The sound of tinkling glass alerted me to an incoming text and despite the company around me, I had to look.
“A new video of the baby!” I exclaimed, hitting play before anyone could protest. (As if that would stop me anyway.)
“Look at how tiny she is,” my friend noted. “My granddaughter is twice her size.”
“Does she have any teeth? My grandson has a full set of teeth.”
“Just got her first one. She is late on that, but so was my other granddaughter. She’s not talking, either.”
“Neither is my granddaughter, but she being walking for awhile.”
Cellphones emerged from purses and pictures were passed all around. We all basked in the grandmother’s right to brag, completely oblivious of Sue, who sat quietly throughout the process. Sue’s children had not produced offspring, nor did it look like they might be close to doing so.
Thor came limping through and I passed him the phone. “Here’s the latest.”
“How are you doing?” my friend inquired of Thor.
“Better. On the mend. Still frustrated with this leg brace.”
“My cousin’s husband is going through the same thing. He’s been a year though and it looks like he might lose the leg.”
“I work with a woman who lost her leg. I hear it’s more common that we think. Good thing you’re on the mend, Thor.”
Thor had exited the room.
“He’s doing better though, right?”
“Way better! It has been quite the year. Wouldn’t want to go through that again.”
Sue remains quiet. Her husband has been ill for many years, dependent on her.
“What a lot of noise!” he expressed to me later. “Do you even hear each other?”
He makes a good point. In our excitement to “catch up”, my old friends and I talk at each other, competing for air time, but nothing is really said. In fact, in our need to get a word in, we may have inadvertently created rifts.
I hate this about myself, this need to compete in the conversation. Someone always gets left out and overlooked, and an opportunity for authentic communication is missed.
Next time, I will remind myself to listen and observe, before jumping in so aggressively.