Fair warning: this one’s a grumpy old bastard post.
On occasion it is a requirement that I orbit in the vicinity of people who talk a lot. Mostly I ignore the irrelevant pieces of the constant chatterboxing (sometimes, stubbornly, I will ignore the relevant bits too). There are a few frequent offenders that seem, mysteriously, to have a voice of a particular timbre that I am unable to ignore. These people are the living worst.
They talk to make noise. Like silence for a second will remind them that we’re all going to die eventually; that maybe they will end up half-eaten by Alsatians; that nobody cares about their stupid feelings.
Let me take you by the shoulders and shake a truth into you, Chatty Cathy McChatterson: being quiet even 50% of the time will dramatically improve my quality of life and possibly even yours, as I may choose to let you live instead of greasing up the stairs and looking on faux-horrified as you tumble down them (no doubt making an awful racket). Being quiet can lead to such positive effects as Increased Productivity! Learning Things! Less Enemies!
I accept I am being an elitist asshole about this. Perhaps I should consider the implications of this from a feminist perspective: do chatty women annoy me the same way chatty men do? Are there chatty men? Does that even work as a concept? Do all things men say carry more implied weight and significance to me? Am I subconsciously more likely to listen to a man speak?
These are great questions for further discussion, especially seeing as I am apparently all for giving voices and the power to be heard to those people who are regularly silenced. For now though, for today – I just wish the chatterfolk would quit their chatter. Shhhhht. Stop talking to make all that noise please.
(This is as close as I get to road rage – I’ll be shouting the URL for this rant out my window at you, and if we’re very lucky all you’ll hear is ‘stupid’.)
I know there’s a lot of things going on when you’re driving a car. There’s possibly gears to change, and sometimes you’re going to be driving by distractions such as rainbows or two kids on each other’s shoulders wearing a trench coat, and there’s other cars on the road too. It’s tough. I get it.
There’s a simple rule of the road I want to share that I think will be handy: I do not know where you are driving to and I therefore do not know when you will need to make a turn to get there. Maybe you will make a series of turns to get there. I don’t mind. I’m open to it. More power (steering) to ya. But for the love of my brakes and my over-stimulated adrenaline muscle, or whatever it is, please use your indicators. Going to turn left? By all means, be my guest. Going to turn right? I’m also ok with that, although have you thought about keeping left? #politics
I would like you please to indicate with your blinky orange light what your plans are in the near to very-near future about your turns. This way I will not run into you and you and I will never need to meet in person. This way I will keep all my bits of headlight in one smooth bit, as God and Nature intended.
While we’re here: if you’re not going to be turning, no need for an indicator at all. It’s fine. Put that shit away. You bloody idiot.
Hey, pal with foot-in-mouth issues:
I’m sure you didn’t mean to call me “messy” in front of a good chunk of people we know when you noticed that I had a red face and was wearing gym attire. I’m sure what you meant to say was “you look like you’ve had a good workout”. I’m sure that was it.
You calling me “messy” in such a public context, however, is a fail. What it says to me is that it’s not appropriate for me publicly exhibit signs of having recently performed physical activity. Well, not quite that. What it says to me is that it would be preferable if I were to perhaps not sweat or get red while doing said activitiy. Perhaps also that I was giving off a few too many “I don’t give a fuck” vibes because I was all cracked out on endorphins from a tough but amazing workout.
When you call me “messy”, it makes me feel like my choice to pursue a healthy activity is a bad choice. It makes me feel like my very real and human physiological response to exertion is unacceptable. It makes me feel like it’s preferable for me to be seen and not heard. It makes me feel like I should feel bad about my body.
And I don’t, I really don’t.
Don’t call me messy. Don’t set up barriers for me to trip myself over on in my quest to be a fitter, healthier, more productive member of the world. Just don’t do it.
hey people: seriously?
In a professional capacity, I am pretty great at stuff. Not all stuff, not every stuff, but some stuff. The stuff I care about, and even some of the stuff I don’t really care about. Mainly the former – stuff like being helpful to people and laughing at their jokes and understanding what part of the thing they’ve called or emailed me about is the real issue to be resolved.
The doing things for people thing, I do it well. Partly because it is my job but mostly because I can’t look people in the eye or the ear and be unhelpful with a clear conscience. I am very good at doing the thing.
I am telling you this, people who don’t know how good I am at stuff, because you fuckers clearly don’t know and aren’t going to tell me. Do you know how many times I’ve stopped people from crying actual tears of frustration and stress? I would ask you if you care, but I’m pretty sure I know the answer to that. I don’t want to hear you actually say it.
How do you think stuff gets done, exactly? Do you realise that I don’t even make known half the stuff I do because I’m the shy retiring type who doesn’t like to blow her own trumpet, MOTHERFUCKER?
WHY DON’T YOU KNOW HOW GOOD I AM AT STUFF?
hey you noisy bastards: everyone else here does not care about your plans for the weekend or how big your last weekend was or what so and so said about the no doubt important things that make up your life. there’s this phenomenon with humans where instead of going and getting to know hot strangers we decide to speak loudly at some poor unsuspecting person (who thinks they are playing the role of friend, but are really playing the role of something to talk loudly at), in the vicinity of the hot stranger we can see but cannot talk to because they are a stranger. we decide to speak loudly about things that we think make us sound cool, like weekend plans, and then we laugh loudly, like we have the sort of life that a hot stranger should want to be a part of. the intended outcome of this performance is that the hot stranger re-evaluates their life choices up till now, dumps their hot partner via text (“sorry, its over, i’ve fallen in love with a loud person in the library who seems to have a sense of humour and some weekend plans”) and makes themselves available to the loudest person, stat. actual reality: best you can hope for is smouldering eye contact and a small smiles exchanged over several weeks in a library setting, culminating in seeing them at the pub and perhaps saying hello. much more likely: the other people in the library hate you.
(Firstly, to people who haven’t heard of/heard The National: go and listen to High Violet. I’ll wait.)
What do you mean, you don’t like The National? What kind of monster are you? Have you no human feelings in your tiny body?
If you are an alien, I am very sorry; of course you have no human feelings. But you should still get a bit of The National’s discography all up in your ears, or whatever alien appendages you have for listening with. You’ll note on immediate listen a heightened sense of the wide and beautiful world, with hints of philosophy and melancholy. There be feels here, aliens. Such feels.
People who don’t care for it: get out of my way. What, are you scared of the depths of your own soul? Does the thought of artists sharing their talent leave you cold? Don’t you like music? Don’t you know how to live?
Some people will tell you we’re all allowed to like different music, and that the very scope of it is what makes for such an interesting life. To these people I say, yeah sure, but if you don’t like The National we can’t ever be more than acquaintances. Friendly acquaintances at best.
Droppin’ truth bombs and musical ultimatums on the daily: not sorry.