Here’s your word of the day: Blatherskite. A blatherskite is one who babbles incessantly about foolish things. I know a few of these types as I’m sure you do, too. They leave 20-minute messages on the answering machine but never really say anything, or they’re trying to insert one kernel of important information into a monologue devoid of any true conversational weight.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say you receive a phone call from someone you’re dating. They start talking about the weather and sports and their families or friends and then drop a bomb like “I can’t take you to the prom tomorrow night.” only to be quickly followed by “Hey! Did you see that story about the balloon boy?” You’ve sort of tuned them out because they’re just, you know, babbling. But then you say, “Wait! Back up!”
There might even be a few people who would call ME a blatherskite. I have a tendency to talk a lot – especially if it’s about me – but I prefer to call myself a “storyteller”. I don’t believe I babble on and on about nothing. I do tend to talk about a lot of fools as opposed to foolish things, so I can see where someone might be confused and call me a blatherskite.
Oh my. Am I babbling? Oh well. I could be called worse. Interestingly enough (or not) Matt and I had a communication breakdown last night. Our friend called to see if we needed help with Madeline tomorrow since she’s out of school on Wednesdays and we’re still not able to bring her to the hospital during the flu season. Matt answered the phone and said he didn’t know what I had planned for Madeline. He relayed the message to me, and I said “Oh, yeah. I confirmed with Nancy for Friday, but didn’t confirm with Kimberly for tomorrow.” Matt said, “Well, call Kimberly and let her know.” So I did. Then, this morning, I’m getting ready to take Ben to the hospital. Madeline is giving me a hug goodbye and I told her to be a good girl at Kimberly’s house today. Matt said “Um, I have to take Madeline? And I don’t know where Nancy lives.” And I said she’s going to Kimberly’s. Blah, blah, blah… tension mounts… stress builds…. ending with “It would have been nice to know this last night.” Which I state – a little aggressively – “I DID TELL YOU LAST NIGHT!” I pointed out our positions in the house with near exact coordinates, what we were doing at said time of communication transmittal, and the transcript of his follow-up statement. See? Obviously I’m a babbler and he had tuned me out. I’m sure it’s not the first time this has happened between spouses.
I can always tell when someone has tuned me out. There’s the classic indicators, like the distant responses of “uh-huh” and the blase’ “really?” and the occasional “hmmm”. And in today’s technologically overloaded environment, one can often hear the clacking of a keyboard in the background, or fingers furiously texting someone else while you’re talking to them. They call it multitasking. I call it ignoring. Whenever I hear any of these indicators I like to throw in a “shocker”. A good example would be while talking with my kids. The minute they tune me out I go monotone. Talk about cleaning their rooms, practicing good manners, we’re having frog legs with a side of snail snot for dinner, and then they have to put some clothes away. While I would think it would keep them on their toes to the point of actually listening to what I had to say it has yet to capture their attention. I think the official “politically correct” term would be that my kids have ADD. Every kid has ADD, right? I know I do. Wait. What did you say?
These days my brain is very disjointed. I must keep lists of what needs to be done or it will be forgotten. My current situation is divided between typing this blog, the rush of nurses and doctors in the hall, answering text messages, trying to tune out beeping machines and screaming childrenl, and oooh! look at the pretty snow falling outside, and, wait, I’m forgetting something. What is it? Um… dagnabbit! I know it’s something important! Oh yeah! Order lunch for Ben! Honestly. I forget the basics thanks to the mush that is currently inhabiting my cranial cavity.
So, feel free to babble today. Or ignore someone who’s incessantly babbling. It’s also National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day (which is completely revolting to me) so why not go out and babble over a piece of Pumpkin Cheesecake?
I hope you didn’t just skim over this post. It wasn’t all just babbling. 🙂