Yes. You were talking too much.

I was out for a post-dinner drink at a local bar with boyfriend and another couple a few days ago (don’t worry, boyfriend=husband) and a drunk Lauren Bacall accosted me. Ok, it wasn’t really Lauren Bacall, but she was beautiful in an unconventional way, had those same kind of sleepy, bedroom eyes, a smoker’s (or probably ex-smoker’s) voice and there was something very 40’s about her. Well, Ms. Bacall proceeded to tell me her entire life story as my evil friend found a way to fade into the background and our men laughed, drank beer and watched the large-screen tv, as married men do in bars.

She started with her first husband, the gambler, and went into the divorce and being a single mother and… I was trapped. And I don’t like being rude (in that way), so I listened and nodded and smiled and laughed and said oh! at all the appropriate parts. And then she leaned in, just a tinch too close and said, “Am I talking too much?” As she tilted slightly to her left and gripped the cocktail table to steady herself I could smell the chardonnay on her breath. “Oh, no,” I said, “it’s ok.” So she kept on. Why did I say that? What was wrong with me? And then she told me about her second husband, and how he died in his sleep shortly after they got married, and how she woke up to him dead in the bed. “Oh gosh,” I think I said. Gosh? I said gosh? So she kept going.

By now my friends and husband were giggling at me, and my deer-in-the-headlights situation. Those fuckers. “I’m talking too much. Am I talking too much?” she asked again. Was there a right answer here? Could I have said “Yes. Yes you are. You’re talking too much. Too much information. Gotta go!”? No. I just couldn’t say that. So she went on. And on. Twice more she checked in with me, each time leaning just a bit too close. I heard about the sons and their private schools, the house in Boca, the lost silver bracelet, how we’re all on a journey, the found silver bracelet, interior design, and finally the new fiancee (at the bar) and the (huge) rock on her finger. Mazel tov, Lauren Bacall! Boyfriend finally rescued me. Lauren Bacall almost hugged me goodbye but I tilted away from her as I said how nice it had been to meet her.

And it was. But too much information is still too much information, even when it’s Chardonnay induced.

Do you know people who cross boundaries of personal space or give out too much information? Do you do that when you write? Do I?


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5 responses to “Yes. You were talking too much.

  1. there are some folks that use alcohol as a sort of truth syrum or a cleansing of sorts . I am sure the gabby gal with the rocky finger felt just great when she finished and slept well to boot/ But if…you didn’t feel great than you need to think of a different strata gey for either not listening or saying something to get the “yenter” to vent elsewhere…It pains me how many times i was cornered OUCH cousin Molly

  2. Husband says people take one look at me and want to tell me everything. I have no idea why, but it’s true. At checkout lines, waiting rooms, PTO meetings…people tell me really personal stuff. I usually listen, because as Ruth says, it’s all material…and I don’t like to be rude, either.

  3. I can see how this would have been an excruciating encounter for you. But you turned it into highly entertaining reading for the rest of us. Yet another reminder: whatever crap life hands you, it’s all material.

  4. Rhonda

    First, this was fun to read.

    Second, I hate it so, so much when people put me in that position–ask a question they ought to know the answer to so that I have to choose between seeming rude and sucking it up. Here’s TMI for you (so yes, I guess I DO do that when I write): My neighbor lets her huge dog out ONTO THE TODDLER PLAYGROUND while my three-year-old is there. And as she’s doing it, she yells, “I’m letting Ben out, is that okay?” I smile nervously and usually shout something back like, “Um…I…okay!” while the horse is barrelling toward us, making us both practically (or actually) wet ourselves. Gah! Why can’t I say something?

  5. janachantel

    Lol, I loved it! I’ve been in that situation a couple of times and I too thought that it would be rude to say that they were talking too much.

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