Tag Archives: lord of the flies

I’ve Got the Conch

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“I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed anything like it,” my husband said.  “What do you mean?” I replied. “All six of you talk at the same time, you talk all over one another, and yet you seem to also acknowledge what you’re all saying – can it be that you’re actually listening to each other? That you’re really having a conversation?” “Well, yeah! What’s so strange about that?” “Sheesh, doesn’t every family do that?”

That was twenty six or so years ago, when my hubby first went to Detroit with me and met my mom and sibs for the first time – I think it was a Thanksgiving. It had never occurred to me that maybe I wasn’t the best listener in the universe. And I resented having it pointed out to me. But, there you have it. I talk too fast. I talk over people, I fill in their sentences because they’re not talking quickly enough for me, and of course I know what they’re about to say. Guilty, guilty, guilty.

So this is my quest, grasshopper. To slow down; hold my tongue and let people finish what they were going to say. I let them have the conch. I actually bite my tongue – you know, gently – I don’t draw blood or anything. It’s taken me years and years to perfect this method, but I think I’m getting there. Unless I’ve had too much coffee, then all bets are off.

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