Friday, June 10, 2011

Chatty Cathy


I made a long road trip today. Very long. 500km there and back. We had two cars in the caravan. We were all accompanying a friend who was being honoured with a prestigious environmental award.

In my car was a woman I had met a couple of times before, I am far more vivid in her mind than she is in mine as I am the CFA* and she is an attractive prominent local. She was shocked I hadn't remembered her until I gently reminded her I have met about 1,000 people since I moved here a few years back and how many new people had she met in say the last 5 years. She thought maybe 10. I said tell me their names. She couldn't, apart from mine. I said case closed.

She was five hours in total in my car and I don't think she drew breath once. Keep in mind I am going through a period of depression at the moment which is nearly invisible to my friends (I have a very convincing front but am super-sensitive to slights both real and more often perceived, amongst other depression-fails)so my condition would not register with a virtual stranger.

A silence of any kind was an affront to her vivaciousness. She had an attractive voice, one of those voices that is fringed with cigarette smoke (I was right, she's a smoker)and charmingly anecdotal. A story for everything. A passing 5th wheeler, a truck, her marriage, her house, her garden, her accidents. I turned off the background music and let her at it.

When I got home after the long drive I had to lie down. I haven't been that exhausted in a long time. But it crossed my mind I had completed the journey without a depressive thought. There wasn't room in my head. Seriously.

But now the black dog is here again. Maybe I should suggest a new career for Chatty Kathy as a paid therapist?


*Come From Away

25 comments:

  1. Good story.
    Like the CFA abbreviation. Hadn't heard it before.
    Like also that the constant bombardment battering of conversation was not merely exhausting but also beneficial.
    Now you know the meaning of captive audience.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I guess sometimes annoyance is worth being distracted from depression?

    ReplyDelete
  3. BW:
    Captive is right, put me in mind of the song:
    "Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide".
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  4. BG:
    Not so much annoyance (though there was a bit of that) as having my brain about to explode with the endlessness of it all. I wondered how her family bears it. She wandered around at the ceremony also, yammering non-stop. A very attractive woman and a beguiling voice.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  5. Did you like the sound of her voice, but not like what she was actually saying?
    It does indeed sound like an interesting form of therapy!
    Sx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yup. We both enjoy solitude and we're both battling "the dawg" so I can identify completely. A few years ago, I was making a drive from the east coast to Calgary and a friend of mine offered to take some vacation time to come along and help with the drive. He was one of those guys who never shut-up. I can't remember how I kindly did not accept his offer, but the speed with which I did it surprised even moi. Anecdotally, with a bunch of errands to do yesterday, I realized at the end of the day that I been mostly depressive free as well. Nice place to be. Tks for your comments in the other place. Will respond later. First up today, haircut time and then a trip to Velma's for brekky.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I dislike the kind of Chatty Cathy that dwells on all of her problems and seems to think that she and her problems are the centre of the universe, but I've had Chatty Cathy friends of the other kind, that talk your ears off and somehow leave you laughing and pleasantly uplifted. I hope yours was more like that.

