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The Lost Art of Muttering

A wise man once told me, right before I was going to move out of my parents house on my own:

“Just wait until you catch yourself walking around talking to yourself.”

He was right!  Within two months, sure enough, I caught myself muttering.  I was saying something like, “I need to vacuum this living room.  It looks terrible.  Man, I’m starv . . . uh-oh.”  This was not the scary part.  It was the ensuing conversation that worried me.  “Am I talking to myself?  Jeff was right! — Am I crazy? — No, I’m sure it’s normal . . .”  And so on.

I actually never knew I was so interesting.  We (me and myself) would carry on extended conversations long into the night.  I took myself out to dinner and gazed into my eyes.  I would go on walks with myself, just to find a quiet place to talk.  It got to the point where I had to tell myself to be quiet sometimes.  “Oh, no!  This is where Indiana Jones finds out it was aliens all along! — Well, thanks for ruining it for me! — Oh, like it wasn’t obvious! — Shut up! — You shut up!”  It got so bad I wouldn’t talk to myself for days at a time out of spite.  I’m on speaking terms again with myself, so I’m really growing as a couple.

Even now that I’m married, if I’m home alone, I will mutter.  It feels really good to catch up on old times.  “How’s it going? — Good, you? — Really busy. — Yeah, me too.  Oh hey, I got married.  Did I tell you? — No, you silly good-looking man!  When did that happen? — Like last year!  I can’t believe I didn’t tell you!”  I hate it when I keep secrets from myself.

Most times when I mutter now, it’s right after I say something really insensitive.  First, I blurt out some random things, then a cruel thing, then I apologize.  “Is that a spider web?  Man, I hate spiders.  I hate the New York Knicks. — Oh, that’s not very nice. — I’m sorry.  I don’t know what got into me. — That’s okay.  Basketball is not a very good sport.”

I’ve come to the conclusion it’s not THAT you talk to yourself; it’s WHAT you say to yourself that determines whether or not you should be worried.  For instance:

–What not to be worried about–

“What kind of soup do I want today? — Be crazy today.  Minestrone! — Oh, you devil!  Tee hee!”

“Where did I put my keys?  Under the couch?  No. — How about on my dresser? — Maybe.”

“These pants make my butt look HUGE. — That’s because I tucked my shirt in. — Perhaps if I just . . . yep, that looks better. — Much.”

–Be very worried if these happen to you–

“I’ll show ’em.  I’ll show ’em all.  That’s right, they’ll pay. — Gee, boss, you’re talkin’ crazy talk! — Get outta my way!  I have to even the score!  They can’t walk over Little Anthony DiGallo and get away with it!”

“Would you like more coffee, Mrs. Rubenstein? — Not until my boy comes home from The Great War.”

“Where in the world could I find someone to do a singing candygram? — Look in the phone book. — Great idea! — Thank you. — Yellow pages or white pages? — Yellow. — What category? — Lawyers? — Let’s see here . . . Lawyers . . . see, Attorneys.  Attorneys . . . Nope.  No candygrams.”

“I think I’ll take a class on Norse mythology. — Sounds like a good idea.”

–Most importantly, you should be worried if more than two of you enter the conversation–

“Beautiful weather today. — That’s stupid. — You wanna go, big man? — Hey, cut it out, guys. — You stay out of this! — Yeah, stay out of it! — Fine.  You guys want to kill each other, that’s your business. — And don’t come back! — Yeah, scram! — Scram?  What are you, a 1920s mob henchman? — Oh, so you still wanna fight? — Bring it on, sissy boy. — Sorry, I left my cell phone here.  Seriously, both of you need to just talk it over! — I thought I told you to LEAVE! — He’s right!  Go on! — Fine, fine.  I’m going this time. — What were we fighting about again? — I don’t even remember any more.  Let’s be friends. — That sounds like a good idea — Maurice! — I have to go.  My mom’s calling me.”

So, in closing, muttering is not necessarily a bad thing.  It breaks the silence of living alone, and you find out a lot about yourself.  After I found out about myself, I got so scared that I just kept the TV on all day to break the silence.  I should have never moved out of my parents’ house.  Think they’ll take me back? — Nah, they’re happier without you. — Oh, be quiet already! — Make me. — I will!

Oh no.

  1. November 10, 2008 at 2:13 am

    I talk to myself all the time and I am now talking to myself in the company of others. I find myself getting annoyed when they think I am talking to them. Funny Paul…I think you’re funny.

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