Wednesday, March 10, 2010
The Quiet Man
I am a quiet person. It is my nature. Introvert. Those who know me have gotten used to it. Those who do not know me and are placed with me in a social setting feel very uncomfortable.
This used to be unsettling to me so I would make attempts at small talk. I soon found that my idea of small talk made people even more uncomfortable, so I quit trying.
Fortunately my wife is a great conversationalist so she takes the wheel when we are together at functions and I can turn on cruise control.
Funny thing is I enjoy gatherings. I like the sound that crowds can make, the murmur of voices, the loud guffaws, clinking of plates and glasses. My silence allows me to observe the nuances around me, those barely visible motions or nods that are exchanged between people that give me the inside track. Small talk does not allow that.
My wife and I went to a bat mitzvah party a few months ago and had a great time. It was a nice family event.
The next day my wife was speaking with her mother on the phone. I could tell by her loud laughter during the conversation that something was up. She later told me that her mother had spoken with a cousin who had been seated at the table with us during the bat mitzvah reception. Apparently, the cousin thought I was a homophone.
This put me on the spot. Now I was trying to remember the difference between a homophone and a homonym.
Then I realized my wife said homophobe.
Here is a pretty accurate transcript of what I said to this individual on that night:
"Hello. How are you? It is good to see you."
When you are a quiet person, people sometimes mold you into what their subconscious minds want you to be.
Oh, well. It beats small talk.