As I age I’m noticing there are fewer and fewer things that beg to be spoken aloud.*
Sure, I still have thoughts on a regular basis, and plenty of them at that. But more often than not, when I pass one through the old, “Is this thought meat or filler?” filter, it turns out to be just filler. Either that, or it’s something I’ve said many times before, and probably to the same person.
Why is this happening? I have a few theories. First, I am lazy. It’s difficult to form sentences that do justice to the sentiment behind them, so what’s the point in trying? Plus, I’ve already said a lot of things in my life. It’s come to the point where I’m mostly just repeating myself. When a person asks me a polite question, I can’t help but wonder, “Do they really care about my boring as hell answer?” If not, what a colossal waste of breath.
The world is already full of word pollution, simply put. With the explosion of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, people are dropping indiscriminate word turds with wild abandon. I myself am guilty of this type of littering. After all, I’ve had a blog for going on six years.
One thing for which I no longer have patience is the telephone. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes it’s nice to talk to your mama or an old friend. But more often than not lately, its jarring ringtone feels like a personal affront. There are a lot of things I still want to accomplish in my lifetime, and I simply cannot afford to spend upwards of an hour making a carpool arrangement, like I did last week.
A fellow school mom called me to ask for a favor and, failing to think of a single valid reason why I couldn’t grant it, I agreed. We exchanged a few niceties and it my mind the conversation was over, fini, kaput.
Only it went on. On and on and on. Unable to withstand it any longer, I had to cut the speaker off mid-sentence and fabricate a story about needing to be someplace. We said goodbye and I went back to what I had been doing before being interrupted, which was staring off into space.
A few hours later, this person called me back. She felt badly for “being short with me” on the phone earlier, and wanted to pick up where we’d left off. Was it some form of passive/aggressive punishment? Was it truly possible that she believe she’d been the one who cut me off? The monologue continued for another hour before I set off my smoke alarm in a desperate attempt to hang up.
It was an hour of my life I’ll never get back.
Think of how much more productive we Americans could be if we stopped running our mouths so much. Look at the Japanese, for example. Or the Trappist monks.
I love language. But I feel like we’re using it too much.
*Does not apply to conversations with husbands.Did you like this? Subscribe to the blog. (It's free!)