the kind of mindless prattle I excel at has a time and a place. One of the places where it is best to try to keep my chattiness well in hand is, of course, at work.
This is hard for me. For one thing, I work with lovely people I enjoy talking to. For another, several of the tasks I perform at work don’t require my full attention (like stuffing envelopes) and a nice bit of conversation helps to pass the time. I have come to appreciate, however, that as lovely as my coworkers are they are also hardworking and busy people and they’d probably appreciate a little less distraction from me, especially since sometimes I can even get on my own nerves.
As an exercise, and to keep myself from saying every silly thing that came into my head, I decided to write down everything I was thinking about saying before I actually said it. This way, not only were these thoughts expressed silently, but I could also examine the totally irrelevant statements I was casually throwing into the ether.
Ahem. The List of the almost-said statements I recorded in the month of February:
“I got soap in my eye and my eye is still itchy.”
“This stapler is so ineffective.”
“My hair is getting so long.”
“Boy, I’m sure lucky we don’t have the draft. I would hate to be drafted.”
“Have you ever seen the movie, ‘Across the Universe'”?
“I wonder what it would be like to have a photographic memory?”
“I have cramps.”
“Ever notice how weird eating grapes makes your hands smell?”
“Did you know there’s a bar in Gastown that if you stay till they close they give you a cookie?”
“I’ve been getting flakes of paper all over me.”
“According to the Chinese Horoscope, the Year of the Rabbit is supposed to be a bad year for everyone unless you put your head down and try to be patient.”
“People don’t appreciate good stamps like they used to.”
“I’m not so into romance right now.”
“One of my friends has a rabbit that hops around his apartment. It’s litter trained and everything.”
My heavens. The horror. I would like to make very clear that I wasn’t actually going to say EVERYTHING on the list, but the fact that I was considering saying it is bad enough. I also know that for every stupid thing I didn’t say, I’m sure there’s at least half a stupid thing I did say. Some things are clearly office-related, like staplers or paper flakes, and some I have no idea what I was thinking or what I was referring to. “Not so into romance”? Was I referring to romantic films? Books? Moonlit gondola rides? I actually don’t know. Haven’t a clue. And why would I want to say such a thing at work? Again, haven’t the foggiest.
A lesson I am going to take away from this exercise is that if I don’t know why I’m saying something, it might be best to just write it on The List and not pester those around me. As I mature into the well-brought up young lady I know I am inside I have been stockpiling such helpful reminders for myself. One of the tricks I have used to get by when I have the urge to chat is to ask other people questions. This way I can be attentive to the people I’m with AND if I really need to talk I can ask MORE questions or talk about what they just said. Thrilling. I’m sure Emily Post would approve.
I hope you have all enjoyed The List. To those of you that know me, I’m sure this reads like just another day with Lauren. To those of you that don’t, while I am certainly scatterbrained and far too talkative I am also reasonably clever and am always open to a conversation about Something Smart, should you prefer that to a conversation about smelly grapes or the length of my hair.
To my friends, coworkers, and loved ones: I’m sorry. From the fact that you all still talk to me I can only conclude that you possess infinite patience and must care for me very much. For this I am eternally grateful.
Some might call me an incorrigible chatterbox. Some might call me less delicate things like “obnoxious”. This likely wouldn’t be inaccurate, though I prefer to think I’m simply “generous with my thoughts.” No wonder I decided to blog. Thank you for listening.