Sunday, May 15, 2016

Yada, Yada, Yada ... at 30,000 Feet

Yesterday's post about my little chattiness problem brought to mind one of the worst ever manifestations of that particular issue in recent memory. 

I'm a bit of a nervous talker. Okay. To be fair, I'm a bit of an everything and everywhere talker, but nervousness is a major trigger for my mouth to start spouting off bullshit. I do ask my share of questions since I'm fundamentally curious about people, so it's not ALL about me, me, me. 

But still. It can get pretty bad, as I will explain.

A few years ago, I was on a typical one hour flight from Anchorage back to Juneau after a work trip. Sitting directly across the aisle from me was one of the top people in my office at the time, a kind and lovely man who by NO means deserved the steady stream of verbiage that came pouring from my mouth during the entire one hour and 20 minute extremely-turbulent-to-the-point-of horrifying-to-me flight. 

I emphasize the "to me" part, because most people who have lived in Alaska for a long time seem to successfully overcome the terror of flying there. (It's going to take me at least another decade if not more to do that, so needless to say, several years ago when this happened, I was even worse than I am now). 

Anyway, I probably told this poor, trapped man my entire life story, from the day I was born until the very second the flight attendant handed me a sesame stick blend snack mix. I did take breaks to attempt to get him to talk about himself, but he seemed reluctant. So natch I took that as a cue to continue talking about Yours Truly.

Understand that all the while, a little voice in my head was screaming, STOP TALKING. Bad enough if this were one of my typical hostage victims, but it was a work colleague and superior. When we finally landed in one piece, I was so relieved, that natch I couldn't stop talking about how relieved I was. We were going to the same place, so we shared a cab. I couldn't believe he acquiesced to being in yet another confined space with me, given that I'd been talking at him since before the plane's wheels first rolled up at Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage.

But it was the evening of Valentine's Day, and there were very few cabs, so it was dire straits. 

The cab driver then proceeded to talk all four of our ears off, telling us how sad he was on Valentine's Day and how unlucky in love he was, and I essentially ended up giving him couples therapy for the 15 minutes it took us to get from the airport to downtown Juneau, while my colleague/superior remained bemusedly silent and, I suspect, rather stunned.

The next day he came by my office. "That was an interesting trip," he said in a friendly yet cryptic way, likely making a mental note never to share public transportation with me again if he could help it. I wanted to apologize, but knew that if I started, I wouldn't be able to stop.

Interesting indeed.

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