I can’t just say hello to some­one with­out feeling the need to chat

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - LIFESTYLE -


IT seems I have ac­quired a rather weird habit of chat­ting to ran­dom strangers over the years. I didn’t even re­alise I did it un­til the kids pointed it out and said if I didn’t stop they were never go­ing any­where with me again.

I’m ac­tu­ally ok with that. There’s noth­ing worse than drag­ging two young­sters around a su­per­mar­ket with you while they mut­ter un­der their breath about how long you’re tak­ing or the fact you’re throw­ing crap food (aka fruit and veg) into the trolley.

As for the talk­ing to strangers thing, I think that may have come about way back when the kids were ba­bies and we had just moved here. I would walk to the lo­cal shop ev­ery day just to talk to the staff at the deli counter, be­cause I knew nobody. Ev­ery day for six months I or­dered a hot chicken roll with taco sauce. No won­der it took me so long to lose the baby weight!

Now that they have pointed this habit out to me, I’ve no­ticed I can’t ac­tu­ally just say hello to some­one with­out feeling the need to ex­pand the con­ver­sa­tion.

A girl on the check­out (yes I spend my days in shops, usu­ally su­per­mar­kets try­ing to stock up my ever de­plet­ing food cup­boards) ad­mired my tan.

In­stead of just say­ing thanks. I pro­ceeded to roll up my sleeve and show her prop­erly. ‘Wait till I tell you...’

And off I went giv­ing her a de­tailed ac­count of what the tan was, how I ap­plied it, how much it cost and how long it lasted, while the peo­ple queu­ing be­hind me fired me dag­gers.

The same thing hap­pened in the bank. The teller made a com­ment about the weather and off I went, telling her how I’d changed my clothes twice that day be­cause one minute I was hot, the next minute cold. Then again that could be my age, I told her as I fanned my face with the news­pa­per.

A few days later and we’re in a restau­rant. The wait­ress comes to take our or­der. Af­ter she spoke, I grinned at her and said, ‘Are you from Wex­ford?’ she laughed and said she was. ‘So am I? What part are you from?’ When it turned out we grew up in the same neigh­bour­hood, I grilled her on her en­tire fam­ily tree un­til I found some­one I knew. Mean­while him­self groaned, ‘I just want the fil­let steak. Why do you have to talk so much?’

I don’t know. I really don’t know. It just comes burst­ing out of me before I can stop it. It has been re­ferred to before as ver­bal di­ar­rhoea which is fairly ac­cu­rately be­cause once I start I can’t stop.

Him­self has said he’ll give me €1,000 if I go on pil­grim­age to Lough Derg for the week­end and man­age not to talk for the du­ra­tion.

There would want to be some sort of mir­a­cle for that to hap­pen!

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