Wednesday, November 4, 2009
OMG WTF words words words
OMG WTF words words words. That is a text message in my phone. A girlfriend sent it as a reminder that people who go to law school can sometimes be exceedingly verbose. I have the additional issue of not trusting the comprehension of others and rephrasing several times to be sure I have perfect clarity; a habit which annoys even me. I hate repeating myself. And I have not one shred of patience, each time I have to rephrase, my fuse shortens.
Does this happen to you?
Worse, I tell you something and it could be 1. The launch code for a nuclear missile or 2. That it is good to see you and you are looking well. Either way: I just gave you the bullet. No double entendre. Nothing sharply underlying. If you know me, then you know I am capable of those things if I needed to unsheathe those weapons. But, come on, sometimes we're just talking, not sparing, not playing games. Right?
I am truly asking you: Do we just talk anymore or is the psychology of the culture one which is inherently distrusting of sincerity?
Face value: Does that exist in conversation anymore? It has been done away with at my Junior League, seemingly by official gracious decree, but everywhere else?
When I say: You look fabulous. Are you reading jealousy? Or my trying to butter you up? I want something? Because I can see the wheels turning, trying to figure out what it all means, the assumption that there is a message lurking in there somewhere.
The girl who sent me that text though: She is straight. Says what she means. OMG WTF, too many words. I love her. And her text messages.
For those who are direct, have a decent command of the language, and who probably are not even interested enough to do anything but give it to you straight, the processing of words, data, and inflection is an absurd intellectual waste.
Reading into coincidences: Same.
Once I fell into this trap. My college roommates and I came home one afternoon and checked the messages on the phone. I had been thinking of leaving my boyfriend who was at another school three hours away and avoiding his calls accordingly. He left a message which we played, on speaker, it seems like, 50 times. Laughing - okay, maybe even cackling - wait, when he said "hey" did he sound pissed? Or sad? I don't know, he's probably hung over? Ugh, what if he heard about... oh no! That would be really bad...
Actually, Rick had called to say, you know, "Hey." But both roommates stood there and watched as I called him back and waited to see what the underlying reason for the call was. He was a twenty-year-old frat brother: He was really just calling to say hey and was on that day, capable of stringing few more words together than that, in fact. Huge waste of time for Heather, Amy, and I had we not howled about it for an hour before returning the call; the memory of the laughter being the true gem of the preposterous time spent in a game only we were playing.
On the day I left him, I drove home to Bedford, looked him in the eye and told him: He was too pent up and we were done. I adored him. But I did not love him. Those things were true, they still are. Clear as a bell ringing, in my mind.
Nothing else to say. No reason to buffer because we just needed to get there, to the end of the conversation. Great and small: When we talk, it all does come down to whether or not you were comprehensive and comprehended. Best to say what you mean, mean what you say, it seems to me. But even in that short conversation, I probably could have cut it back to: I don't love you. And maybe I should have, given the text message which began this post.
Readers: You are gorgeous. I love seeing you all at the crack of dawn each morning. Don't read into this, not even the word "gorgeous" if you are Southern. You just are, and I just am. And somewhere out there, people have to be assumed to be sincere no matter how many words they are capable of throwing on the verbal pile, yes?