From the Blog

It’s My Hahritage and My Cultcha

We were out with some lovely new friends the other night. One new friend had grown up on the west coast, but had spent some time working in Maine. I’m from Massachusetts, and vacationed quite a bit in Maine as a child, so I was curious to hear about his time up there.

He also would very politely apologize when he occasionally interjected a comment into a conversation. I found this charming and slightly bewildering, because I unapologetically bust into conversations all day long. He was so polite about it, I suddenly felt a little more self conscious. I am a naturally “aggressive conversationalist.” I’d like to be one of those graceful, delicate, sensitive types that makes a person feel like I’m really listening. But, um, I’m not. I decided a while ago to stop feeling guilty about this. In short, I’m at peace with my aggressive assholeness.

Our west coast friend who worked in Maine remarked that having a conversation was different on the east coast. People naturally talked over each other, and there was more interjecting and more interrupting. He, being from the west coast, often found himself waiting until the other person was finished, then saying what he had to say.

I thought this was completely fascinating. He found these conversations to be a cultural experience. But I grew up this way, and I thought it was just my family that did this. If you heard a conversation between me and my dad, you might think we were arguing. Talking over each other, interrupting, flapping our hands, repeating ourselves. It’s totally natural for us. It makes my mom and sister crazy.

What a glorious discovery that it’s not just me on a personalty level. I’m not just an aggressive asshole. It’s ingrained by my New England hahritage and cultcha.

Comments

  1. Oh, man…

    My wife does the ‘talk over you’ thing *ALL THE TIME*, but gets SERIOUSLY offended if you do it to her. (And pissed off if you point out that she does it all the time.)

  2. That’s weird. My husband isn’t Ed H., but I’m his wife? How can that be?

  3. Ah, maybe you guys are married in an alternate internet on a different planet. You can never really love someone until they’ve irritated the hell out of you, right?

  4. I was the youngest in a family of four (the other three being extremely talkative). You’d better believe I learned to INTERRUPT and SHOUT!

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