So, have you ever noticed that women, and maybe men, but probably not so much, don't notice when they are taking someone else's turn to talk? They just talk talk talk, never realizing it's not their turn! Very annoying.
So Jessica, one of my co-workers, bought a jogging stroller on Craigslist, and since I love Craigslist I said, "Oh let's see it!" This is at the office, and another woman wants to see it too. This little jaunt will take two minutes to run out the office door and see the stroller in Jessica's car. As Jessica opens the trunk of her car, the other woman, I'll call her Terry, starts telling of an experience she had with a stroller in the rain and at Disney World. What the heck? I just want to see the stroller and tell Jessica, "How cool is that!" (Keep in mind that I don't much like Jessica.) But Terry is just talking and talking about the rain and Disney World and her stroller, and I am thinking, "Hey lady, it's Jessica's turn." I mutter a few "ohs" and "ums" at her Disney World story, and finally Jessica gets to show off her Craigslist stroller.
Terry, who I quite like, has lost 8 lbs since starting the office weight loss challenge. She is the leader in the weight loss game, so I am praising her and telling her what a great job she is doing. (She is already pretty thin, by the way.) She tells me that she even went down a bra size, which we were both thrilled about because in previous conversations we had noted how we desperately hated big boobs. (Sorry if this is all a bit too graphic.) But before she can finish the sentence about losing a bra size, Gina jumps in and says that she had breast reduction surgery 10 years ago, and it was painful, etc. etc. etc. I'm thinking, "Gina, it's not your turn! First let Sherry get a few oohs and ahs for her heroic effort and then you can launch in to your breast reduction story." Let's take turns ladies.
I just returned from a track meet where my daughter was the super star. I posted pics and info on FaceBook about all her glories, so I didn't intend to rehash anything back at the office. But Suzie asks me as soon as I walk in the office door if I was in Princeton, NJ over the weekend--obviously she had seen my FaceBook posts. I say yes. Now dear Suzie does not manage to say, "Wow! Your daughter did terrific." Or heaven forbid, "Tell me about it." No, she immediately starts telling me that thirty years ago when she got out of school she looked in Princeton for a job and a place to live because of this and that and this and that and this and that. On and on she goes about a non-event that took place 30 years ago. But since I have done my time many times with Suzie and listened to all her stories without contributing a single one of my own, I decided not to let her get away with taking my turn this time. So I broke into her extended narrative and said, "Oh, did you see the picture I posted of Mary and that she got first place in this and that and this and that?" And when Suzie said yes, I proceded to pull out my large-screen phone and pull up all my FaceBook pics of Mary at the meet and show them to her! And I even searched back in my FaceBook and pulled up pictures of Elizabeth & Aaron and Stephen & Joyanna! Yeah, well it was my turn.
I first noticed the problem of women who can't stop talking when I was a young mother. When mothers get together, especially mothers of young children, they like to talk about their kids. I loved talking about my kids too, so at first I would join in, till I noticed that nobody really cared a whit about what anyone was saying but themselves. For instance, one woman would tell about a very serious bout one of her kids had with measles or with ear infections or whatever. I'd be very sympathetic because truly the illness sounded so difficult and heartbreaking. I'd even very foolishly ask questions about the child's sickness and express sympathy and wonder at how hard the situation had been. I noticed, however, that the other women in the group would without a breath of hesitation launch into their own tales of sickness and trauma so that several people were talking all at once about what their child had suffered until I was indeed speechless.
Please ladies, learn to take turns, even if you can't muster any genuine interest.
A Picture Worth 1000 Words - I love the compassion and tenderness shown in this photo. Such universal expression could happen on any continent in any age.
7 months ago