Holiday season, small parties all over, get together with old friends and family you rarely see any more, maybe cocktails and canapés, or beer and chips depending on what social class you think you belong in.
Jack says, “Saw something amazing on the corner over there a few days ago, this blue car comes roaring down the street behind us, hits a frozen puddle and starts to fishtail, flips over a couple of times and ends up in the ditch. Guy climbs out – “interrupted by Jill’s harshest interrupter voice “it was a green car!” Jack finishes, “Guy climbs out, unhurt, just amazing! And it was a blue car, why do you always have to argue?”
From Jill, “Because you always get it wrong. Green Car.” And so they attack each other, even getting back to rehash a dispute from say 1984, while the rest of the crowd thinks the story is about the guy escaping unhurt, who cares what colour the car was?
Host comes around “try one of these canapés, (a.k.a. cracker with some mysterious stuff on it), it’s my new recipe,” and conversation drifts back to the usual mutter-mutter, giggle-giggle of such events. But the party was spoiled for everybody.
It’s not just jack and Jill; we all interrupt to try to top the story to some degree, it seems we have a built-in urge to show we are smarter or more plugged in to the latest gossip than the next guy. Believe it or not, some folks even accuse the Contrarian of being a smarty-pants.
We do not listen well, we just wait for a chance to interrupt and top the story underway. So maybe this holiday season we can improve our parties by each making a resolution to NOT interrupt anybody ever, and to NOT try to top the story being told, in other words, be nice! Or maybe that won’t work, maybe we will end up with big silences, or with that boring old second cousin or whatever dominating the conversation and spoiling the party anyway.
Maybe we better just be ourselves, those folks all know what kind of jerk each of us is anyway and they forgive us for it or they wouldn’t be there. And if you and your spouse get into blue car / green car arguments, maybe you need to take a vacation just to get over it. Say a two week cruise just the two of you, next January, and before you go you each take a vow to only do and say what you think will make your spouse happy. If you both follow that vow, you will both be happy!
OK, on second thought, maybe a social klutz like me is not qualified to give anybody advice on anything personal.
Let’s just say, Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! And try not to get into any ‘green car’ discussions this holiday season!