Friday, November 03, 2006

On Talking to Oneself

One of my favorite stand-up comedians, Drew Hastings, does a bit about acquiring a kitten, so as not to appear so crazy when he talks to himself. One line, in a routine called L.A. Observations, goes

"This town is full of shit!! People are rude, they're uncivil, and they don't know talent when they see it!...." He continues, in a syrupy tone, "do they, kitty?"

Ya'll know I'm empty nesting. The kid has flown the coop. The temp. roommate spends little time here these days. And the kitty is in kitty heaven now.

Daylight savings and oncoming winter find me rattling around inside my house a few more hours than usual, and I swear to God: I am turning into a certifiable, talking-to-myself nutjob!

Cuckoo! Cuckoo! I start a conversation with myself the minute I get home: "What is THIS?" I ask, as I pull an unknown bill out of the mailbox. I continue inside, as I open it: "$20?!! For WHAT? I paid my co-pay!"

I putter around the house, and think about issues that frustrate me. "What the hell is wrong with you!," I will say to no one, as I scrub the kitchen sink, deep in thought. Or, while remembering something funny a friend said, I find myself laughing, and saying "you crack me up."

It's disturbing really. Bad enough that I'm talking to the freakin' houseplants, but I often can't control myself in public places. I stand in the produce aisle and announce "2.99?! I don't think so!!" and I recite my grocery list to myself: "tea, I need tea, and don't forget the veggie sausages."

Good Lord! Am I on a downward spiral to the loony bin? Is there such a thing as middle-age onset of Tourettes? Because I think I might have that too; I'm suddenly prone to crazy outbursts. While I walk and think, I might exclaim "WhatEVER!!!" or "Jesus!" in an exasperated tone.

So as to present an edumacated post, I did a Google search on "talking to yourself." Well, didn't I shed some new light on this situation! The first link I read stated:
"What's really bizarre about this is that the act of talking to ourselves is actually a sign that we are self-aware and that we seek insight into our own actions. "
It is proof that I'm a higher species, this particular report goes on to say.

Higher Species! Ha! I'm NOT mad as a hatter after all! I'm brilliant! "Brilliant!" I just said outloud, to my laptop.

Most of the other sites I scanned indicated that yammering to oneself is normal, but not considered an acceptable American societal norm. "Try to keep your voice down" is the general advice.

Ok. I can do that. In the meantime, I'm following Drew Hasting's lead. Well, kind of. I'm setting up an aquarium.

Really. Doesn't this guy look like a good listener? I'll keep the higher species stuff to myself though; I'm sure he won't want to hear it.

I'm off now, to seek more insight.

What? Oh. Nothing. Hit "Publish Post," Lori, and go to bed. Oh. Did I say that outloud?


  1. If you're going to talk to fish in an aquarium, you might as well talk to yourself, because that's just as crazy. And what's so wrong with a little craziness, anyway?

  2. I've always sort of talked to myself, but after Jack was born I could talk to HIM and it would be OK, in public and all. In fact, one guy stopped me in the grocery store produce aisle one day while I was talking to Jack about red bell peppers, and this guy says to me, he says, "Your child will grow up with such an amazing vocabulary because you're talking to him so much at such an early age, you know, research shows that children who are exposed to language at an early age do better in school, are better adjusted, blah de blah blah bladdidy blah." So I patted myself on the back because this random stranger complimented me for, basically, talking to myself.

    I talk to myself all the time, in much the same vein as your "$2.99? I don't think so!" except for me it's usually in the thrift store: "$3.49? Gimme a break! You can buy this new at Big Lots for $1.99!"

    And it serves another purpose, too. I'm scared to talk to strangers. But if I'm talking to myself and someone says, "Pardon?" or "What?" or even "I know! Don't they do any research before they price these items?" then I can strike up a conversation as if we were best friends. And THEN they start edging away, realizing how TRULY CRAZY I am.

    What the hell is wrong with you?!


  3. You are not alone - I do it too! AND I have 4 other people and 3 cats here to talk to....

    Maybe it's time to get a kitten?

    And you can always call me!

  4. I talk to inanimate objects all the time. I'll be looking for something in my pantry and, upon finding it, I'll say, "THERE you are!" I tell the ingredients in my wok not to splatter hot oil on me. I don't think it's at all crazy. Heh.

  5. I am sorry, Lori.

    Did you say something?


  6. I talk to myself, especially in the morning. "did I turn off the curlers?" "did I put the mail out?"
    I must have some slight Tourettes because I'm constantly blurting out something before I can stop myself. For some reason whenever I am startled I shout "Holy Hell"!

