Tuesday, May 30, 2006

shut up, please

If I could have any super-power, it would be the power to exit gracefully from boring conversations. This would be useful not only at the bus-stop, where I regularly get cornered by homeless gentlemen and lunatics, but also at work. Take Sunday night f'rinstance. Twice I allowed myself to be mired in conversations, tar-baby style; every polite verbal wiggle away seems to suck me deeper in, despite my best effort. Getting away is harder than gift-wrapping a live octupus. Some are worse than others, of course. The roughneck biker who wanted to shoot a grizzly bear so we could make love on it's pelt was kind of a hoot. The fortyish Renaissance Fair dude going on about his magickal bardic powers and his descent from the kings of Sco'land was just basically boring the shit out of me -- a fact which his self-proclaimed powers of empathic precognition apparently did not pick up. I finally just stood up, smiled, and started to walk away in the middle of a sentence. "That's right, child," sez the Bard. "You must be careful lest you find my words too intoxicating."

I don't make this shit up, homies. I don't have to.


patrin said...

I'm picturing the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons...

PamelaRiver said...

Hi Grace, glad to see you up and about again. I've had a week of racing through overdue projects myself. Ugh. Why do I keep zoning out at work, only to have to bring it home nights when the due date finally looms? I think I'm in dire need of some yoga. At least now that I have a bed, I think my disposition will improve dramatically.

I really just wanna go to Egypt, though. Oh well. I have a date with an Egyptian on Friday. Does that count?

Lord of the Barnyard said...

really? power to escape boring convo? not walking through walls, flying, picking up heavy shit, wish granting, elastic body parts, laser eyes, the power to create permanently hairless crotch, mind reading, lightening bolts a la zeus, sleep inducing beatboxing, or animal transformation?

...wait, is this that crazy hyperbole stuff i hear about so often?

and now i really want to give someone a live octopuss, because, that's a great gift.

Anonymous said...

My cat died from iron poisoning. It's an ingredient found in poop.

Pandora Z said...

Totally understand. I seem to attract the oddballs while waiting at the bus stop. I don't get it, they just come up and start talking away. Sometimes it can be a littel daunting.

Anonymous said...

I think the way out is to be more authoritative. If you have somewhere else to be, someone that is waiting for you, someone or something more important than you -- a dentist appointment, your boss, a lunch date with the in-laws -- you have no trouble prioritizing. And your body language, your attention, and your social position are such that you can be polite and gone at the same time. So role-play. Do not make up excuses, no fibs or deceit, but think to yourself 'How would I feel, if I were about to be late for a dentist appointment that takes weeks to reschedule?' You would stand a bit more erect, your focus would be on the next task -- excusing yourself from the conversation, and getting ready to head out for the dentist.

Notice that not every girl around you gets trapped so easily -- watch how they use their eyes, their posture, how they speak. They will be less encouraging, more poised.

And you can change from one demeanor to another, depending on when you want to encourage a patron, excite a patron, or to comfort a friend. A boring conversation usually means the dominant talker thinks more of themself and they don't feel a need to be concerned about others -- show you feel you are a substantive member of the community (you are a paid employee, with all the hubris and cache of any citizen and tax payer), and you owe it to yourself and your boss to perform your assigned task. Taking care of the customer may be part of your job, but you are also responsible for being diligent in your other duties. In casual non-work encounters, your body language is likely broadcasting that you are 'available', as in 'not engaged in important matters', thus you are open to conversation, etc. Just practice being more reserved when you want fewer interruptions. Think 'Librarian, who would not engage in conversation on the job. (Although some librarians will chat.)' Or think 'Substitute School Teacher that is extra strict/mean.' Brisk, polite, self-assured. These can be practiced, and used to make life simpler.


Brad K.

Smalls said...

I find that it's right as I'm trying to close and they give me the "not right now" or "maybe later" and then realize, wait!- she's gonna walk away from me now???? And launch into a pelting of unoriginal questions: where are you from? why did you move here? what does your tattoo mean? how tall are you really? .... sorry, I know you desperately want my attention even though we're both aware you don't deserve it since you won't be compensating, but you can't trap me here with the same tranquilizing conversation I'm going to have with the next guy, who WILL pay me.

I don't know, this is such an old post, who knows if you'll even read this. But I feel you, Grace!

Anonymous said...

Hi Grace, I am a secret companion stripper and I found your blog! I have spent way (way, way, way) too many minutes killing time having these inane conversations, where by the end suddenly I just have to leave before I poke my own eyeball out for amusement. But wait! I can't escape before he replaces "the mask I must where for the other men" and I stand there while he pantomimes delicately sliding it back into place.
I can't resist sharing this letter with you. It makes me want to gag or snort with laughter, and it breaks my heart for him, but maybe I still want to get a restraining order all at the same time.

"The day was clear and sunny as she walked to her car.
Work was over for the day and she was free.
Free to spend the weekend any way she chose.
Doing whatever she wanted, Spending time with whomever she wanted.
Free... as free as the breezes that lightly played around her.

The wind's touch was light and playful as she walked along.
Blowing first this way and then that way.
Carrying scents of flowers and fresh cut grass along with just a hint of freshness.
A scent that brought thoughts of open water and lapping waves clearly to her mind.

It was one of those days...
And it promised to be one of those weekends.

Something new was in the air... a promise of something different.
She could feel it in the same way she could feel a storms approach after sunset.
The same hair raising tingle running across her flesh.


He appears in total silence.

Though his approach was both unheard and unnoticed,
She has felt the aura of his presence,
like the soft caress of a lover's whisper,
from the very instant he arrived.

He stands...
perfectly still...
calm and quietly passive...

She can feel him there.
Breathing in the scents of her world.
Relaxing in the warmth of the morning light.
Softly breathing,
Silently waiting.

He offers no form of identification.
No greeting or salutation.
No notice that he is even there.
Nothing other than the aura of his presence.
A sensation he knows she can feel.

She senses him thus,
at the very edge of her world.
So very very far away.

Behind closed eyes she sees him.
Standing there...

Tall and strong, with flowing hair.
The mists of the outer dark still clinging to his form.
Witness to the distances that he has traveled,
just to be here.

With just a whisper of greeting from her lips,
a simple breeze brushes past him,
she idly sweeps the mists away.

In this way they each know the other is there.
They see each other in their hearts and in their dreams.
They speak through the very breath and heartbeat
of the world on which they now stand.
A world which she herself created.

His presence offers no threat to her,
only promises of future dreams.

Today they stand alone and distant from each other.
He will wait to see if she will answer his quiet call.
He waits to see if she will send a smile his way.
He waits for her approach as only the earth can wait.
Stalwart and patient.

Green eyes shinning in her dreams.


Translation... "Hello"

(He smiles)"