Sunday, November 02, 2008

Slow to Speak

My father-in-law, who passed away in 2004, had two brothers, and those three men, for all their many differences, had this in common: they are/were very deliberate, slow talkers. Those of us with quicker minds can think whole sentences, paragraphs, sometimes even complete to-do lists between one of their words and the next.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, as they very much weigh each word carefully before it ever sees the light of day. Wilton was probably the most profound of the three, saying no to a Sunday dinner invite with, "I...believe...we’ll... decline... the... invitation," and, when I talked about how hard it is to write, he pontificated confidently, to my great irritation, "Weeellll,... that...would... be... because... of... the... discipline... involved," and when Rosie and Phil were having one of their famous arguments: "I... believe... you... two... enjoy... a.. bit... of... attention... where... your... differences... are... concerned."

The other day a certain Smucker uncle called me. "Now... regarding... the... number... of... that... field..., I... put... a... deal... in... the... warehouse... office... with... it... on. ...Now... it’s... about... five... years... old. . ."

Meanwhile, my mind was galloping along with, "Oh mercy me, field numbers?? I wish he would have called Paul about this because I don’t have a clue what he’s talking about and I know I’ll get it wrong if I try to pass it along and Paul will have all these questions for me that I won’t be able to answer and I don’t know beans about field numbers and I can just imagine what kind of paper that is if it’s five years old and it’ll probably just blend right in with all those old papers on Paul’s desk . . ."

So I wedged my shoulder in, between one word and the next, and suggested he call Paul’s cell phone. No, it’s fine, I said, no, it won’t disrupt school.

Uncle made sure he had the number and then finished the call like he always does: "And. . .I... thank... you. . ."

We would all get in less trouble if we talked that slow.

Quote of the Day:
"I haven't really followed the race between McCain and oh, what's his name, that Irish guy. . . ."
--my brother Fred, who has his own brand of humor and who actually knows more about the presidential race than I do


  1. hmmm... yes. probably we would get in less trouble. unfortunately it begins to drive me crazy when people talk really slow, and i have to struggle not to finish their sentences for them if they're not (in my opinion) talking fast enough. :-( i hate myself when i do that

  2. i think we would all get more sleep if everyone talked that slowly. Our pastor was saying this morning that his wife was snoring before he finished praying the other night. We have a good friend who puts me to sleep with his prayers...and not only me. The story goes that his toddler granddaughter kept injecting "AMEN!" more and more vehemently while he was praying before dinner. He has been known to pray so long that one meal blends into the next. They were visiting our church once when our pastor was gone and the man in charge, who hadn't known our friend for so long and honored by his visit, asked him to pray quickly before we had communion. We all got a long discourse on communion, and 45 minutes later were off to home.

    Slow is one thing. Long-winded is another. But BOTH, heaven help us!!

  3. I am sure I know people who I wish would talk slower.

    That quote is priceless!