02 February, 2009

I'm Kind Of A Big Deal

So I've noticed a disturbing trend in myself lately that I think is slowly driving the people I wish were my friends, farther and farther away. That trend is "fullofselfishness". It's not a disease and won't be found in any medical texts. I just put it in quotes with no spaces for effect. I hear it's a common problem ("fullofselfishness" that is), but I really haven't seen it manifested so strongly in myself until recently. The problem is me. I love to talk about me and me alone.
I used to be a great listener. I was so good at it. It got me chicks and a mighty fine, gorgeous babe of a wife as a finale. That is what women want right? An ear and a tear for how their day went with a grunt and a nod to confirm you are actually listening.
I actually used to love listening to people's problems. I used to sit for hours and just hear people out, interjecting only when they were ready or when I felt it was necessary to lay out a piece of sage advice.
Now-a-days, I get asked a question about myself and I go off. I literally go off trying to answer their question rather than the standard, "doing good, how are you?" Usually someone will ask a question that they are seeking but a brief reply to, assuming that you will then turn the question back on them starting a social dialog. It's how friends are made and opinions expressed.
Lately though, I will receive one of these questions (less and less frequently I might add) and rather than replying and turning it back to them to start a conversation, I will instead tell them my opinion, my life story, my shoe size and how many calories I consumed last week. At this point, when I realize I have way over done it and entered the I-Don't-Give-A-Rat's...territory, I pull back and sometimes throw something out like, "Yeah. Ha, well that's me. How are you doing?" But by this point, people have moved on and are just trying to get away from my Venus fly trap of a mouth.
"Oh I'm good," they'll say. "Well, I actually gotta run, so I'll talk to you later...maybe," throwing in the last bit almost as a warning or as if accidentally thinking out loud.
The sting of that might hurt worse if I wasn't already awash with acute embarrassment.
I'm realizing it and seeing it more and more in every conversation I have. I have one person in particular I need to shout out to about this: JIMMY PARDI. Jimmy is in the BYU Creative Track with me and I see him regularly. Super nice, super talented guy who genuinely enjoys the company of others and has proper interest in how people are doing. The kid asks me everyday how I'm doing or how this or that is coming along and I will absolutely body slam the guy with information.
"How's it going Logan?" he'll ask, probably expecting no more than a quick reply and the question returned.
"Oh hi Jimmy. I'm doing ok. I had a massive case of diarrhea last night after eating 2 pints of Dryers Cherry Chocolate Chip ice cream and 13 pieces of toast. Dude, I am so fat! I really need to lay off that shiz. If I can get to exercising regularly, maybe the temptation of 13 slices of toast and dash of jam would just disappear. It's really pretty crazy. But back to your initial question, yeah, I'm good. The diarrhea really cleared me out last night and I think the worst is over," I yammer on. But here comes the worst part.....SILENCE.
"Well cool," he chokes out, half disturbed and fully confused. "I hope you're feeling better soon."
"No, I'm all good. Thanks for asking," I reply. Then nothing again.
Jimmy then turns away and walks over to people who are normal and respect him and his time. He walks over to the people who can reply to a question in bullet format rather than short story form. Jimmy is just one example, and like so many others, deserves to move on to greener pastures filled with people who don't talk about themselves incessantly.
It is at this point I come to the realization that I never even asked Jimmy how he was doing. Then it floods over me that this is common and as I reflect back on the day, this isn't the first time I forgot to ask about someone else. I hadn't asked Brittany, Tommy, Ryan, Klane or anyone else for that matter how they were doing. They all chatted me up and I chased them off with my life story.
It's not even that good of a story.
But does it really matter? I mean, I am kind of a big deal. I did walk on to the Varsity football team as a junior and play 3 downs. No, not 3 games, or quarters...just downs. I also placed 1st at the Utah State Golf Championships, winning my age devision when I was 8. Granted, I was the only person in my age bracket, but I still won. These things make me special, unique and fancy. I am a fancy person and deserve your attention. So please, next time you ask me how I'm doing, grab a seat, pull up a chair or find a place to lean because you're not going anywhere soon. Like Jimmy and all the others, I will trap you. I will put you in verbal lock down while my story floods out and pins you down. You will hear me out and you will pretend to like it. And when I'm done, when I am ready, I just might ask you how you are doing. I might. And if and when I do ask you, I hope you would show me a shred of respect and not ramble on. Keep it brief because I've got way too many ears to talk off to be listening to how your day went or what you did on the weekend. I've got better things to do.