I’m not a big fan of talking to a lot of people in my everyday life. There aren’t many – mostly my mom (sometimes), my dad (too much), my husband (when his job lets him) – but that doesn’t change the fact that many of their conversations with me turn into requests. Or discussion about shit I just don’t want to hear about. It’s hard to have a meaningful conversation when you’re a mom anyway – I usually avoid phone calls simply because they’ll be interrupted constantly with some bullshit that could have waited.
And there are certain things I just don’t want to discuss, namely: medical problems, work, and my mom’s obsession with doing it. To deal with those “certain things,” I’ve come up with some surefire conversation stoppers. We all have them – some just walk away; others say something as simple as “this conversation is over.”
Mine are a little more attuned to the situation.
When My Husband Talks About His Job
My conversation stopper for my husband’s shop talk is to accuse him of scratching his balls or beating off in my presence. Nothing changes the subject from inane conversation about the film industry and all its subtle, bullshitty nuances like suggesting he has some sort of penile problem.
When I first moved here (and I think I’ve told this story before), I went on something of a date with a guy at the department store I had just started working at. It wasn’t supposed to be a date, and I said it wasn’t a date; nonetheless, the guy still put his arm around me and paid for my movie ticket. About half way through the film, I noticed him scratching himself. A lot. I mean it just didn’t stop; and I was only 18 and naive, so I had no clue that this guy was really jerking off as we sat there on this non-date-pseudo-date, until someone told me that’s what he was doing later on.
Since then, I’ve been a little sensitive when a man puts his hand near his crotch. Even my husband. Granted, my husband does scratch his balls a lot. And then sometimes he just rests his hand on his inner thigh – which is fucking weird of its own right. But usually I’m just making the accusation to get him to stop talking.
Last night was the best incidence of this. We were in bed, watching the new Manchurian Candidate. I was writing my blog, my husband was laying there watching and he mentioned something about the movie or the industry – or something that triggered my conversation stopper instinct – and he was doing that weird thing where he rests his hand on his inner thigh.
Poor Nick: “You know this film is interesting because —”
Me: “Are you scratching your balls?”
Poor Nick: “No.”
Me: “You’re jerking off, aren’t you?”
Poor Nick: “NO. I’m resting my hand on my thigh. See?”
And Poor Nick pulled back the covers to show that he was, in fact, resting his hand on his inner thigh. But as I said, it’s a little weird. Why the inner thigh? Why not the outer leg? Or the stomach? Or why not somewhere else – like on the bed, or hold my hand? Why the inner thigh? So I pressed on.
Me: “Do you ever think it’s weird that you rest your hand on your inner thigh?”
Poor Nick: “What?”
Me: “You know … if I were to rest my hand on my inner thigh, wouldn’t you think it was weird?”
Poor Nick: “No.”
Me: “Oh really?”
And then I slid down my pillow so my legs were spread and proceeded to rest both of my hands on the inner part of both of my thighs to prove my point. I looked fucking weird. Psychotic, in fact.
Not another word was spoken for the rest of the evening. Conversation stopper.
When My Dad Talks About His Medical Issues
It isn’t that I want my dad to stop keeping me up to date on his health. Being the only reliable person he has here (and vice versa for me besides my husband), it’s important I know what’s going on.
But lately it’s gotten to be too much. He’s having hip replacement surgery next Friday, so every day these last few weeks have been about getting ready, attending doctor’s appointments, getting our things over to stay at his house for a month, helping him make decisions, and so on. That doesn’t mean we have to talk about it all into the ground, though – especially at the most inopportune times. In fact, it happened just today where it got to a point that I just couldn’t take it anymore.
We were running errands with my dad, and had a pretty tumultuous time doing it. We couldn’t find a stepping stool we needed to help him get in and out of my Jeep post-op. The doctor called in the wrong pain medication, that he has a sensitivity to. And then a bee flew into the car and we had to pull over and run out, while my dad tried to get rid of it so that I wouldn’t get stung and die (I’m allergic). By the time we stopped to get some dinner, I was so not in the mood to hear about medical shit. I just wanted to eat, get a little wasted, find some frozen yogurt, and go home.
The medical talk was almost avoided this time, too, but then on the way home, we were eating our frozen yogurt and my dad started up with his medical talk. He started telling me about some bleeding drug they were going to give him in the hospital, or some shit; and rather than listen, my conversation stopper instinct kicked in.
With my dad, it’s to sing. The only song I could think of at that very moment was – of course – the “my bologna has a first name…” jingle. Before I knew it, the whole car was singing along, and the medical talk had been averted. Conversation stopper.
When My Mom Divulges Details Of Her Sex Life
So I’ve only met my mother’s husband once. It was for about 15 minutes and he made a total of 5 inappropriate comments about my mother’s vagina to me during that time. Since then, he’s cracked numerous jokes on the phone about doing it with her. The worst was when he basically called her a slut in high school.
Hillbilly Husband: “Yeah, you know your mom and I probably even went to the same drive in movies when we were in high school.”
Me: “Oh really?”
Hillbilly Husband: “Yep. The difference is that I actually saw the movies!!! HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!”
To make matters worse, my mom makes these horrifying innuendos to me all the time. When they are separated (as in she’s here, in California, and he’s there, in New Mexico), they have these marathon phone conversations that sometimes last upwards of eight hours. What in the fuck do they do for eight hours on the phone? They can’t possibly have that much to talk about, right?
Right. They don’t. The answer is in two words: phone sex.
Just the other day, my mother told me that she was “too spent” from talking to her hillbilly husband to go over Easter plans with me. She started talking about vibrators and the demands of a woman separated from love, and all that other hypersexual bullshit, and I just couldn’t deal with it. I didn’t want to deal with it; I mean, if you’re too exhausted to talk about something important, shut the fuck up about your little phone sex crap.
So I pulled out my conversation stopper for when my mom starts up this TMI nonsense: “mom, no one wants to hear about your jerky flavored edible panties…” She said ‘OK’ and hung up the phone. Conversation stopper.
Do you have conversation stoppers, faithful blog followers? Do you say something rude? Do you make implications that are just blatantly false? Do you sing, like me? Or do you just listen to people blather on and on and on, until your mind is numb and your soul is destroyed?