Today I was having a conversation with someone who I didn’t know very well. It was a somewhat engaging chat, involving my kids and life and school and so on. And it was pleasant enough. Nice things were said. And everyone was getting along. And then it turned into…something…else.
As you may or may not know…I have an attention span of a gnat. If we can’t have a conversation about a single topic that is over in 5 minutes or less, you lose me. I’m not trying to be rude, but I’m pretty sure that we could be discussing how to bring world peace and balancing the budget and if I can’t figure it out in my head within 5 minutes, I lose interest. That happened today. Like I said…nice enough conversation, but we eventually hit a lull and I suddenly had nothing else to say. Let me preface by saying that I don’t really know the person who I was chatting with, so it wasn’t like we had a lot in common. But that being said…I’m still a lousy listener…and not proud of it. But ya gotta know when to say when. The conversation went something like this…
Him: “You’ve got great kids. They do well in school and are a lot of fun!”
Me: “Why, thank you! They are great kids! Thank you for noticing!”
Him: “And they seem to enjoy school. I mean, they seem really happy…”
Him: (pause) “How old are they again?”
Me: “6 and 4.”
Him: “Yeah…they really seem to enjoy learning and are very happy!”
Me: (losing interest about 2 sentences ago) “Uh…yep.”
And yet…there he stands! I mean, at this point it’s wrapping up and heading for home, right? But I got nothing else I can say! What…do you want me to go into detail about how happy my freakin’ kids are all the time? Of course they’re happy! They’re KIDS. They got nothing to worry about! I feed them, and make sure they have a home, and they have toys, and they have friends, and they have a mom & dad who love them. What else can I say??? So at this stage, it is quite alright for you to politely excuse yourself and move on. I mean…I got nothing else to tell ya. We’ ve covered all the bases. They are happy. They like school. And then….what? We gonna discuss politics? Religion? I try to avoid those topics until I know you better. So…that’s all folks.
Oh…and nice talkin’ to ya. See you tomorrow! Have a good one…
(…and slowly walk away….)