A Morning of Pathological Extrovert

Yawning wolf This is the difference between my two dogs:

Me: *tosses handful of shredded lettuce from my sandwich down for them*
Miss B: *sniffs daintily* WHAT IS THIS GREEN SHIT? I MEAN, IT CAME FROM THE MONKEY SO IT MUST BE GOOD…BUT REALLY, WHAT IS IT?
Odd Trundles: *leaps on it* MANNA! MANNA FROM THE MONKEY! OM NOM NOM!

So I gave in and tossed a handful of Cheetos too, but Miss B was having none of THAT either. I believe her pride had been touched. So I, the sucker, fed her Cheetos by hand while Odd slavered and cleaned the floor.

Anyway, I’m home from a day spent in the lounge of the car dealership. I walked over to the bookstore nearby (please, dear God, don’t let that one close) and had some lovely quiet time until some jackass decided to use the cafe as his office and started making loud phone calls about just how important he was. Whoever he was trying to impress, I don’t think it worked. That drove me back to the car dealership, where I sat and read while a huge television in the corner yapped with some sort of talk show. I tuned it out as best I could, especially the commercials.

It’s a funny thing; after not having a television for two solid years when I first met my ex, I sort of lost the trick of watching it. Commercials make me antsy and the constant blather that usually says nothing at all of substance grates. The canned laughter on most sitcoms grates too–I mean, come on, do you think I’m so stupid you have to tell me when to laugh? I’ll laugh when I please, or not at all, dammit.

Then I got one of those priceless moments of material: into the lounge, where four women were sitting reading quietly (two with ebook readers, one with a magazine, and me with a paperback) came what I can only describe as a pathological extrovert, a woman who literally could not stop talking. She had manicured claws in one of the mechanics, and bent his ear for a good fifteen minutes, loudly, about the weather in Arizona. (I kid you not.) Then she circled the room looking to attach herself to one of the reading women, most of whom gave polite but noncommittal replies and returned to their books. I didn’t respond at all, so she settled and began loudly playing with her phone, talking in response to texts or emails she had apparently received. It was sort of fascinating to observe, and saddening too. I wondered why she was so hungry for talk, I wondered why she needed the attention. I wondered what her story was, and what it was like to be her, all day every day.

Sometimes I feel guilty that everything and everyone around me is material for the story-mill inside my head. There’s always that part of me taking notes, analyzing, observing and weighing and remembering for later stories. The reflex is so ingrained now, I don’t think I could shut it off if I tried.

I got my car back, ran a few more errands, grabbed lunch at the bagel shop (I love that place) and retreated homeward, where I was greeted by overjoyed canines who thought that OBVIOUSLY the lunch I carried was theirs. It is blessedly quiet, and I can mull over everything I saw and sensed today, to see where it fits in the mosaic of unformed tales.

Aaaaah, yes, that’s better.

  • I’m nearly through with the Dante Valentine omnibus, so I’m a new fan. Love it.

    I am the kind of person who is perfectly happy never seeing a person, or, if in public, never actually talking to one. However, I seem to have the kind of face that people are comfortable striking up conversations with. For a long time, I just thought everyone who blabbed was warped or something. What I came to realize is that some people need conversation like I need silence…or music. I had a friend (an academic) who actually had to give lectures in order to be able to write – he even had a doll he kept on his desk to speak to. It was a bit aggravating for me, but I realized he was as happy to talk to me if I put on headphones and listened to classical guitar as if I actually listened and gave feedback.

  • Avia

    I agree with Tomio Hall-Black. They have an accurate point.
    Yes, some people do need the additional stimuli of actually forcing a conversation with someone else to be satisfied. I have never understood this mindset. However, it’s easy to keep personal space if intense eye contact is made towards whoever tries to make conversation. You might think it would be an invitational gesture, but really, the specific tightening of the jaw and muscles around the eyes can determine whether or not people will approach you.
    Nevertheless, what is more interesting is watching who actually keeps eye contact with you. Most of the time, people stay away. If someone’s on the fast track to striking up an unwanted conversation, eye contact always makes works for me 🙂

  • SHAY

    I hate public transit. I damn near hate public places period. When my fiance and I first got together I told him people talk to me…out of no where telling me horribly peronal things. He didn’t believe me until we were at the bank to sign the mortgage for our house. I’m sitting by the windows my nose in a magazine….not making eye contact with anyone… when this lady got out of line walked up to me and started blathering on about how her sister was stealing money from her mothers bank account and damned near got her ousted from the care facitliy they had her in for lack of payment….and on and on about the court case.

    My fiance is an severe introvert so instead of helping me out he WALKED AWAY leaving me with said crazy lady. This happens to me all the time…especially on public transit. I have enough of my own horror stories in life now I get to carry around a bunch of random strangers horror stories too.

    I have to believe in the old adage “A burden shared is a burden halved”….if it eases their minds for a few minutes that day..its a good thing, I don’t overly appreciate it, but I do get to say that I can go home from time to time saying…OMG you’ll never believe what this person told me.