[Side note #1: I’ve written about silence before but I really didn’t go into too much detail about it.]
I have an amusing story to tell you. It’s mortifying to me but makes for a funny story to others. It’s also some sort of testament to my husband’s willingness to put up with my bullshit.
Anyway, that story goes as such:
Our first real date (not a friend date with other people but an honest to god date with just him and just me) was at our local neighborhood chain diner. We might have met up after his shift at the bookstore that’s no longer there and after my last class at the university.
We sat down, ordered our deserts (strawberry shortcake for me and a chocolate bread pudding for him). And then have the most awkward date ever. He would ask questions and I would sit there terrified and in silence. I had no business dating. (I still don’t really. Thank goodness, we married.) I’m extremely lucky that I got a second date out of this.
(See? Hilarious. Even I can appreciate it with a minimal amount of cringing.)
I was and remain someone who doesn’t appreciate small talk. If I am forced to small talk, I won’t do it for long and will get crankier and crankier the more time passes.
I would prefer to sit in silence, enjoying the company. I know. This isn’t the norm for most people (Americans, in particular, seem to be very uncomfortable with silence. I’m not sure why. I suppose I could try to theorize, but in the end, it’s still just a theory.
My husband and I are comfortable being together and not talking. I think the key here is being together. My husband loves to talk. He loves getting to know people. It’s his thing to ask questions. But over the years, I have tempered him and the same goes for me.
I have often been accused of spending too much time in my head. What’s wrong with that? Perhaps people don’t like the silence because it forces them to think about their own problems. The silence doesn’t need to be filled all time.
But, again, it’s just a theory.
Have you ever enjoyed the silence that comes after a particular noisy house guest leaves? The silence of a sleeping and peaceful child? The silence of fresh fallen snow?
None of these are bad.
On the flip side, there’s the silence of danger. Your senses on alert due to the lack of noise that comes sudden and tense. Hopefully, that silence will never come at all.
Anyway, maybe, silence should be seen as something to enjoy from time to time.