Friday, June 27, 2003

Late-Talkers

When you say "bye" on the phone, to me that usually means the conversion is over. But this is apparently not true to all people. To some, bye means I'm done with this topic, so let's move onto another.

This doesn't happen all the time, but it happens enough to be noteworthy. I'm talking on the phone with someone, we're done talking about stuff, we both say bye or see ya, and then as I'm reaching to hang the phone up I hear their voice coming through the speaker - but it's too late. The motion has already happened and the phone is one microsecond from hitting the hook.

When I first started going out with Rachel, she was definitely a late-talker. I remember for the first two or three weeks that we were going out I hung up on her mid-sentence almost every time we talked because we'd say bye, she'd pause, and then start talking again after the hang up motion already commenced. She's not really a late-talker anymore, but I'm glad she didn't take it personally back in the day.

One way around this is to use a portable phone or cellular phone that has the off button right on the receiver. I put my thumb on it so I can hang up immediately when we're done talking. That way, the bye is following by the hang-up and there is no awkward 2 second hang-up time.

Another form of the late-talker is in the car. I feel that it is the duty of the man to open the car door for his woman. It's common courtesy. But a part of that courtesy should also for the woman to not start a sentence as the man is in mid-motion of shutting the door. That's almost worse than hanging up on someone because you're actually, physically slamming the door in their face - effectively saying, "I don't care what you were just saying."

But, as men, we're stuck because if the door is already shutting there isn't much we can do. When it comes to hanging up and shutting the car door, timing is everything.

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