Monday, December 10, 2007

Uncomfortable Silences

The title of this post is from one of my favorite movies, “Pulp Fiction”.

At one quiet point in the 50’s-style diner scene, Uma turns to Travolta and says, “Don’t you just hate that?”. And when Travolta says, “What?”, Uma replies, “Uncomfortable Silences”.

That line always struck a chord with me, because I truly can’t STAND awkward silences in a conversation with someone I’ve just met.

Seriously, I will begin to panic and blurt out any stupid shit that comes into my head when I’m talking with a near-stranger and there is a lull in the conversation.

Oh, the stories I could tell.. (P.S. If only I had a place to tell you those stories. Wait, what? Never mind).

Why am I bringing this up?

I was out Saturday afternoon, getting take-out at a local pizza joint. As I walk in, I notice that there weren’t too many people there. Only 3 of the dozen or so tables inside had any patrons sitting at them.

As I’m ordering, I look over and notice one of the tables, where 2 women are sitting opposite each other, while eating their lunches.

Friends, I assumed.

As I’m waiting for my order, I kept glancing over at them, because it was striking me as odd that since I had walked in, NEITHER OF THEM HAD SAID A WORD!

Now, because its on my mind, I kept watching these 2 chicks while I wait for my order.
5 minutes go by.

10 minutes.

Still not a WORD from either one of them.

How the HELL can they stand it? The uncomfortable silence is KILLING ME, and I’m not even at the fucking table!

Another minute goes by, and now I am becoming increasingly obsessed with the pair, as frantic thoughts like these race through my head:

“It’s not so crowded in here that they would have needed to share a table. Maybe it was crowded right before I got here and it emptied out quickly?”

“Do they even know each other?”

“If they don’t know each other, why the Holy Hell are they sitting at the same table?”

“They aren’t even looking at each other! They are just staring past each other into space!”

“Oh Lord in Heaven why won’t they just SAY SOMETHING! Anything!”

“For the Love of God why doesn’t one of them just fucking SPEAK!!!!!”


As I am paying for my order, somewhere around the 15 minute mark, Girl # 1 casually looks over at Girl # 2 and says, “Wanna go to the movies later?”. Girl # 2 replies, without looking up from her meal, “Sure, I guess”.

I breathed a heavy sigh of relief as I walked out with my pizza.

How the Hell did those two go thru that long a span without saying ANYTHING to each other, without going batshit crazy, is anyone’s guess, but I know for DAMN sure that my neurotic ass wouldn’t have been able to handle it.

By the 2 minute mark, I would have been saying SOMETHING to the other person.

By the 5 minute mark, I would have completely lost it and started babbling about the average rainfall in Paraguay……. Anything!

Anything to break that dreaded uncomfortable silence.

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