Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Chit Chat

Let me say a few words about saying a few words. Why is it that most women talk way too much? And why is it that most of what they say is completely insignificant?

As a woman, I consider myself to be intelligent and opinionated, although no more of either than most people. The hard part is knowing when to keep quiet. Unfortunately, this trick seems to have escaped most women.

When I was a teen-ager, lo those many years ago, the typical teen-age girl was portrayed on television by the likes of Shelley Fabares, Sally Field and Patty Duke. On the big screen, we were represented in the Gidget movies by Sandra Dee and Deborah Walley. No offense to any of these actresses, but at the time the image of teen-age girls was frothy, shallow and giggly. As an adult, have you ever suffered through Where the Boys Are? If so, then you understand.

In the 1960s, there was no pressure whatsoever placed on teen-aged girls. After all, they were going to marry, stay at home, and raise children. It was OK to be frothy, shallow and giggly.

A lot has changed over the decades since astronauts first ventured into space. Perhaps this entire burden can be placed on Sputnik and the resulting space race. But suddenly, there was an emphasis to encourage women -- as well as men -- to think about science and math. Suddenly, Susie Homemaker was not the ultimate fantasy for women.

Personally, I was pleased that this evolution came to pass. I never was the frothy, shallow and giggly type. Oh, I enjoyed laughing and teasing and could tell a good joke. But even decades ago I resented the way girls were depicted in film and on TV.

Here are some song lyrics that demonstrate the point I'm making:
When I have a brand new hairdo
With my eyelashes all in curl,
I float as the clouds on air do,
I enjoy being a girl….

I flip when a fellow sends me flowers,
I drool over dresses made of lace,
I talk on the telephone for hours
With a pound and a half of cream upon my face!
(Lyrics of I Enjoy Being a Girl, From Flower Drum Song by Rodgers and Hammerstein, 1958)

Even in the1960s, I could never tolerate getting telephone calls from friends who apparently had nothing more interesting to do than talk to another teen-aged girl. Often I would make some excuse just to get off the phone.  After all, I had already spent the entire school day with them.  What could I possibly have to talk about?

During much of my working career, I worked with women. It was often a tortuous experience to hear high, squeaky-voiced co-workers drone on about what they had for dinner the night before or what they packed for their kids' school lunches. They could babble about some meaningless event that occurred with their kids over the prior weekend. They assumed that everyone within ear shot was fascinated by the number of times their dog had an accident on the carpet or how their husband forgot their anniversary.

Meanwhile, I had a personal life. There were many things in my life which interested me and which, by the way, I chose not to share. People may have perceived me as a cold fish, but such concerns have never bothered me.

Guess I'm not a sharer. Well, so be it. I will never understand why so many women can chatter about everything that happens in their lives. Is it because they have watched too much television? Do they think that they are guests on a talk show? Do they think they are being taped for America's Funniest Home Videos?

Ladies, wake up and shut up. If you want to be taken seriously by your family, your employer or the world at large, learn to keep some of the details about your life to yourself.

Or instead you could post these details on Facebook. At least there you won't be boring the person in the next cubicle.









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