Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Tawkin' about talking


When last we spoke, Lisa commented "Texting was the greatest invention!! I hate talking, especially on the phone. Always told as a child I was to be seen and not heard. Kind of stuck I guess." I don't know if this is my Lisa or someone else, so I didn't really comment on that last part.

I was not a big talker from the moment I was born. Coming out of the womb I knew that it was in my best interests to maintain a low profile. I was close to 3 years old (so I was told) before I spoke my first sentence. My vocabulary up to that point consisted of 4 words - Ma, Pa, John, and No.

The mother was convinced I was retarded, (Yes, I know, we don't say that anymore but this was 1946...) And it seemed my elder male sibling had been precocious in every way re: walking and talking. (As it was told to me) - The doctor finally got tired of her ranting on about my supposed lack of intelligence and asked her if I communicated what I wanted and needed. She said yes. So the doctor said (supposedly, remember this was told to me, you don't think I remember this stuff, do ya?) "John uses a lot of words to get what he wants, Grace doesn't use any words, and she still makes herself understood, so who's smarter?" Good doctor, good doctor!

Anyway, when I did finally utter my first sentence, I pulled a 'Mikey'**

(As it was told to me) The mother told me to do something, I guess I didn't want to do it because I said "I don't want to, make John do it" and then I walked out of the room and slammed the door. The mother said she was so shocked that I finally spoke she didn't realized I had just sassed her.

When I was in high school I was so notorious for being a non-talker that a bunch of girls made a bet as to who could keep me on the phone the longest. I think the winner managed to keep me engaged for 5 minutes.

Of course the fun part of all this is - most of my jobs involved extensive phone work, including cold calling. For years, I regarded a telephone receiver as just a very large earring, metaphorically speaking.

Now that I have been living in social isolation for the last 12 years whenever I have the opportunity to speak to another human being I babble, so much so that my husband has apologized for me because, you know, sometimes people only want a yes or no answer!

While I still don't really like the sound of the human voice it appears that doesn't apply to mine!


** You know the story about Mikey, right? Mikey was maybe 5 or 6 years old and had never spoken a word. One night the family is all sitting down to dinner and all of a sudden Mikey pushes his dish away and says "This tastes like shit" His family gets all excited. "Mikey, Mikey - you can talk! Why haven't you spoken before?" Mikey says "Well up till now everything has been okay"

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