I'm Sarah Sepanek, and I'm a talkaholic.
Phew. That was tough.
It has come to my attention recently (and pretty much two or three times a week for the past 15 years or so) that I have a bit of a chatter problem. This fact comes across sometimes as a gentle suggestion, an exasperated sigh, a pair of glowering eyes, etc. Not only do I tend to run on at the mouth, but I do so at decibel levels more suitable for air horns or tornado sirens. Both the frequency and the pitch combine to create a conversational torture chamber for some of the poor souls who get caught in the crossfire.
Most recently, it came as a not-so-subtle hint from my frequent dinner companions. They noticed how their plates are clean long before I even finish my salad, because I am too busy yakking to focus on my food (and partly because boys wolf down their dinner like starving dogs). They usually joke about how we will all still be there for breakfast the next morning. My good buddy Greg decided to make a wager: that I couldn't sit still and not talk for five minutes at the table. Of course, I immediately said, "Starting when?" thus going a record .02 seconds without talking. Cut to Greg doing a facepalm. Check, please.
Some people think girls should be seen and not heard. But I am often heard long before I am seen. Friends arriving at the Horseshoe in Warren recently walked in the front door and heard me way back in the patio gabbing away. "Yup, Sarah's here," they say in unison. I have one of those voices that carry. My arrival never goes unannounced. Which would make me a good social butterfly but a bad hitman.
Personally, I don't see much wrong with being endowed with the gift of gab. I'm excited to share stories and things I find interesting with others. I like being with my friends and want to entertain them and give them a good time. I like to meet new people and get into interesting conversations. I try and listen to others. But my talkoholism has caused me problems. I annoy or alienate people before they get to know me. I drive my friends and family crazy. I talk too loud and others overhear things I don't mean to be overheard, which gets me into trouble. I sometimes spill secrets.
I don't want to give my friends headaches. I don't want to be rude and monopolize conversation. I don't want my evil plots and privileged information to be overheard. So, therefore, I do hereby announce my intentions to not only cut back on the talking, but to do so at much more comfortable levels.
There are several reasons why I talk too much. One is upbringing. I thank my dear old dad for inheriting this personality quirk, for he is a world-champion talker, or, as my mom says, his mouth runs like a duck's you-know-what. A simple story turns into an hour-long epic saga. A phone call drones on until your battery dies. While I get exasperated with my dad's Tolstoy-esque story about seeing Bill Cowher at the airport, I realize that I do the exact same thing, to the point where my mom calls me "Chris Jr." Dad, you're free to join me in Blabbermouth Rehab.
Another reason is more sympathetic. Years of marching band, rock concerts and newsroom commotion have left my hearing in a less-than-desirable state. When I'm in a public place like a restaurant, the background noise leaves me talking louder without realizing it, and taking over the conversation because I can't hear what people further down the table are saying. I don't know if my hearing will improve, but I hope to try and work with it better.
The rest basically comes from me being an over-excitable, over-stimulated person. My probably-ADHD tendencies leave me bouncing around subjects and stories all night. And, being a newspaper-type person, I always have a good story, and it has to be told with complete gusto. Now that I know the cause, time to work on the cure.
You're all probably tapping your feet, checking your watches, wondering what Ziggy is up to over on the funny pages. I'll open the floor up to others now, and pack my bags for Blabbermouth Rehab. And Greg, it's five minutes starting now.