    What are depression-fails? Hope your black dog moves on soon.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Miss S:
    Oh there was nothing to dislike in what she was saying apart from my depressive resentment that her life seemed full of roses (elderly parents still living, mum still cooking Jiggs on a Sunday for the entire fam)while mine seemed in the black pit of loneliness and despair.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  9. Veep:
    Yes, I too much prefer driving alone unless with extremely good friends or family where silence can be honoured or music shared. Rare, I know. Or even been read to which is delightful.
    I too had the haircut on Thursday and brekkie at Velma's sounds like a treat!
    Enjoy, maybe we can set our 2 dogs at each other?
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  10. Annie:
    Chatty fell on the sunny side. In spite of a few setbacks in her life (teen pregnancy, older sister took care of the child while she finished her graduate degree)she surmounted the usual life's challenges and came out the other side remarkably stable and happy.
    Depression fails would be lack of empathy/sympathy, festering resentments of others' perceived charmed lives, and the Big One: overreaction to slights, actual invention of slights, super- negative sensitivity to 'helpful' hints, a desire to have others care and when they do announce an immediate need for solitude. Derangement would be a good group heading for the above.
    The Unme.
    Thanks for that lovely video of the crossing guard on your blog. It brought a lift and a desire for her to mind me for a while.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  11. On long drives, I would welcome such a chatty person beside me when I am driving. Will keep me awake! I am however no good as a passenger as I would promptly go off to sleep.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh yes, the non-stop talker wears me out more than anything. One time, on a trip back from Hawaii, I had to feign narcolepsy for much of the flight.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Those kind of people can definitely be draining and I wonder at the sincerity of their own cheerfulness if they have to fill every silence with chatter, as if too insecure to risk companionable silence. Then again I used to feel the need to entertain others all the time to justify my existence. Luckily I'm over it now!

    Glad she managed to provide good distraction therapy for a while anyway, but deep down, I wonder if she's actually faring any better than you?

    ReplyDelete
  14. You are very tolerant, even in your less-than-happy state, WWW.
    I'd have shut her up - and dang the consequences (provided that she was annoying me - which would be a certainty). Glad to know that her verbal diarrhea, oddly, was a help to you.
    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  15. It would have exhausted me too and I would have found such a trip very tiring and difficult. No wonder you needed a rest afterwards. That was like being under a barrage of fire. Like being constantly shot at and having to be on guard all the time.

    The black dog leaves when he bored with you and not a moment sooner. Don't feed him and don't amuse him. Being with that woman probably gave him ammunition.

    XOX

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ramana:
    I'm like you, as a passenger I can barely keep my eyes open. Something about the endless road, the smooth cradle-like effect of the car, etc.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  17. Marcia:
    You invariably make me giggle, faking narcolepsy, how does that go again?
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  18. Laura:
    Interesting you should say that as my observation is that this verbal Niagara is usually covering up some unhappiness, as if silence will have such varbalists in a puddle of weeping on the floor. It did cross my mind.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  19. T:
    She was the primary force behind my friend getting the award and a terrific supporter of my friend, so shutting her up was not an option. I was just glad that none of her talking got into the nonos of religion or politics and as I said her voice was so attractive, a kind of Bette Davis drawl.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  20. Nora:
    No I didn't feel it like an attack, more like an unbothersome rain. If that makes sense.
    She had very little curiousity so I didn't really have to participate. As in she asked me no questions so I didn't have to work at anything and I was so glad of the nap when I got in and being removed from my own mental condition for the better part of the day.
    I wondered what her secrets were though, which is what I usually do when with people like her. The writer in me.
    The Black Fellah is with me in leaps and bounds today.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  21. People who talk non-stop and won't let me get a word in edgeways drive me nuts. If anyone does that to me, I avoid them like the plague, they have no concept of an equal relationship.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Nick:
    Normally it would but in the state I'm in it took me all I could do to pay even a modicum of attention so that removed me from my own dark state of mind.
    I couldn't imagine what it would be like being with her when I am more myself - more like your good self, I would think.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  23. How in the world can you be sure this woman won't read your words in your blog? I toy with having a more personal blog but I am afraid I would hurt people who would in turn hurt me - or something like that!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Ah Betty this is why I'm anonymous and only my very trusted friends know about it. If it were public I don't know what I'd write about!!
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  25. I find the longer I live alone the less I tolerate the non stop chatter boxes!

    On a car journey if I am the driver, I say to the passengers before we set off "Chat away if you want, If I don't reply, it is because I am concentrating on what I am doing"!
    That gives me the opportunity to switch off if I feel the need.

    ReplyDelete

Some of you are having trouble, I've removed captcha and verification so we'll see how that goes. My apologies. Blogger is putting up far too many roadblocks. Thanks for the emails alerting me.
wisewebwomanatgmail.com