Saturday, February 12, 2011

Can We Talk?

I gots me two kitties. One’s a blabbermouth, punctuating his daily activities with a running commentary, from howl to chirp to mmmm and mumble and back again. The other’s a cat of few words, unless you happen to say, “Bing, wannaeat?” in just the right cadence. Should he say anything else at any other time, I know he really means business. Derrick, on the other hand, is extremely sensitive to certain things he hears on TV, avoiding the immediate area or even slinking away when, say, Judge Judy calls someone as dumb as a bucket of rocks.

Me, I’m like Bing. Growing up in a “children should be seen and not heard” sort of environment, I didn’t say much at home, preferring to express myself through manic dancing (musical accompaniment optional) and short stories about a family of mallard ducks that had to stockpile food for the winter (must have been the “Little House on the Prairie” effect). I did often go outside and lie in the grass and talk to the clouds and Queen Anne’s lace, but try telling a person what you’d say to a woodpile—it doesn’t really translate.

Anyway, after years of becoming pretty good at capturing the gymnastics of my thoughts via the written word, I still find verbal communications, particularly in a professional environment, a bit of a challenge. I was reminded of this again at the yoga, astrology and chakras workshop I went to a couple weeks ago. The instructors said, based on my natal chart, that I should talk more because I am too reserved. Harumph! But what I write is simply so much more accurate… why talk in black-and-white when you can write in zebra stripes?

Because, well, we don’t walk around with a set of flashcards or a pad and paper and jot stuff down and pass notes to each other. We verbalize. We bullshit. We speak. We talk, and someone else talks back. It makes perfect sense! It’s not like you get a wordcount for the day, and you automatically run out if you go over the limit.

On the flipside…why couldn’t we get a little less conversation from the narcissistic cellphone talkers, or the parents who yell obscenities at their kids on the street, or the lady who stands in the middle of the subway car and says over and over we need to repent NOW (hey, Jesus is just alright with me, but don’t shove your little girl so hard when you move to the next car) or we’re goin’ to hell..

Ooof. Writing about talking is almost as bad as talking about writing. Or talking about talking. Can we please just listen to some music now?


  1. and my favorite, I Don't Talk Too Much by Martha Carter Nelson

  2. Susan! I love this so much I added it to the post. Thank you for introducing me :)

  3. Lotsa good stuff here. Goodness, a verbal word count, what a novel idea!