Monday 22 July 2019

I can't just say hello to someone without the need to have a conversation

Justine O'Mahony

It seems I have acquired a rather weird habit of chatting to random strangers over the years. I didn't even realise I did it until the kids pointed it out and said if I didn't stop they were never going anywhere with me again.

I'm actually ok with that. There's nothing worse than dragging two youngsters around a supermarket with you while they mutter under their breath about how long you're taking or the fact you're throwing crap food (aka fruit and veg) into the trolley.

As for the talking to strangers thing, I think that may have come about way back when the kids were babies and we had just moved here. I would walk to the local shop every day just to talk to the staff at the deli counter, because I knew nobody. Every day for six months I ordered a hot chicken roll with taco sauce. No wonder it took me so long to lose the baby weight!

Now that they have pointed this habit out to me, I've noticed I can't actually just say hello to someone without feeling the need to expand the conversation.

A girl on the checkout (yes I spend my days in shops, usually supermarkets trying to stock up my ever depleting food cupboards) admired my tan.

Instead of just saying thanks. I proceeded to roll up my sleeve and show her properly. 'Wait till I tell you...'

And off I went giving her a detailed account of what the tan was, how I applied it, how much it cost and how long it lasted, while the people queuing behind me fired me daggers.

The same thing happened in the bank. The teller made a comment about the weather and off I went, telling her how I'd changed my clothes twice that day because one minute I was hot, the next minute cold. Then again that could be my age, I told her as I fanned my face with the newspaper.

A few days later and we're in a restaurant. The waitress comes to take our order. After she spoke, I grinned at her and said, 'Are you from Wexford?' she laughed and said she was. 'So am I? What part are you from?' When it turned out we grew up in the same neighbourhood, I grilled her on her entire family tree until I found someone I knew. Meanwhile himself groaned, 'I just want the fillet steak. Why do you have to talk so much?'

I don't know. I really don't know. It just comes bursting out of me before I can stop it. It has been referred to before as verbal diarrhoea which is fairly accurately because once I start I can't stop.

Himself has said he'll give me €1,000 if I go on pilgrimage to Lough Derg for the weekend and manage not to talk for the duration.

There would want to be some sort of miracle for that to happen!

Gorey Guardian