Why We Apologize for Talking

Last week I finally called to have my internet fixed. It took me six months to do it. When we moved here, I was healthy enough to set it up. Now, I’m too sick to do stuff like that, but my name is on the bill and I’m the one that has to call… So – it took six months.

Oh well.

When the call was over, I cried for 12 minutes. Then, I discovered Elizabeth Arden was made in America and was on a huge high by the time my husband came home, tweeting pictures of the back of my Clinique make up cosmetics boxes to my feed, tagging Ivanka Trump and Kelly Ann Conway. The White House staff that dines and drinks with the Liberal UN Media complex never allowed Clinique to be featured in the Made in America showcase – only products with investments from Germany.

Of course. That’s how my day goes now. Super huge highs, swinging lows. But now, I am happy, with a lesson for us all – just because I called my internet company.

Saying Hello

I have long said, on my Twitter feed, that it is important to ask people questions and listen. I wasn’t raised in an era that discriminated against the old, so I don’t really notice age until I’m a lot further in than most people today, but I have noticed, now that discrimination against anyone older than 30 is in play, that the best and brightest stories I share with you on my feeds came from those who have lived longer than I have.

Today I met someone who was not just older, but was very much like me, too! Now – that’s really rare. They liked to talk a lot, could read my expressions quickly, knew what I was going to say before I said it, and laughed a lot. Not only that, but they’d broken their shoulder and their spine in three places! And they were walking around, working. How boss – I mean really!? – how boss can you get?

And, just like me, they are working at something they love. Doing their job gives them so much adrenaline, that it takes away the pain of their injuries, and makes them want to shoot out the door every morning. Dancing fuels me with adrenaline like that. I guess I need to be a dancer again for my job. If that’s the case, I have a lot more work to do. Speaking too… Oh boy.

(Wait til you see the video I took for you this morning! I finally, finally, finally, was brave enough to put some of the bad side of things on tape for you. Yikes.)

Anyhow, I forgot to catch his name. But we’ll call him Dale, since I liked Dale who helped with my shoe purchase yesterday. (I seriously cannot believe I already interacted with two (new) people this week!!! HOLY SMOKES!!!)

So Dale came to my door, and made getting my internet service worked on the best part of my day/week/year – whatever. You know what I mean. We talked about surgeries. We talked about pain. We talked about 3G versus 5G and poles (America! It turns out we would not even want 5G, did you know that? 5G needs a lot more poles… closer!!! It’s a less stable signal! OMG!!! Like – A LOT closer!!!)

And this is exactly why talking to people matters. You learn things. You learn things you’ll never learn from the internet – ever. I learned about Workman’s Comp. I learned about falling off a three-story pole. I learned that you can have just as much adrenaline working on a telephone pole as I can have, being on a dance floor. And you know what? He freaked when I got on my walker with two knees and wobbled around to massage my spine.

You know why? “You just told me your nurse said ‘One fall and you’re back at square one!'” And… he was right. I was mindlessly fooling around to distract from the pain. Twitter has made me insanely good at distraction, to the point of… well. You’ll see it on the video. I am in the process of learning to tune back in, now that I’m starting to move again.

Distraction is fine, when you’re not moving. It’s not so smart, when you’re upright. I loved Dale. Please notice that he said, “Only because you just said…” He was very careful about only saying something, because I had said I was worried about it. That’s where he’s like me.

The Lesson

And then… as he left, he said something that I really want us to think about. I had been telling Dale, “This is great! You kinda made my day!” earlier in the day, when he’d first arrived, before he did the work. But then, as he left, and after we’d chatted a lot more, he started apologizing… a lot.

I wish I could say I was confused. I wanted to be confused. But I wasn’t.

Because I do it.

I do it alllllll the time.

I just about predicted every word he said, from the first starting point: “I’m sorry!,” Dale said, his head and shoulders suddenly drooping as he left as he walked out the door, “I always do this. I just- I talk to people. That’s so bad. I do this all the time! I just get going! I’m such a talker!…” And it just crushed my heart. Not just because he’d just lit up my whole world and made it brighter, and not just because he gave me a bunch of PT tips I could use, and not just because I learned there’s someone else out there like me doing a really, really, really labor intensive job with spinal injuries and happy and healthy (his mom ballroom danced too! Hey!) but…

It crushed my heart because Dale sounded just like me. I apologize all the time to people after I talk. For the first time, I heard how it sounded. It sounded like insanity. Absolute insanity.

Why do we do that, in America? America is the one place in the world where we can speak freely. It’s the one place in the world with Free Speech. And it’s the one place in the world where we dip our heads, after we blurt out our thoughts, and say, “Sorry master. So sorry master, for speaking.” Even when there isn’t a master around.

Who did this to us?

School? Where we need permission from an authority before being allowed to speak? I’m starting to think schools are more dangerous than most religions that teach us to lie to one another. Anyone that promises to teach truth, but delivers the opposite is deadly. But a place that teaches the fear of speaking, in the one country that allows free speech?

How much more deadly, to a country’s freedom, can you get?

I don’t know. But I’m going to try my damnedest to knock it off. I hope you do to.


Citizen K