July 7, 2014

How do you DO conversation? No, really. HOW?

My dad just called to wish me a Happy Birthday.  For tomorrow.  He figured since he wouldn't be home tomorrow, he'd call today.

My birthday isn't tomorrow.  But, he gets points, just the same.  He remembered the correct month.

All this just brought back the memory of him signing me up for the lone season that I played baseball on a team.  As he was filling out the paperwork, he looked up and asked me what my birth date was - I was shocked.  HOW could he not KNOW this?  The date of birth of his only daughter?!

Looking back, I can see how it happened.  Hell, I can barely remember how old I am these days; so now I know why so many women declare themselves 29, year after year...it's because they aren't quite sure exactly how old they really are and the effort of doing the math is just too much.

My dad and I aren't as close as I wish we were.  I know he loves me and he knows that I love him; but conversationalists, we are not.

I also know that we are two peas in a pod.  According to my mother, I look like him and that used to tick her off to no end after they were divorced.  Particularly, if we were not seeing eye to eye at a particular moment and then she would declare, "MY GOD!  You look JUST like your father right now!"

I've also discovered another way in which we are alike.  We aren't good at "chit-chat."  I don't call him as often as I should because of this (and, there is the fact that I'm not really a fan of talking on the phone these days...I have a feeling he isn't either); because it's physically PAINFUL to try and carry on a conversation between the two of us.

As he is now retired and living on his own - he doesn't have any day to day to experiences to relate.  When I ask what he's been up to, his reply, invariably is "Nothing.  Just sitting around."  To say that he isn't living up to his potential for a man his age is an understatement.  But, considering his health issues, I suppose I can understand.

When he asks how we are doing, I invariably reply "Fine.  Nothing going on around here.  Just going to work and coming home."

The conversation then devolves into talking about the weather...*sigh*

Did you know, that where he lives, there hasn't been any rain in several weeks?!  And that's it's HOT?!

Even if he watched much television, we couldn't talk about that - as I don't watch much either.

And then there are the long silences, as we both struggle to come up with SOMETHING to talk about.

It's painful, y'all.  Very, very painful.

So tell me, all you extroverts...how do you do it?  How do you chit-chat?  No, really.  Tell me.  How do you start, and keep, a conversation going?  Because I'm here to tell you - a conversation between two introverts is pretty much nonexistent.


  1. My sister and I have a video chat a couple times a month, and they last for two hours. Without even trying. I know she's introverted, but we are close and I have never been known as shy, so we have lots to talk about. Sometimes we even mention the weather. Happy birthday month, Gigi! :-)

  2. Yeah... my dad took me to the hospital once and I had to fill in my own identification stuff. I think I was 12.

    Maybe you could come up with a list of things to ask about... sports, weather now vs. the last time you talked... crazy neighbors?

    Tony calls me on the phone every day on his way home and asks how my day was (seriously... he'll be home in 15 minutes, you'd think he'd just save it... but I secretly think he's trying to see what mood I'm in) and I tell him "fine". When that wasn't good enough I went into PAINFUL detail of EVERY STINKING LITTLE THING.

    Funny. Now he only asks if I need him to pick up anything on the way home. :)

  3. We talk about the weather and the kids. Thank goodness for the kids!

  4. My father will actually say a handful of words, then say, "And here's your mother" and hand the phone off.

    And I'm relatively sure he has no idea how old I am.


  5. It's not easy for me to chit chat. I have to force myself to do it at times. I'm just not much of a talker. I'd rather read.

  6. Phone conversing is hard. I can find something to talk about in person partly because I wave my arms around and have ridiculous facial expressions that are totally lost on a phone call and partly because I think there should be something "exciting" to talk about like it still costs 25 cents a minute so we can't just chat about the weather and what you had for lunch.