    New kitty to watch of the fish while you are at work :)

  7. I find a little crazy (or a lot in my case) can be a good thing sometimes. There are lots of times where I stand there inner dialoging and then wonder "did I just say that out loud?". LOL.

    It's like Scrubs (best... show... ever) with J.D. where he narrates his whole life in his head. Heeeelarious.

  8. Larry: Hush; my fish can understand every word I'm saying. Actually, I don't even have the fish yet; the water has to cycle for a week.

    SS: Good idea: I'll have a baby! That people back away from you after you've reeled them in with your muttering is hilarious...and doubtful. Though I can remember a few times in which we worked well as a 2-man pack to send people running (Kamakura foyer).

    Wendy: A kitten, maybe. Let me get this aquarium filled up, so it can drool over the fishies.

    Holly: YAY! I do that too: "Where have you been?!!" to the dustpan I left in the garage 2 months ago.

    Wil: Ha! I'm wondering if you just heard me talking to myself, or if you've just tuned me out! Listen to me!

    Jodie: DID you turn off the curlers? I'd follow that up with "yeah, I I didn't....yes I did."

    Mal: Yeah, a little lunacy gets me through many a day too. I've actually just started watching scrubs. I don't know the character's names yet.

  9. Yes I HEAR YOU!! I talk to myself some days. Especially when caught in one of those horrible traffic jams getting back home. ( Malaysians ,including myself, are not big on public transport so we clog the roads up periodically ) I think its therapeutic , so you just go ahead and talk all you want.

  10. Hi Gnightgirl

    I talk to myself all the time, in my car, in stores, etc. and don't really give a damn what anyone else thinks. I've been on this planet too long to worry whether some stranger thinks I'm crazy or not, they can just walk away in fear if they don't like it. I've earned the right to talk to myself and if anyone ever questions me about it, I'd tell them "I talk to myself because I'm the only one with anything interesting to say"...

  11. Edina: Oh yeah, traffic, and "coaching" other drivers is prime talking time! If you want to appear even more nuts, shake your fists at other drivers; it rattles them more than flipping them off.

    Dagoth: Hilarious (and good point!) I like a CONFIDENT self-talker.

  12. I talk to myself all the time. Have the adult onset Tourettes, too, apparently. What's really interesting is I will talk to myself *and* talk to the puppies. Two entirely different conversations. To the point I have been known to look at Lionel and Daisy and say "Oh, I'm not talking to you..." I also frequently have conversations with people who aren't really there (such as "OMG! Lori! I do that too!") But now I can relax and bask in the glow of my superior species-ness! Thanks!

  13. Once a deaf person yelled at me because she thought I was talking to her daughter who could hear, and not her.
    I was actually talking to the computer.

  14. Way to seek insight through interspecies communication!

  15. Hell I talk to myself all the time. In this neck of the woods it's the only way to have an intelligent conversation!

    Hey did you hear Dagoth and I started a chess game with the board he displayed for your challenge? Is there any limit to the mayhem you start?

  16. This cracks me up!

    Sometimes, when Mike's gone I talk to myself (and the kitties). It's sooo quiet. With only me talking to the kitties. And I'll sometimes say something that he would usually be there to laugh at and I crack myself up!

    Although, there is almost always something (crazy?) going on in my my head: debates with myself, cuss words, songs, you name it!!

  17. LOL. I guess talking to oneself is OK as long as you don't get into an argument with yourself ;)

  18. I just curse at everyone
    when I'm driving,
    but they can't hear me.

  19. BPobs: Hilarious; I can just see your doogies shaking their heads at one another. Tsk.

    LMLyn: Yeeks! Muttering to yourself almost got your ass kicked!

    Tai: Yes darling. I'd rather talk to the fishes than sleep with them.

    Andy: Do you play yourself and yourself in that conversation?

    Cool about the chess game.

    Momo: You gotta write that stuff down, and re-enact when Woof gets home!

    TDNA: I AM often conflicted, and work something out, outloud: "do I want one this big? I'll have to carry it around, don't forget. But if I get the small one..."

    Polyman: If a tree falls in the woods...

  20. oh...talking to myself is my specialty...especially while shopping..

    "Must get rope...need rope for body in closet.."

    I actually think it's quite therapeutic..

    Hooray for Higher beings!

  21. You should come over and see my fish tank some time ...

  22. "What is THIS?" I ask, as I pull an unknown bill out of the mailbox.

    Totally LOL!

    To myself, of course.

    Great blog G!


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