Finally . . .  Someone Who Listens!


Iíve started talking to myself. Or rather, Iíve started talking to myself more. Perhaps my advancing age is to blame. Or maybe by unburdening myself when Iím alone, Iím avoiding burdening others. It would be like me to be so thoughtful.


Besides, I enjoy conversing with someone of such similar background, interests, and opinions. Finally! Someone to bounce ideas off who will bounce them back; someone who tells me, "What a clever idea! I wish Iíd thought of it myself. Oh wait! I did."


Whatever the reason, I'm not concerned yet. I only talk to myself when Iím alone, or, at least, I only talk to myself when I think Iím alone. (I was recently overheard mumbling as I walked across the parking lot, or so I said.) But I don't yet answer or ask for clarification. I mostly utter minor complaints or chide myself: "You should do those dishes," or "Stop talking to yourself." Thereís no cause for alarm, until I start arguing with me. In fact, I recommend you take up the habit for the above reasons. Also, I don't like being the only one.


A word of warning though: Expect to be caught in the act. One of the most common places to talk to oneself is in the car. I see other drivers do it occasionally, though itís possible theyíre merely expressing in animated fashion their disapproval of fellow motorists. (Me, for example.) ††


If another driver does catch you, look down at the passenger seat, smile, and pretend you're talking to a small child. You might even pretend to pat the make-believe head and smile lovingly at the imaginary, upturned face. Caution: Donít get so involved in your little ruse that you forget about the driver in front of you who may brake at any moment.


A safer alternative is to liven things up in order to give the impression that youíre not talking at all; youíre singing! Open your mouth wider, snap your fingers (one hand only), and sway back and forth. While singing with the radio is embarrassing, itís more socially acceptable than talking to oneself. At least, I hope it is.


Itís more shameful to be caught talking to yourself when you're alone in a room, or rather when you thought you were alone. If this happens, and the other person asks who you were talking to, answer with disgust, "You, of course! You donít see anyone else, do you?"


If they have any manners at all, or if they're simply gullible, theyíll apologize and ask you to repeat yourself. And because you were probably mumbling something important only to you--or disparaging about them--youíll be forced to say, "Iíve forgotten! See! You've distracted me."


If, on the other hand, itís you who comes upon a dear soul talking to herself, the proper thing to do is answer as though you sincerely believe she was talking to you all along. But speak softly, so as not to startle me.