Seven years ago, my parents moved to a small town up North. I love it up there. I’ve always said that and I mean it. I love the fresh air, the friendliness of the community, the absence of big box stores (for the most part). I savour the fresh air and being by the water. I like that every time I come up, my parents see fit to inform me on all of the new things that have happened in town (i.e., new restaurants, a changed store sign and sometimes some small town political rift).
I am up visiting right now and my Mom and I had to go to a store today to return an item. As usual we walked in and my Mom immediately struck up a conversation with the clerk:
“You probably don’t remember me.”
“Of course I do!”
This sure doesn’t happen down in the big city. It was something else though…something that, if I ever lived here, could still not pull off and something that indeed only occurs in small towns. We completed the return and as we left the store, the clerk called after us:
“See ya’s later!”
Ummm…now, I know I’m a bit of a stickler for grammar but the amazing thing about this was that this person made the phrase sound perfectly normal to my ears. Even with a lot of practice, I know I would still be unable to pull that off and make it roll off the tongue like this person did. My next thought was: How does one respond to such a phrase? I suppose these would be some appropriate responses:
“No, I’ll see YOU’S later”
“You mean, see ya’s later alligators” This one would then be followed by the person in turn responding “After awhiles crocodiles”
“Ok, I’se will”
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and you’ve either pretended you didn’t know something that you had or pretended you hadn’t thought of something when you had five minutes beforehand? Well I have, and I did it just the other night.
I was volunteering and this person came up to me and started describing a movie they had just seen. They couldn’t recall the name of the movie but I knew it and had seen it myself. They began by telling me what the movie was about and then proceeded to share the entire plot with me.
I paid close attention and inserted the odd “uh huh” and “oh really?” and even began to ask detailed questions about the movie.
Why did I do this? I certainly didn’t do it to be obnoxious but had to ask myself why I was doing this. Was it out of laziness? Perhaps. Sometimes it’s easier to let a person who is clearly excited about a certain topic talk away. I suppose I started asking questions for my own entertainment. I liked how he was describing the movie and wanted to hear more. Apparently, from his engaging descriptions, our opinions of the actual movie differed greatly.
I also do this sometimes so I don’t come across as being obnoxious. Had I been up front with him, it would have put an end to the conversation immediately or worse, I would have had to have faked enjoying the movie.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t do this often, nor do I enjoy doing it. It is just sometimes easier. Nobody wants to engage in conversations with a know-it-all.
I just find that there is the odd time when I think faster than the person I’m conversing with and rather than burst their bubble, it is easier to keep the conversation flowing smoothly.
In writing this, I wonder how many other people do this too or if people have done it with me…