Everyone talks to themselves a bit. And if you don’t, well, that’s just weird.
Being afflicted with social awkwardness, most of my daily conversations are, you guessed it, with myself.
This wasn’t overtly detrimental to functioning in society until a few years ago when I started responding to myself OUT LOUD.
This, coupled with the fact that I am constantly quoting ancient literature, British television shows, indie books and 1930s movies, makes having a normal conversation with me practically impossible.
I don’t realize I’m doing these things until I look up to see the person I was supposed to be having a conversation with giving me the look that I’m sure most schizophrenics receive daily.
I can’t help it, I swear! I’ll begin talking with someone and then my inner voice starts yelling such obscenities as, “They have no idea what you’re talking about Ana. Retreat! Retreat!”
At which point I’ll begin muttering to myself. It’s quite lovely. Truly.
Let me give you an example:
Someone in one of my classes the other day began talking to me. After the initial surge of absolute terror made its way through my socially-constricted veins, I was able to carry on a meager semblance of a conversation.
Then this all took a turn for the worst.
Specimen A: “So that’s why I couldn’t go to Cabo on Spring Break.”
Me: “Well, we’ll always have Paris.”
Specimen A: “…Uhh yeah…anyway my mom was super pissed cause-“
Me: “Liar and slave!”
Specimen A: “…”
Me, in a muttered whisper: “And you have no idea what I’m talking about. None at all heh…oh dear is that the time? Well I have to go…buy celery…yeah…”
At which point I scurried off like a mouse with a cheese tasting appointment.
If you’re curious, those quotes are from “Casablanca” and “Macbeth.” And yes, I do use them in daily conversation.
Another strange quirk I have is my overuse of large words.
I am obsessed with words. They’re my bread and butter — well if I could eat bread they would be. We’ll talk about that another time, though.
I love words so much that I read the dictionary and the thesaurus — for fun.
No, I’m not joking.
Words are the only thing I’m remotely good at. I love them; they love me. It’s magnificent.
But, this also means that I get a lot of blank stares during conversations. Of which I am completely oblivious.
My roommate (we'll call her Beatrice) informed me the other day that she often employs the “smile and nod” method when talking to me.
In other words: she has no idea what I’m talking about most of the time.
Beatrice, the sweet and lovely lady that she is, is not the only person to have told me this — only the most recent.
I seem to forget that not everyone takes more joy in finding new and interesting words than watching a good movie or eating a slice of cake.
But alas, earwax, I am not a creature of change and thus my vocabulary will continue to become more befuddling and perplexing, and my abundance of extraneous quoting will continue to prove disadvantageous in conversations.
Until next week my fellow logophiles. Tallyho!
And if you caught my Harry Potter quote: you’re a dazzling display of mental pulchritude.