For the longest time, while growing up, I didn't really talk at all. I mean, I drove my family crazy, didn't shut up, but when it came to people outside of my family, I was really shy. (Yes, I know. Weird, huh?)
At the end of my 7th grade year, my dad had become really sick and mom ended up taking us out of the private school we were in and moving us to a public school (I still don't know all the reasons behind this, just know what I was told). I had been in private school since 1st grade so this was a totally new experience for me. All the friends I had in private school (friends, a term I use loosely because, once I was no longer at that school, they all forgot about me) told me that I was going to get my butt kicked in public school because that's just the way public school kids were.
I was TERRIFIED.
I mean, how was I going to defend myself? I knew nothing about this kind of thing.
I decided that I was going to talk a lot because no one could dislike me until they knew me (I still believe this to be true) and they can't know me if I don't talk. I also figured that if my mouth was moving, no one could punch me in the face (I'm still not sure why my 7th grade mind believed that, if they were going to hurt me, it would be in the face, but I was sure that's where I would be punched).
I talked and talked and talked and talked and talked - and made some friends - and talked and talked and talked some more. (It's kinda like a hobby haha. It's something I'm good at.) Looking back on my life through the rest of middle school and on to high school, I realize that the way I saw things then was not the way things really were. I always knew I wasn't popular, but I did have a lot of friends - and I had friends in all the "cliques," not just one group of friends. I was on the school newspaper, in the band, and high up in the ranks of several organizations. But now, I realize, those friends probably really had no choice in being my friend. They were just sort of stuck with me.
A couple of months ago I realized that I was one of THOSE people, you know, the ones that get made fun of but don't realize they are getting made fun of until it's too late. Yeah, those are the kinds of people I feel sorry for, too. I had been in the laundry room at our complex and this guy and his girlfriend started talking to me. I talked back and a conversation ensued. My problem is that I don't know when a conversation should end, so I continue talking. I also don't realize when people are becoming uncomfortable or notice when they are trying to tear themselves away from said conversation. I mean, if you gotta go, say so. If you're done, tell me you're leaving. Don't make me guess. I finally figured it out when the guy laughed, then looked at his gal and did that wide-eye thing. Yup, I was totally being made fun of. I immediately stopped talking (like in the middle of a word), turned around and continued folding my clothes. And they didn't say anything else either.
I have avoided conversations in the laundry room ever since.
Then a few weeks ago I met a fellow reader. She also takes care of her autistic nephew, so we had things we could discuss. We had neat conversations (still have) - we both sorta keep to ourselves so it's nice when we do end up down there at the same time. We talk different genres and things we're reading - we talk about her nephew and the way he handles things - and this last time I told her about my blog and suggested some book websites to check out - she seemed very happy about this.
Today, when I was in there with another person, a conversation again ensued. This time about the fact that the laundry room's washers had been broken into over several weeks and the company is not really doing anything to repair the broken washers because of this. We ended up discussing books and she was excited when we found that we both have the same tastes in books. Since she likes fantasies, I suggested she come here to my blog and look at the reviews, told her about some websites, etc. I really enjoyed the conversation that we had and I'm sure we'll be seeing each other around.
Then why do I feel like she walked away thinking, "Wow, that's 30 minutes of my life I won't get back"? (It's not necessarily an impression that she gave me, but more something I'm afraid of now that I have found out I'm one of THOSE people. I don't want to be the crazy book lady in the laundry room.)