Fast Talker
Thursday, March 21, 2019

It's no secret that I am a fast talker. I'm not referring to the scam artist type; I'm the Lorelei-Gilmore-doesn't-use punctuation-just-keeps-saying-words-really-quickly-one-after-another-without-punctuation-so-many-words-can-you-keep-up-type. I speak reeeeeeeeeally quickly.

And then I go to the South for a few days.

I just spent a couple of days around the Gulf Coast, specifically Louisiana and Mississippi. The first thing that happens when I go down there is that I instantly remember that I chose Pittsburgh for a reason. It's home, yinz. It just is. The second thing that happens when I wander south of the Mason Dixon Line is that I consciously fight to slow my speedy little mouth down. It is absolutely essential. I know that because it takes about a day before people quit staring at me like I have seven heads and saying, "Pardon?" every time I open my mouth.

Southerners don't trust fast talkers. They don't understand us and they don't trust us. Which is fine because ZOOOOOOMG the slow talking makes me nutty. SPIT IT OUT, Y'ALL. Your accent is super adorable and will still be awesome if you shove a few of those syllables to the curb.

No. Really. There aren't twelve syllables in the word "boil." I PROMISE.

While I was in Baton Rouge, it came to my attention that I was a scatterbrain and forgot my contacts case. Which, uh, that's a problem. Thus, I had to run out to Target to get one. By the time this all happened, I had already spent an entire day running meetings, which uuuuugh. So much extroverting, and I had to extrovert at half my natural pace. I am a terrible extrovert who can fake it, but only for a limited time. Once I've done it for 6 or more consecutive hours, I need recharged like a phone sitting at 2%. Slow my rate of speech down and I'm hovering closer to 1%.

Plug. Me. In. And. Don't. Talk. To. Me. PLEASE.

But I had to run to Target.

I managed to mostly make it through the store without getting cornered by a Southerner with too much time on their hands, but then came time to check out. I have learned a few things over the years and one of those things is that the cashiers in absolutely every Southern store are fantastically friendly and chatty and WHAT? You wanted to leave? HahahahahahaNOPE. You aren't leaving until you and that cashier are all caught up on what has happened in the past seven years. I genuinely find this friendliness to be charming, but not when I'm at 1%. I can't, y'all. I need plugged in. Please don't talk to me.


You have never seen a middle-aged woman so excited to see a self-checkout. I practically jumped in the air and clicked my heels because that alone had the potential to save me a full half hour of time. No talking! No chit-chat! No unnecessary syllables!

You guys. YOU GUYS. I have learned some things over the years, but I didn't know that the person who stands around making sure things are okay at the self checkout in Target has pleeeeeenty of time to strike up a conversation with every single person who walks by. I lost half an hour of my life to a very lovely woman who has three grandkids and really likes that shade of green on that there contact case and ::sigh::

I super belong in Pittsburgh, even if I do throw a "y'all" in with my fast talk every once in a while.

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