I'm more sensitive
There’s nothing more annoying in this world than a girl talking to her friend in a coffee shop when you’re trying to write. This girl whom I’ll call Betsy Talksalot has a white streak in her reddish, blond hair. She kind of looks like a skunk, but she’s cute and could even be hot if she just didn’t talk. Her legs are toned, eyes blue and her skin appears to be soft with a few freckles on her cheeks. Just looking at her, I’d rate her an 8 out of 10. But then she talks. With one sentence lasting roughly two or three minutes, her stock drops to about a 4.
Betsy Talksalot, “Oh, when Steve and I first got together, I couldn’t believe the color in his apartment. I mean, who mixes red and blue. That’s why when we bought our house, I made sure he didn’t pick anything out. Oh, that reminds me. Did I ever tell you about that cute guy at Home Depot? Oh, he smiled at me when I was picking out colors. Steve wasn’t there, so I flirted a little. It was a lot of fun. Anyway, when we painted the bedroom… blah, blah, blah, blah.”
Betsy not only talked a lot, she also talked very loud. But her friend, whom I’ll call Samantha Sponge, just absorbed every bit of her friends annoying rants. Ms. Sponge was rather large, and no doubt has endured countless of these one-sided conversations from Ms. Talksalot. As Betsy rants, Ms. Sponge knows when to say “Yeah” or “Uh, huh” or “no”, but she never really says more than “you’ve got to be kidding.” I’m only listening because they’re louder than the dang radio, playing elevator music! But, I guess it’s good training for me. You see, I don’t have much tolerance for stupid conversations. There was a time that I would have interrupted Ms. Talksalot and said “Excuse me. Excuse me. Yeah, would you mind taking that white streak of yours and moving somewhere else? Your voice is like Martha Stuarts at a sentence hearing. And since there is no reward for me to endure your stupid conversation, I’m going to have to ask you to move before you drive me crazy. Thank you.”
In college, my friends always worried that I would piss somebody off. One time, this girl turned my friend down, so I walked up to her and said, “hey, I’ve seen you naked.” No doubt shocked by the introduction, she simply said, “no, you must have me mistaken for somebody else.” “No, that guy over there. Yeah, you slept with him once. He’s my roommate and I saw you naked last week.” Still shocked, she said “No, I’m sorry. You must be mistaken.” This is where I get ugly, to the point at which I am now ashamed. “Nope, I’d never forget a nose like that.” She gasped and then searched for guys to beat me up. My friends have countless stories like that, but not anymore. I’m a changed man.
Now, it’s like the old me is buried underneath a wall of sensitivity and I am more patient. I find myself actually listening to people when they talk, even if the conversation isn’t with me. I guess you could say that Iraq made me more appreciative of people’s feelings. In addition, in Iraq, you had to always listen to soldiers talking just in case they were violating operational security. Many times, Joes will brag about a future operation. They could say too much in a place where they shouldn’t, so somebody needs to correct them if they do. Nonetheless, I’m not in Iraq anymore but I’m still listening.
That’s why I just sit there and listen, even in the most annoying situations.
Ms. Talksalot, “When Steve proposed to me, I felt a tingling sensation all thru my body. I knew he was the one for me from the moment I saw him. I love him so much.”
Ms. Sponge, “Honey, that’s so sweet. I’m so happy for you.”
I was happy for her too, because she was quiet for two minutes after she said that. And I didn’t say one word to her.