There is a teacher at our elementary school who is really difficult to have a conversation with. He is a great teacher: creative, does his own thing, and really awesome with the kids, and one of the few male teachers in a predominantly female school which gives him a unique perspective. I am disappointed Sweet Pea and Pickles never got to be in his class. Having said that, he is almost impossible to have a conversation with.
This teacher simply doesn’t talk. I have tried to chat with him on a few occasions on the way into the school and I felt like such a jackhole because I had the entire conversation myself! Here is how it goes: He will smile and say hello, then he just stands there and listens while I talk. Then, in an effort to fill the silence, I say increasingly stupid, bordering on inappropriate things to him. Hence removing any doubt of my status as a moron.
You would think a guy like this would embrace email, but he does not. He never emails. Ever. He actually uses the phone. I cannot for the life of me figure out why, but he actually calls people on the phone when he needs something.
He called me before Christmas because he was arranging an unofficial field trip for the 4th graders over the break to see a museum exhibit that was leaving in early January (See? Awesome teacher.). When I realized it was him, I started to panic because I knew what was coming. Silence. Awkward silence. That I would fill with verbal diarrhea. Because I am a moron.
I am using this story about Dr. Freud to illustrate how the following conversation happened. How I became a moron who loses her mental bowels in the presence of silence. My friend Wendy called me from her cell phone earlier this week. We hadn’t talked in a while because we were busy
flailing about and keening over the loss of our van with Christmas. She was just calling to catch up.
Wendy: Hey! Did you get a van?
Me: I am so glad you called, I haven’t even told you the whole story!
Wendy: Ooooh! What happened?
Me: Well, you know that we were stuck and I had to call Husband’s parents to come get us and the two cars they have are a punch bug and a Miata so we had to make three trips and John’s brother got there and then he came and got us and the last of the stuff and we had all the presents.
Wendy: No way! How funny!
Me: It was ridiculous. (brief pause to take a breath)
Now, if I had said, “are you still there?” or waited a little longer, I might have realized that something was amiss. However, I just filled up that silent space all on my own.
Me: Oh, um, I got lost on the way to their house because usually Husband drives and the underpass was closed and then I freaked out when Husband told me they broke down and said I needed to go to a neurologist because I was losing my mind and my mother was sitting next to me and she already thinks I am crazy and now she thinks I need to… (insert continued inappropriate over-sharing information)
Call Waiting: BEEEEP!
Wendy: Hey. Sorry about that, I ran into a cell phone dead zone.
Me: Oh. I totally knew that.
Photo Credits: Dr. Freud from Wikipedia, Vintage Pepto ad from coloribus.com