No one remembers the silence on family car rides because everyone is grateful for it. Not another one of Mom’s lectures about co-habitation before marriage! Thank God Dad isn’t talking about his first job mowing lawns and getting paid in ice cream bars. Side note: what?!? In these cases, I bow down at the altar of the Silence Gods and pray for a few more precious moments. Silence isn’t a problem until you put “awkward” in front of it.
Uncomfortable situations ALWAYS accompany awkward silence. For me, it’s almost unbearable. I’m a no(i)sy person. I make small talk. I ask questions to fill the air with sound. I’m a detective except no one hires me, pays me or benefits from my rapid-fire interrogations. No one except me at least. I want to know everything about everyone and work to get that information through flattery, friendship, flirting, whatever.
Yet, no matter how charming or fun I can be, awkward silence always defeats me. Regardless of how I get there – my fault, your fault, stranger’s fault – the silence seeps into every part of my soul and paralyzes my mind. The quick wit and sass I usually possess disappear. It’s like all of my power and energy go into not dropping dead from the painful noiselessness.
Since my mind rarely quiets, silence is typically a non-issue for me. But, that makes awkward silence even more devastating. How do I move on? I don’t. I just make it worse with NED, sweating and attempting to bring up topics that only support my idiocy: sports (I recently referred to Jerry Montana), hermaphrodites (it seems like no one knows one) or reality TV “stars” (surely they are worse off than me).
Sigh. I hope you fare better.