A LongTalker walks into a bar. And that is one more reason people drink: Getting stuck with a LongTalker. Oh, the LongTalker. I know you know what I mean. Someone who turns a tale that merits two minutes of time into a 30 minute sitcom (or dramcom. Or borecom.) segment.
I am all about details so do not think I am throwing rocks. Believe it, I can tell a story that takes us halfway through dinner. But is that story funny? Or entertaining? If so, tell it, tell it, tell it. And while I love details, I can trim and snip a story into 20 words or less. By that I mean, if you ask me what I made yesterday, I don't simply answer cake. I say, I made the most amazing chocolate layer cake with Italian Cream filling and raspberries in the layers. See? It is detailed but succinctly detailed. Do you know how a long talker answers?
Well, I got up and it was so beautiful and then I decided what should I make and it occurred to me I hadn't made this cake in ages. You know, I made it for a friend once, and she claimed it was better than a NY bakery. And then as I was getting the ingredients out, my friend from college phoned, and she and I were thick as thieves back in the day, have you ever been to the campus at.....
Are you picking up what I'm putting down? I believe you are. Now, I know I have LongTalked it up especially back in college when feelings were involved but I didn't know better. Now, especially in a corporate workplace, nothing moves me to malcontent quicker than sitting in meetings with LongTalkers. I used to work with a LongTalker that drove me coo coo bananas every time I would get cornered by him in the elevator. It wasn't a simple "Hi, how are you?"
But I got the full throttle of his aches, his pains, his kids, their aches, their pains all which drove my inner monologue to ask where is the cyanide and how quickly can I have a taste.
My malaise for the long talker is because at times, I am with but a scant modicum of patience. I try to mask it by envisioning this person as lonely or in need of conversation. But then you realize that most LongTalkers are this way with everyone they encounter, and their stories are so long and meaningless they often can not recall which details have previously been shared so why not reiterate them all again.
There is a guy in our neighborhood who is a LongTalker and has been nicknamed (of course he has a nickname) as The Trapper. Because he traps you with his longlonglonglong story. I will even share he once told me a story so long I prayed for acid rain. Why? Because I am not patient, his story was meaningless, and it included many details of his tummy troubles. I swear if you LongTalk me and the word diarrhea is involved, I will carry earplugs (or mace) next time.
If you know a tip for either dissuading the LongTalker, besides either carrying my cell phone and immediately pretending to be on a call, which will not work in meetings OR pretending I too have tummy troubles, I am all ears. As long as your tip is not wrapped up in a Long Talk.