I think I have a decidedly short attention span. I attended a conference yesterday afternoon and evening and I’ve come to a brilliant conclusion. There’s a reason they serve wine at these things. I’m amazed when I find someone who loves the sound of their own voice more than I love the sound of mine. Sometimes, I’ll keep talking just so someone else doesn’t get to start. I’m often a rambling windbag of pointless stories and judgmental commentary. You’d think I’d get it out of my system blogging. I don’t. I’m more verbose in person.
But sitting in a converted conference room yesterday, involved in a “round table” discussion on God knows what, I found myself analyzing the chandelier, pulling stuffing from my chair and playing with an unknown substance ground into the rug, all while some jackass in a bowler hat (!) detailed the importance of something highly unimportant. He wrapped up his monologue with, “Okay. I’ll shut up now.”
Before I could stop myself, I loudly exhaled and rolled my eyes.
Everyone noticed, a couple of people snickered and bowler hat was clearly peeved. It would have been one thing had I spent the discussion offering articulate and appropriate commentary, asking pertinent questions and appearing constantly brilliant. But I looked like a disinterested teenager the entire time, and my presence was just as unnecessary as bowler hat.
Afterwards, as we shuffled into the ballroom for donated wine and deli meat, bowler hat appeared directly beside me. Oh god. Here it comes. And I deserved it, too. I pretended to examine the proscuitto and melon and he inched closer. “Excuse me?”
I'd had quite a week and was in no mood for a lecture. I decided to cut him off at the pass. “Isn’t this food fabulous? And have you tried the Chardonnay yet? Divine!”
Bowler hat appeared confused. This never-before-tested tactic was working. “Um, yes. I mean, no. I don’t drink.”
“Well, that’s too bad.” I screamed, forcing myself to keep talking and filling my plate, darting between subjects and reaching across centerpieces so bowler hat would have no opportunity to chastise my rudeness. “I mean, I’m just starving and can’t stop myself with the spanakopita. I think I need to remove myself from the caloric situation. But have a great event! So great to meet you!”
And with that, I bolted, nearly sprinting across the building. Sitting in an empty marble stairwell, with a plate of food and a plastic cup of wine, I congratulated myself of this new discovery. Bowler hat might dominate some stupid discussion, but no one can out-talk Spots when it comes to avoiding responsibility for one’s actions…