Saturday, March 26, 2011


If I am standing in line in front of or behind someone and we’re having to wait on some ignoramous lovely person who has made a ridiculous perfectly acceptable request of the cashier (such as “Could you go check the price on that item, I’m sure it was on sale." please lady just read the freaking signs they put up and save us all some time) or who waits until the cashier has completed his/her tallying of the items before giving him/her their coupons, the question runs through my mind of ‘to make conversation or not to make conversation’ because a can of worms surely could be opened up should I decide to strike up some friendly chatter.  

I am never quite sure if conversing with those around me is a good idea or not.  What if that person is of the impatient nature and is just dying for the opportunity to let loose with some select words pertaining to the situation at hand?  Granted, usually this type of person, we’ll call her CrassAss, would already be gabbing about the situation and the decision is made for me.  Sometimes, however, CrassAss needs a bit of prodding.  Just a smidge.  Something like, “It’s really hot outside today, isn’t it?” and she’s off with a bitter tirade about the level of the cashier’s education, the ineptitude of the customer, and her general disdain for the establishment in general.  Seriously, who wants to risk an encounter of this sort?  What if the conversation ended up being with LongWindedLoudmouth?  Someone who keeps talking even after the long wait has ended and I have checked out and am trying to leave the store- but she keeps on talking?  About how, now that the weather is nice she needs to plant her garden but can’t get her family to help her out at all and what she thinks she’ll do and how that might motivate them to get up and lend a hand and blahblahblah.  And then decides to follow me out to my car and finish the one-sided conversation?  What then?  Suppose it’s NegativeNelly standing there.  I comment about the nice spring weather and she goes off on how it’s too hot and that she hates to sweat and hates living here and wishes that it would not get so hot because it takes her energy away and brings all the tourists into town and they’re all morons blahblahblah.   Or, what if it’s PoliticalKnowItAll who somehow finds a way to criticize the government and the economy based on my comment about the nice spring weather?  Or ShortTemper who just snaps a response to me like, “I guess.”  Or SnootyNose who ignores the question/statement altogether?  On the other hand, what if a little light conversation is just what the waiting-in-line neighbor needs?  What if this person has been treated badly all day by the likes of the aforementioned people and my comment changes his/her entire day---for the better?    

I have encountered all of those personalities in my years of standing in line while cashiers deal with difficult customers.  There are times I have left wanting to smack someone and kicking myself for not smacking them and hoping that someone else does get the opportunity and acts on it.  Other times I have kicked myself for opening my big mouth and promising NEVER to open it in that situation EVER again—which has never happened because I really CANNOT keep my big mouth shut.  And then there are the few times when I’ve chatted with someone who may have started with a frown, but ended with a smile.  I would love to say that the reason I continually take the risk of starting up a conversation with others while standing in line is because of those positivie encounters when someone's day is made brighter.  But that's not it.  

The whole fact of the matter boils down to one point:  I simply cannot keep my big mouth shut.  My talk switch is always ON and, apparently does not have an OFF switch.  But, just so you know, [this is the part where I go off on a tangent BUT, in my defense, it is somewhat related] I come by it NATURALLY.  Everyone on my mother's side of the family is a talker like you wouldn't believe.  When I call my aunt, whom I love dearly, I have to make sure I have at least an hour to spend on the phone.  When I'm on the phone with my mother and tell her I have to go, she just continues talking.  No one has to use a GPS to find their way to our annual family reunion even though it's out in the woods at a state park---we just follow the sound of people talking which we can do because they all talk at the same time and get louder and louder in order to be heard over one another (multiply this by the AT LEAST 100 relatives in attendance every year and you'll get the picture).  Hub's family, by the way, is known (practially world wide) for their ability to talk the ears off of anyone-anytime-anyplace.  His father used to follow us to our car and walk beside us as we drove down the driveway STILL TALKING.  If Hubs needed to ask his dad a question, he would beg me to call and ask for him.  No way dude!  That was always a two hour, one sided conversation filled with the longest pauses you've ever waited through.  What about our daughters?  They always brought home excellent grades from school but the comments were always along the lines of:  A pleasure to teach and know but talks too much during class.  Deanie's kindergarten teacher said, "I don't know what to do about her talking.  I put her in time-out and she just yells across the room."  

