have you ever been in that conversation with that one person who doesn't know when the conversation ended for you? there are natural and progressive parts of a conversation and if you have any social skills at all, you know exactly that point that i'm talking about. travis and i used to call it the three taps. it's where a conversation has a natural break and that's the non-awkward time for someone to hang up the phone, walk away, drive off, whatever is appropriate.
yesterday, i had the pleasure of chatting with someone who has never heard of this concept in her life. or if she has, she was doing an amazing job of hiding it. the initial conversation was normal, had to do with our kids who are the same age and what extra curricular activities they were going to be involved in this year. normal. once i had answered her initial question and appropriately discussed the topic, she could have walked away. she didn't. she stood in the doorway and waited. then began telling me all about their family history, their background, their goals and past conversations and a bunch of information i didn't want to know. i wasn't asking additional questions. i was hardly looking at her. she JUST.KEPT.GOING.
mandy and i like to mess with each other when this stuff happens ... i'll send her a facebook message, she'll send me a text, whatever we do - we avoid eye contact at all costs...for fear that we'll bust up laughing. so when i hear my phone buzz, i know it's her. it's her messing with me. i read the text. doing my best to control my laughter when i read, "I mean...what? You wanted to know his sports history, right?!"
it was aca awkward. it was super awkward. she didn't walk away. she didn't leave. she lingered. how do people not have social skills?! even my cat knows when i stop petting him to jump down and find someone else to love on.
being aware of concepts like this is probably how people make it past acquaintance and into friend in my world. that's probably not true. i think about the people that i consider to be my best friends and wonder how they made it past my wall of, "mmmeehh - i have enough friends," my beliefs that would make a nun blush, and my comments that would cause the cast of SNL to grab a pen and paper.
i'm pretty convinced people who have this delusion that everyone wants to hear what they think, or hear their voices in general, didn't have parents like me. they probably never heard their mother tell them to stop talking, they probably never experienced a family game night where it was ok that a child lost, they probably never had their parents play cards with another family until the wee hours of the morning - kids banished to the living room with age appropriate games, nintendo, or tv ... they never had to sit through a church service with nothing more than a bulletin, pencil and stick of Big Red to get them through the "boring parts"....
as a parent, i hope to tolerate and listen to (and have) a little more frivolous dialogue, but not to the point that my kids become the one who lingers as an adult with no concept of when to walk away. whether it's walking away from a relationship, a friendship, a job, or a simple conversation - i hope that they will catch a little bit of the hollie hardass snark ... that name is a gift from one of my bff's, and it probably fits...