Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?

May 4, 2009

I was a quiet kid.

I never understood kids who yammered and giggled endlessly with nothing to say. One day a girl briefly paused her spasmic and pointless conversation to ask me why I ‘never’ spoke. I’m not sure if that was a challenge, or an invitation to join in the ‘conversation.’

I told her I just did not have anything worth saying to her.
Your move, Sherlock.

I was an introvert, and still am. So it’s kind of ironical that I wanted to be a pastor, and almost comical that I should presume to have anything to say to fill this blog. But I gradually became good at acting like an extrovert. So I can shake hands, make small talk, introduce people, whatever; act like a pastor, I guess. I do have to have social interaction, or I go crazy. But deep down, I’m still an introvert. I’ve tricked my wife into thinking I’m an extrovert. She will not believe that it doesn’t come as easy as it looks, because I am a stupendous actor.

But I’m still an introvert in an extroverted world.
I still don’t understand people who don’t know when to shut up. There should be some universal rules taught to kids in school about how to have a conversation. The art of conversation is a lost art.

I am amazed at people who are willing to divulge personal information to me, a new acquaintance, just because I’m a pastor. It can be personal problems, health issues, family stuff, finances, whatever. ‘Woah! Too much information! But good luck with that…’

I try to ask people about themselves or things that interest them, and am convinced that I must be a very uninteresting person, because it’s rarely reciprocated. Oh well, less work for me. I just have to listen.

I had a college professor who was great, a fantastic guy, but absolutely could not resist long-winded diatribes on God-knows-what (I never really listened.) One time he was bragging about himself for about 10 minutes, something about how he has lots of leather-bound books and his apartment smells of rich mahogany or something like that. I waited until he was done talking, then stood up and gave him a round of extremely slow sarcastic clapping, and sat down.

Oh, and texting in a movie theater is still talking. Though you may like to pretend you are being a covert spy sending secret coded messages and no one even knows it, everyone can still see that annoying glowing phone screen in the middle of the dark theater. Shut that off! What are you doing, giving a play by play of the entire movie?

You have to be careful when texting. I broke up with a girl over an instant messenger conversation gone awry. ‘No one instant messages to me like THAT and gets away with it!’ Not that our phone conversations were much better.

As I was thinking about this, I was filing through my blog, realizing I need to just shut up sometimes. My blog posts have recently ballooned in size, and it seems rather egocentric of me to expect you to read a super long posts and then maybe comment on how amazing it was. So I’m going to get that under control. We’re embracing the art of shutting the heck up here on this blog. Starting now…

Okay, now…

Wait…

Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert? One who can’t think of a thing to say, or one that can’t shut yo’ mouth when you ought to? Bonus points to whoever knows what the title of this post refers to.

Okay, starting now…I am going to shut up…at the end of this sentence…which I am now typing…now. Period.