Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I have an acquaintance who is very long-winded and in relating the most inocuous things she not only gives every miniscule detail but also reiterates during the telling. Her prattling is annoying to nearly everyone.
We were together today and I glanced at my watch and it was 7 minutes until 1:00 PM. She began telling a story about buying honey and when the clock struck 1:00, she was still telling about the honey. She could have said, "I bought honey from that guy and he had to special-order it." and that would have conveyed enough, BUT, oh, no, she told about getting the honey from the guy another time and she thought it was too expensive but since he'd ordered it especially for her she felt obligated to take it. I laughed and said, "What a con-man!" She answered, "Oh, no he ordered it JUST for me." I asked, "Now how would he possibly know that you'd be here today? I think that when he saw you here he remembered that you'd gotten it before; he probably has a dozen underneath the shelf; that's how con men are!" She commented that I was cynical. I said that I was a realist and then I voiced my favorite Oscar Wilde quote: "A cynic is a person who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing."
OK, I can understand her telling those details, but then she went on to tell all the uses of honey. One person walked away, rolling her eyes at me; she later asked, "Does she think we're too dumb to know about honey?"
I doubt that introspection is a strong suit of the prattler and she probably doesn't know that she is perceived as being condescending.
At home I was telling this story to my husband. My brother was standing in the doorway listening and as I turned slightly, I could see my brother making a hand motion, pretending to click a timer! Timing my telling of the story! Point well taken!