no. (roses_rejoice) wrote,

my mother talks.

and she talks and talks and TALKS. tells old family stories, rants and raves, talks about new friends and old friends and who died and who's in the hospital and whose kids had them put away and the annoying neighbors and politics and my marriage and that nice manager at Kenny-King's-I-mean-KFC (it hasn't been Kenny King's for about 25 years now) who gives her chicken pot pies gratis every time she goes in. (I've heard about those pot pies probably 50 times now.)

And whenever I have to (or want to) leave or hangup, she always says it seems like there's never enough time for us to talk, there's SO many more things she'd like to tell me (No doubt 99% of them being reruns or rehashes of what she already said at some earlier time). I don't blame her for coming out of a talky, emo culture. All those Irish and German catholic wimmen sitting around the kitchen table after they got off work, TALKING, interrupting the conversational flow only to cook something (the table was never all the way cleared, it was always full of crumbs and condiments and half-dirty plates and you'd be eating toast and eggs right through to 6 p.m. when it morphed into chicken dinner) or to deal with one of their eight million kids or some husband coming off shift or (for the single ones) a date.

and my mom ends up in a little house far away from all that, with a WASP husband who doesn't talk except to issue succinct bulletins on history and the economy, and one kid who takes more after him. she'd go out and leave me and Dad alone for entire Saturdays, and we'd watch TV and read books and not say 2 words to each other the whole time and it was perfectly fine. and then she'd come in and holler at us for not talking to each other more. ?? i need my quiet time, i can't be interacting with people all day now can I. Even with my favorite people, I've spent many hours with them in one part of the house and me in another and the occasional waft of music or football cheers or whatever telegraphing their whereabouts. I love falling asleep listening to someone playing guitar in the basement or the living room, even though I don't want to doze off because I'll miss the music. but with my mother I can never relax, not even in my room, because I never know when she's going to come crashing up the stairs wanting to TALK to me. (Now I jump involuntarily and my stomach tenses whenever I'm here on the computer and my spouse exits the bedroom too abruptly. Holdover from days past.)

when some woman (any woman) starts going on about wanting to talk, wanting to TALK TO ME, I feel nauseous and I want to run. can't help it. Because I know that she wants me to listen, and act interested, and Interact and Share and Care and come sit around that messy table for hours and no casual reading of the cereal box or she might start yelling and pitch it across the room. now, a talkative Guy is different somehow...usually they talk AT you and don't particularly notice if you're paying attention or not as they speachify about how their Latest Writing Project/Philosophical Thought/Get-Rich-Quick Scheme/New Song/Scientific Breakthrough/Promotion at Work is THE Greatest Human Advance Since Canned Beer, and you just have to go Uh-huh in the right spots and smile politely and assuming this isn't someone you're wishing would SHUT UP AND MAKE A PASS ALREADY DAMMIT, it's rather restful listening to them drone on for an hour. But women, and maybe even some emo men, want you to Talk Back and sympathize with How They Feel and say What You Think (as long as it's something "nice" you're thinking and not something honest like Not this again, not whining about in-laws/neighbors/family/SO/friends/housework/cooking/loneliness/emptiness/too much to do, I'm Sooo bloody bored, can't you get your head above the dishwater already?)

I heard (from my mother who talked about it) that my Gemini grandmother, who I suspect had the usual Gemini attention span of a sand flea, used to nod and smile at people who bored her, and while smiling she'd be doodling nonsense circles and lines on a pad upside down like this

which, viewed from the other direction, spelled out

hehe. stories like that make me sorry she died when I was two. sometimes i wonder, though, if that's part of the reason why my mother talks, baby girl still trying to get her mama's attention. me, i'm still that 13-year-old who would rather hide in the linen closet all day and read a book on Alexander the Great than be stuck at that table full of crumbs, expected to talk and listen to somebody. even if it's somebody i love.
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