Something to Talk About

calvin_and_hobbes_phone_fun21

So yesterday my friend called me with some exciting news.  I listened and couldn’t have been more thrilled for her success and I told her that.

“that’s so great! Congratulations” I said in a few different variations as she told me the news.  That took a few minutes or two and then we both kind of sat on the phone for a few seconds neither really knowing what to say.  Then I came up with a few follow up questions and we chatted and she went on to tell the news to everyone else.

Contrast that to a call I had with the same person where I was telling her all about Big Hero 6 and then we talked about movies, her kids, Halloween and everything else. We talked for over an hour about silly stuff without any trouble.

Isn’t that weird?  I’ve been thinking about it for the last few days and I find it a very odd phenomenon. Why when someone has something genuinely exciting in their life do we have nothing to say and yet we can talk for hours about stuff that is fun but doesn’t really matter?

I think part of it is with big news there really isn’t room for discussion.  It is just kind of happening and it is either wonderful or sad.  You genuinely express the appropriate emotion and then what do you discuss?  I feel this is particularly true with a baby announcement.  Someone says ‘I’m pregnant’ and you say ‘Congratulations.  That’s so wonderful’. What to say next after you learn the due date?

The only thing I can think of is to ask about her health “How have you been feeling?” or “when do you find out the sex of the baby?”.  But there isn’t really a discussion.  Maybe if you got into broader topics like parenting there would be discussion.

A wedding is different because there are so many follow up questions.  “How did he propose?” “When are you getting married?” “Where?” “Colors, dress etc”.

I guess not every phone call needs to be a discussion I was simply surprised to see I had so little to say about big news and so much about a movie I’d seen.

It makes me wonder how much of my life is spent talking about silly things? But I guess as long as people I’m talking to are happy that’s what matters.  It’s a funny thing we do though. Don’t you think?

2 thoughts on “Something to Talk About

  1. The important thing is that we’re talking to and listening to a real person. When my kids were growing up, my rule was, “A real person is more important than somebody on TV. Unless we are listening to an extremely important news or hazardous weather report, we do not ‘shush’ a real person who interrupts a TV broadcast.”

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