Friday, April 23, 2010

Motor Mouth

My dad often recounts the story of when my sister and I were young, walking home from elementary school, and our neighbor observed us. The neighbor said, "I always see Tracy just talking Robyn's ear off about this and that, going a million miles a minute. And then there's Robyn, just nodding silently going 'Uh huh....uh huh.'"

This is how I came to be known as Motor Mouth by my family.

I've always been a yapper. Words are my life, whether it be through writing or talking. I can't help it! My mind is so full of things that I feel like I'll burst if I don't get it all out.

As I've grown up, my closest friends have also noticed my gregarious nature. When I studied abroad, my London friends pin-pointed it right away and started calling me "Chatty Cathy."

Often times, I'll be giving so many details about a certain story, people will cut me off and say, "OK, and then what happened?"

I know I have a lot to say, and those of you who read this blog can attest to that. But this is who I am - I'm a storyteller. I can't just give the bare minimum of details and expect that to be sufficient. When I talk and write, I want people to get the full picture - to be able to put themselves in the situation and feel like they're right there experiencing it with me.

This quirk of mine doesn't really come in handy when it comes to work and phone conversations. In PR, we work with journalists who need quick, fast and easy information to get a story told. It took me awhile, but I feel like I've honed my skills at just sticking to the who, what, when, where and why when it comes to work.

But then there are times, like yesterday, where I completely digress. We interviewed a potential intern, and when she came to my office, I told her to feel free to ask me questions. She did ask me questions - 2, actually. And I answered like she'd just interviewed me. What was I thinking? I rambled on and on, and devoid of telling her about my first training bra and what I ate for breakfast, I basically told her my life story.

My co-worker made a comment when I passed the intern onto him. "Well, what left is there to ask her? Sounds like you talked about it all!" he said teasingly.

And then there are the people who avoid calling me because they know our conversations may last awhile. One of friends has actually admitted that she only calls me when she has at least two hours of free time on her plate, in preparation for our long, drawn-out chats where we pour over every detail. I'm not the only one talking in that situation, but still - am I really that difficult to talk to sometimes?

There is a person out there, a friend of mine who I clearly like as more than a friend, but we keep it pretty platonic. He used to call rather frequently - I remember times where we'd talk for hours or he would at least call pretty much daily. Now, I'm lucky if I get a "How do ya do" text every other day. He's clearly told me he can't call me every day, saying that he "hates" the phone. OK, OK. I get it. I know talking on the phone is a pain - hell, as much of a yapper as I am, I don't really talk on mine too often (minus the chats I have with my parents and sister - but that's family!). But even talking to me for 15 minutes is out of the question?

"Well," he tells me. "When I do talk to you for a little bit and then try to get off the phone, you get all sad. And then I feel bad."

Oh, I'm sorry. I thought me wanting to talk to you was a good thing. It means I care and that I want to be involved in your life (I don't always just talk about myself - I ask questions and am a good listener).
This person lives out of town, so it's not like I can just see him all the time. The phone is all we have (well, there's always the computer, but no one writes long e-mails anymore, except me, that is. I don't really feel like pouring my heart out to Yahoo! only to get a group of monosyllabic grunts in return. And as for social media - please! Only 140 characters are allowed on Twitter!).

Well, I guess the reality is what my roomie Erica said last night. She quoted a chapter from my favorite book - "Tracy, if he's not calling, he's just not that into you."

All of the other people in my life who care about me call me despite me being a chatterbox. It's who I am! I guess it just hurts sometimes when people act like they like who you are, only to eventually taper off and become apathetic to your very existence.
I'm not quite sure what to do about this guy. Leaving him alone doesn't do much good - it's not like withholding talking to me appears to be any sort of a punishment.

I guess I just need to get over it and move on. And when the right person comes along, he'll love me despite how much he'll want to tell me sometimes to shut the eff up.

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