Repetition on #CrainStreet

I talk quite a bit. I didn’t really notice it until I met my wife. When she pointed it out, I naturally denied it -- for three hours. After years of self-reflection, plenty more long discussions, and therapy, I realized that the idea of silence drove me bonkers. I couldn’t take silence, so I filled it with words.  

One of the side effects of talking all the time is that you run out of things to say. So, you start over. You say it again. Eventually, you repeat yourself over and over. And eventually, you repeat yourself over and over.

Between the stories of my youth and mundane observations, I often expressed my opinion on certain topics, which my wife calls my lecture series, or sometimes my greatest hits, but not in a complimentary way. In fact, she started tracking them. This is speech number 72. This is speech 48. Infuriating! Especially because she’s right.

I think this habit reflects my home environment. As I’ve reported on many occasions (because I do enjoy repeating myself), my home was a bit noisy. So, I think talking helped me keep up with everyone. It also helped me remind myself that I do, in fact, exist. I also noticed that my parents tend to repeat themselves. So, yeah, it’s time for some more #CrainStreet Tweet analysis.

This week’s episode of Co-Habits features a conversation about a repairman calling first, and then ringing the doorbell, which was inspired by this tweet:

That’s right. The conversation about the phone and the doorbell really happened. My mom seemed so focused on the fact that he called right before he showed up. Clearly he was giving them a call to make sure they were home, but how could this behavior inspire such wonder and amazement? Experts still disagree of what perfect storm of forces came together that allowed such an in depth conversation about someone phoning ahead of a visit. Was it their surprise at his professionalism? Or was it more shock that he would call when he was so close. It’s quite a mystery. The conversation is so unlikely and unexplainable, that the excellent actors in the web series struggled to understand the motivation of these unlikely characters in this unlikely situation. And, what’s even more mind-boggling than the question of their reaction, but their need to repeat the story over and over again. It’s the most mundane detail I could possibly imagine to describe domestic life, outside of describing something even more mundane like storing paper. 

I appreciate her organization, but why must she tell me three times? Why is this a story worth repeating? It’s alarming that she considers it a story in the first place. She set her bar for story very low. Perhaps, when the most exciting event of the day is a call from the repair man, or pulling out wrapping paper from under the bed, it simply reflects our human nature to understand our lives through story. Either that, or my parents are buggy robots.

My parents hosted a luncheon after the communion of my niece Sydney, and my mom chose the restaurant because their clean food. I’m not sure about her experiences with food that is not clean, but this factor seemed to excite her more than her granddaughter eating the body of Christ for the first time. Since she told this at every table, I can only assume she hired some sort of misfit writing staff to put together material for her for the party, and this was the best they could muster. And, in this communion party writing staff scenario, my mom considered this piece to be their best work.

When my mom starts stacking stories, you know she’s on a roll. Or in this case, a Polish pastry.

My mom hated Walgreens with a vengeance that summer. They were always messing up orders, and they made her trips very difficult and stressful. She wasn’t going to take it any more, certainly not after telling everyone about it on multiple occasions. She moved to CVS and never looked back, except for the fact that she must pass Walgreens on her way to CVS. She tries to time it when she knows Walgreens will be at lunch.

My dad does love that garden center. They have EVERYTHING. In fact, they even have someone working there named Dan Gorski. So, yes, they do know my dad by his name. Or, at the very least, they know the name Dan Gorski.

I caught this repeat in these tweets from only a day apart. Mom seemed very obsessed that year with theft at senior centers. Now, looking back, perhaps she was making plans, not to move to a senior center, but to get an exciting job that would let her live life on the edge of crime.

Repeat StrangeBird 062814.png

My mom repeats many catch phrases. Her thoughts on salts and strange birds come up at least once a month for as long back as I can remember. Perhaps it’s the closest she will come to a Zen meditation. The last one I particularly like because it remains open to the interpretation of the listener. A universal mystery, indeed.

These tweets prove that my mom doesn’t need to be the author of a story for her to find such joy in telling everyone. She really enjoyed meeting strangers at Disney World, so much that she took on their experiences almost as her own, passing the mantle of their legacy to other strangers like an Olympic torch of the mundane.

It just occurred to me that one of my recent blog posts happens to include the same Olympic torch simile. So what. I repeat myself. I learn from the best.