Friday, October 23, 2009

Transparently Talkative

I have always talked too much. And too loudly. And too much about myself.


Even as a kid.


When I had my adenoids taken out as a little girl, the doctors warned Mom and Dad that I wouldn’t feel like talking for a couple of days. My parents’ dream of peace and quiet was shattered as they entered my hospital room, and I chattered on like a monkey about my surroundings, my surgery, and the ice cream flavors I expected.


Growing up, I remember Mom constantly making a hand gesture that looked like she was frantically trying to stop an explosion and her calm, patient voice repeating “Lower your voice,” over and over.


Specifically, in high school, I remember talking to one of my girlfriends in the public restroom during an on-the-road stop-over with our volleyball (girls) and soccer (boys) teams. When we came out, the entire soccer team was staring at us.


Later, we learned everyone could hear every word I said. And I, apparently, had given a little TMI.


When it comes to saying too much, I am queen.


At four years old, I marched up to the wife of my Dad’s boss and told her the mole on her face made her look ugly. Dad rushed in to tug me away. Later in the car, I heard him lament to Mom, “I knew I was in trouble as soon as she headed over there!”


I have spent a good portion of my life apologizing for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. My mouth tends to process the words, the quips, the barbs, and the absolute worst thing to say at a much faster pace than my brain seems to be able to censor them.


And, as we all know, once the words are out – they’re out for good.


This was my Achilles’ heel. If Ann-Marie was known for one thing, it was being too much of a blabbermouth. Go ahead and ask my friends and family from those days. I shared way too much information at the top of my lungs.


It wasn’t until after college when I learned about a new word.


A word that would change my life.


Transparency.


I don’t remember where I heard it first. I do remember thinking it had something to do with being skinny, such as “She was so skinny you could see right through her! Man, she was transparent!”

Later, of course, I learned what it really meant.

As people bandied the word about, I was sort of surprised. My whole life I had been told I needed to keep my life to myself. As my husband likes to say, “No one needs a degree in Ann-Marie.”

Now, apparently, telling the whole world about your sad sack life was considered a heroic, selfless act of character. Being a loudmouth was suddenly in vogue!

Again, apparently, most people like to put on a brave face about how great their lives are, or at least not harp on how bad/dreary/depressing they are, and dropping that fa├žade was this wonderful breath of fresh air. Finally being able to share the struggles, the trials, and the disappointments was a breath of fresh air, and the whole world was all a twitter about transparency.

Many well-meaning people have told me how much they appreciate my transparency. I have to be honest and say, “No, thank YOU for listening to me drone on and on.”

It is NOT hard for me to be an open book. I am the kind of open book that would follow you around the store and demand you read me, if you know what I’m saying.

One of the reasons I’m such a fan of blogging, is that it gives me an outlet to exposit my life, and people can choose if they want to “listen” or not.

Like bloggers worldwide, my eyes light up when people leave comments, and I feel the connection between my cyberpals, near and far.

So, going forth, you can continue to expect transparency at The Lefthanded Rabbit.

It’s just the sort of heroic, selfless, character-building thing you would expect of me.

5 comments:

Sun-Kissed Scholars said...

Believe it or not, girl, transparency really does not come so easily to many of us, and it is an admirable trait.

Do you think it's directly tied to self-confidence, also? Or only for some people? I have a hard time being "open" because I over-think things (...I think.) You know, "how does this come across? Does this make me seem like a bad person? Am I giving the wrong impression? Am I not guarding my family?" on and on... it's sad really. I put walls up around me and often don't share "deep" information about myself. Yet I wish I could more easily.

Your posts, as always, make me laugh and give me something to think about. I'm so glad you're blogging again!!! :-)

Tiana said...

Hi Ann-Marie,

It's nice to see you blogging again! You know me...I'm *way* too transparent. I ought have a t-shirt that reads, "Help! I'm talking and I can't shut-up". LOL

:)Tiana

Juliet said...

I believe that this needs to be in the newpapers!! I wish I knew some magazine or newpapers person I could submit this to. I loved it and it brought many back funny memories...some after the fact. Love you, Mom.

Jeannette said...

this is something i've loved about you since the day i met you. you are so real, transparent, authentic...all those words. love you!

October said...

My dear Liana must be a girl after your own heart! How encouraging : )
I so often am telling her to talk quietly and reminding her that the whole world really doesn't need to know x,y,z. If she turns out to be like you it'll be worth it! <3