The Writer, His Wife, and the “Save Me” Signal
How to get away from boring people
Edwin’s new article: The nicest souls get stuck with boring people at parties. They can’t get away because they don’t want to offend. There’s nothing worse than hearing your friends having a good time in another part of the room while you’re talking to a stranger about how they arrange their sock collection.
The last thing you want to do at a get-together is to discuss how someone likes to color-coordinate their socks with their pants.
“Hang on a moment. Scrap that…”
“What if my readers are from the UK? Knickers are called pants there. I don’t want to mention anything too racy.”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “You’re kidding. I told my English Facebook friend about my new pants the other day. I wondered why she changed the subject.”
Edwin, the writer: “I’ll start that line again.”
The last thing you want to do at a party is to discuss how someone likes to color-coordinate their socks with their outfit.
Boring people can’t help how they are; in fact, they don’t notice how folks sigh and yawn while they chatter. Since they are unobservant, though, you can easily adopt a “save me” signal to use with your best friend or spouse.
“Do you remember we used to do that, Gladys?”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “Do I ever! One time I pulled my ear — our signal — until it was raw. You weren’t paying attention.”
Edwin, the writer: “I was keeping an eye on the buffet.”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “The food hadn’t been brought out at that point, dear.”
Edwin, the writer: “Exactly. You’ve got to watch for the exact second the buffet is displayed and make your move, lest you end up at the back of the queue.”
“Now, where was I…”
Since they are unobservant, though, you can easily adopt a “save me” signal to use with your best friend or spouse.
Gladys and I used an ear pull as our sign. A tug of the right earlobe indicated one of us needed rescuing from a boring person.
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “Oh, I recall now. A tug of the left one meant get me another drink.”
Edwin, the writer: “Yes. I was inebriated once because you muddled the signals and kept bringing me a scotch.”
It’s essential to create clear signals and make sure both parties understand what they mean. There’s no point, for instance, holding your hand on your right hip when you want to go home if your partner thinks it means you want a pen and paper to write down a boring individual’s phone number.
The situation’s even worse if you forget about the signal and ask your partner what’s wrong when she keeps hopping from one foot to the other, waiting to be rescued. You might embarrass her.
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “Do you recall our old acquaintances Blanch and Rupert, dear?”
Edwin, the writer: “Yes. Lovely couple. Rupert treasured the description of my train set. I told him about my new plastic hedges and the little people waiting at the station with their teeny umbrellas and hats.”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “Mm. Wasn’t he always twitching his nose, dear? Do you think it was a ‘save me’ signal to Blanch?”
Edwin, the writer: “Of course not! I enthralled him.”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “I think I’m right, dear. That time Blanch suggested they needed to go home to take something out of the oven his nose was convulsing like crazy.”
Edwin, the writer: “No, surely not?”
Edwin’s wife, Gladys: “Come to think of it, Blanch bit her bottom lip whenever I talked about my small ornamental platypus collection. Rupert whisked her off, saying someone was dying to meet her.”
Edwin, the writer: “Never mind, Gladys. Some people have no taste.”
If you think another couple uses a “save me” signal while you talk to them, stop. Change the subject because they aren’t as cultured as you and can’t appreciate what you say.
They might even be jealous of your train set or ornament collection. Be kind and buy them one for Christmas. After all. It is the season of goodwill.
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