Him: Gosh it's hot in here, why is it so hot?
Me: Maybe it's because you left the side door to the garage unlocked three years ago and the wind blew open the door during a storm and you never fixed it so surely there is heat in there and now it's coming into the house. Or maybe because it's summer, I don't really know.
He claims it's annoying of me to do that. I call it an incidental teaching opportunity. I also call it, shut up and fix the damn door.
Back to the story. It has come to my attention that Teena and Genea believe they are Professional Competition Talkers. As soon as they think of it they will avidly discuss entry requirements to the Olympics. Thankfully Genea has scaled it back a bit, but Teena took up all that dead air for herself. It is not even believable how much they talk. Not only do they talk incessantly, they constantly require confirmation that I heard them. It goes like this:
Teena: blahbidie blah blah blable blah blashity.
Me: .................. Mmm
Teena: blable blah blah blah blabididdle blah RIGHT MAMA?
(hair of a tenth of a second passes) RIGHT? MAMA RIGHT? MAMA!!!!!!! RIGHT??????????
So the other day at dinner, Teena asked me to tell the story of my grandmother, who was possibly the original Professional Competition Talker. I tell my stories with a lot of, mmm, secret detail. Secret because there is no way of verifying any of it. I think. Anyhoo, here is the story I told.
My grandma was a talker. She talked and talked and talked. It did not matter if anyone was listening. It did not matter if anyone was in the house. She just talked.
She talked to the pots and pans while she cooked dinner. She talked to the utensils she stirred food with. She talked to the food itself!
She opened her closet door in the morning, and guess what? She talked to her clothes. She gave them human attributes and asked them questions. Do you want to get worn today? How about you? Nope black shirt, too hot for you today and you just went out for lunch last week. So sad you are black shirt, so sad, but you have to give the other shirts a chance. You can't hog up all the chances! And on and on. And on some more.
She talked everywhere she went. She talked to the car while she drove it. Surely she talked to other cars on the road.
She talked to hear herself talk.
In short, my grandma liked to talk. She felt very strongly that there was no such person, place, or thing that could not be improved with the sound of her voice. Dramatically and wonderfully improved.
As I am telling this story at the dinner table, the girls are asking me all kinds of silly questions. Did she talk to the grass? Yes. Did she talk to her hair? Most definitely. Did she talk to the fan? Yep.
I had a moment of brilliance, as I sometimes do. I was telling the story and it occurred to me that I could weave in a lesson about the negative effects of too much talking. Yes, I amaze myself. It's a gift. I decided that I could squeeze in a bit of uh, secret detail, that could only benefit me later. Or even immediately. So, I continued the story.
My grandma kept talking and talking, until one day she woke up and she couldn't talk any more. You see, she had used up her lifetime allotment of words, and now she had no more! No, it's true. She talked so much that there were no words left. She had to go around the rest of her life like that. That can happen, didn't you know? Every person, when they are born, gets a certain number of words to say for their life. When the words are used up, that's it!
Whoa, come to think of it Teena, you seem to have used a lot of words just today. You too Genea. Mmmm.
Mentally I continue to congratulate myself on this unprecedented idea.
Teena, she says to me, "Mama? That was a long story. Right?"
"Yes", I tell her, "yes it certainly was!"
She says, "Mama? I think you used up all your words."