Yep, they got it.          

This is the 26th day of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) for the month of March. The theme for this month is: in a word! My chosen word for today is: CHAT in response to last Friday's prompt: You're standing in line behind someone you don't know but who you really want to talk to. What do you do?


  1. You must be related to my husband. He'll talk to anyone and almost always gets a positive response. When I try, I usually get the crazies or the people who think I'm a crazy!

  2. Lovely post. I agree with you. I think the same thoughts goes through most everyone's mind when they sand in line.

  3. roflmao...I like the part where no one needs a gps, just follow the sound of people talking.

    Now me? I talk a lot too. But I also find myself grumbling to myself when I'm behind one of 'those' who asks for the cashier to check prices. What irks me mostly are those who either pay with a check or their credit/debit cards....and wait 'til it's all totaled before filling out the check or swiping their card. When, they SHOULD have it all filled out except for the amount to be paid...or swiped already with their pin # and all they have to do is click 'okay'. Okay, now you have gone and done it...see? I'm talking a mile a minute right now in my mind and the keyboard is slower than a 7 year itch!! And, you started it!!! Na, na, na, na, na!!!

    LOL...have a great day.

  4. Beverly-I never know what I'm going to get. If Hubs ever gets a mean or crazy one he never notices...he just keeps on talking. Kind of like his dad. LOL

    Sailor-I hope so. I hate to think I'm the only one with mental diarrhea! LOL

    Anni- You are a riot! I remember my grandmother waiting until the total before she even got her wallet out. She said they were NOT going to distract her and charge her too much for anything--and she KNEW the prices! When she got home, she checked every single item by the receipt--back then, each item had a price on it and if anything was wrong--and I mean by one nickel, it was back to the store!

  5. I would talk to anyone waiting in line, especially if they look like they are in a bad mood. It is almost like a challange for me to get them to smile.

    My kids use to get so mad because they said, do you always have to talk to strangers? Now that they are grown, I think they are the same way.


  6. how can I tell you how much I LOVED this post today!!!! My husband thinks I am mean sometimes cuz I get so irritated with the peeps who have to check every single scanned item and ask the checker to double check things...he just goes with the flow, I stand there grumbling & sighing REALLY loud! What about getting in a line that clearly says: 10 items or less and someone with a minimum of 20 pulls in front of you...goodness!

  7. well my love, I posted a comment a while ago and it did not show up.:(

    I loved this post today! Just sayin'!

  8. Susan-I think my kids are the same way!

    Melody- Thank you so much! Too bad there's no such thing as the grocery store police! LOL Sorry about the comments, I had started moderating them because of some anonymous comments, but will stop doing that for awhile --until they start doing it again.

    Betty- You are someone I would follow to her car and keep talking to! LOL

  9. I would love to have you in the queue next to me! We could chat away to our hearts content. I wouldn't go so far as to follow you out to your car though! Good post!

  10. This- Thanks! I have had someone follow me to the car still chatting away! It was a little funny...sort of...LOL

  11. When you are standing in line and someone wants to hold up the line by being chittie chattie you just pull out a kleenex and start coughing into it while mumbling "I sure hope the test comes back that this is not a contagious virus"...:-)

  12. I am not chatty when waiting in lines. I do like to talk to the checker and bag person..but that is about it. On the other hand, at work I have diarrhea of the mouth!
    My brother talks to anyone and everyone..wish I was more like that.

    Have I told you how much I look forward to your posts? Well, I do!!

  13. You're so right on with this post. I have met all the peeps you describe and sometimes my husband is the stalker that follows you to the car.....I usually don't strike up a conversation because I'm in a hurry, running late, or not noticing what's going on. However, I can't stand line cutters and will let them know, loudly.

  14. Shawn-Just yesterday at Lowes I started a conversation with the people in front of me and Hubs was with me! LOL Yes, you did tell me and you have no idea how much I appreciate your kindness and encouragement!

    Alessandra- I used to be in a hurry when the girls were growing up...who has time to chat with kids waiting to be picked up from an activity? LOL


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! It makes me feel connected to everyone even though we may live far apart! Have a wonderful day!

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