Friday, April 23, 2010

First sign of insanity?

Deb: When I was growing up, my mother would pass my bedroom and say, “Who are you talking to?” to which I would respond, “Myself”. “You know that’s the first sign of insanity,” she would say. Of course, she also said the same thing when I bit my nails or twirled my hair. I quickly realized that it was her way of stopping me from doing anything she didn’t want me to do. I was sure that before I knew it, a messy bedroom, kissing boys and listening to records at top volume would be added to the long list of these harbingers of insanity. 

I find myself thinking about this because as I get older, I...well...find myself talking to myself. Every day. Sometimes in an animated fashion. And I have to say, it’s great. I love it. 

Sometimes when you’re alone and something out-of-the-ordinary happens, being silent just doesn’t cut it. A well-placed “Good for you, Deb!” or even “Stupid git, now you have to go back upstairs for your lipstick,” makes me feel like I am on it!!! 

I had to make a couple of difficult business calls this week and found myself saying, “Well, that’s over, wasn’t easy, but it’s over.” After saying that out loud, I was able to let it go. When the brain just thinks it, you can so easily think, “No, it’s not over, not NEARLY over!” But when you say it out loud, it’s done––stamped it, black magic, God, no rub-outs. Done. 

I keep telling myself that there is nothing wrong with me just because I engage in verbal solitary intercourse, is there? I mean, at least I haven’t started arguing with myself. But I still bite my nails.

Barbara: I so get the “when it’s said out loud, it’s a lightened load” thing. Totally believe in that. Never tried it on myself, though. Maybe you’ve converted me to “therapeutic insanity”, Deb….But then, on second thought, I’m definitely the type to end up arguing with myself …. Except, I could force myself not to argue, couldn’t I? I could be calmly reassuring, right? … Except, when have I ever been able to calmly reassure myself? Other people, sure, but myself? ….I don’t know…exhausted already…. 

PS: “Stamped it, black magic, God, no rub-outs”….Huh?....

Deb: From when we were kids. “Stamped it, black magic, God, no rub-outs!” The phrase of a kid laying claim to his or her proposal! 

I remember like it was yesterday the day it all fell apart. Two kids and the language of the streets at stake: “Stamped it, black magic, God, no rub-outs!” 

“You don’t need to say ‘no rub-outs’ cause God’s highest!”

“Okay then, God...Infinity!”

“Infinity doesn’t top God because God INVENTED infinity.”

“Did not, ‘cause infinity was there first. ‘Cause it was infinite!”

“Doubt it, ‘cause God INVENTED infinity and then decided to FILL it!”

“Well I call ‘Black Magic’ cause I’m an ATHEIST!”

“Doesn’t matter, ‘cause God INVENTED atheists.” 

“Doesn’t count ‘cause I don’t believe in Him.”

“You said HIM so that means you know He’s real so that means you believe in Him...So GOD’S HIGHEST!”

You couldn’t argue with that so we all cheered and, just as we started to play again, the streetlights came on and we had to go home. 

Barbara: I love that.


  1. Love the "talking to yourself" thing Deb and Barb - I do it (think I've "done" it) all my life! Getting up the nerve to do something or when encouraging myself to do that one more thing (working out - yeuch!) or when I get off the phone from a particularly difficult or long conversation. I would have to say though - that I think I just talk to myself as I'm living my life. I'm a companion to me.

    Talking to animals when you're "by yourself" isn't the same thing is it?

    LOVE the conversation!

  2. So which is worse, talking to yourself or talking to inanimate objects? Because I do both, but especially the latter. I have a tendency to think of certain appliances and technological devices as people. I even name them. You should see me trying to convince my printer to work properly.

    I'd consider counteracting the "so god's highest" argument with something along the lines of, "I am god, didn't you know?" But that's just me.

  3. I love "I'm a companion to me". Made me realize that my only "talking to myself" (ask my family) is frustrated shout-outs at my own shortcomings ("Idiot!", "What are you thinking?!", "Stupid!"), Tourettes-y stuff like that...

    I'm inspired to become a better, kinder companion to me! xo B

  4. ...and to name inanimate objects in the hopes they might possibly co-operate...

  5. If talking to yourself puts you in the "crazy" department, I imagine there'd be a lot of people we all know in there with us. It's when you get into arguments with yourself and you lose the argument that it becomes an issue.

    (P.S. Sandy, talking to the animals doesn't count because they ARE listening to us. :) )


  6. Talking to yourself might be more normal than not.

  7. MY Kateness, I am taking that to the bank!

  8. And the stuffed animal world!!! WE need to talk about that! Some of my dearest friends are stuffed animals. One I have had since before I was born.

  9. Are you absolutely *sure* you want to talk about that, Deb? Hm?

  10. ...we used to say "STAMP IT, ACE IT, NO ERASE IT, GOD'S INITIALS!"

    Love how those words just trip off the tonuge.!

  11. See, now I never heard that one either. I don't remember ever using God or any other spiritual being in our childish oaths!

    PS what would God's initials even be?!


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