I’m a fast talker. I guess I just have a lot to say. Recently, someone described trying to talk to me like an episode of ABC’s Wipeout…unexpected obstacles, frequent interruptions, and very few people make it to the end. I, obviously, took this as a compliment. Those contestants may be beaten, bloody, and bruised, at the end, but every single one is smiling from ear to ear and dying for a chance to do it again. For those who might not share my skewed optimistic perspective, there is hope. Thankfully, my mother has a doctorate in Speech Pathology and is quite possibly the most qualified person to translate my speedy syntax.
Several years ago, I was tangentially raving about something undoubtedly fascinating when she stopped me and said, “Stefany, sentences are like trains. Each word is a car and they have spaces in between.” So simple. (My mom specializes in early childhood intervention, so she’s especially good at dumbing things down for me.)
Now, anytime I’m talking to someone in my family and start to pick up the pace or get overly excited or completely forgo conversational punctuation, they’ll chime in with a less than subtle “Choo! Choo!” and I’m reminded to leave some breathing room between the cars of my beautifully-constructed, probably sarcastic train.
If you hear random train whistles whilst conversing with my family, don’t frantically start trying to remember your first grade tornado preparedness routine. Chances are, I’m just trying to tell someone about that time when I walked into K-Mart and there was a homeless couple camped out front that happened to walk in immediately before did and the woman said “excuse me, where is the deodorant and stuff?” And the man jumped in and said “no no, where is your homeless section?” And then I started to wonder what would be in the K-Mart homeless section and would they put it near the home section, because that seems a little insensitive; then again, there wouldn’t really be a sensitive option for the neighboring section. Perhaps the pet section? Clearance? I like the idea of putting the homeless section amidst the greeting card aisles. Wouldn’t it be so thoughtful if they handed out Thank You cards to generous New Yorkers who spared some change? The greeting card industry seems to be struggling and the homeless industry is inherently designed to be a struggle; this could be a mutually beneficial strategy! It’s a long shot and, in reality, makes no sense whatsoever, but I think there’s some potential here…CHOO! CHOO!