"There's a real estate open house by the peninsula," she would say, or "There's a deadline I need to make at the post office," "There's a neighbor that needs dinner tonight," "There's a baby shower gift I need to get for this weekend." She would hold out my shoes and say, "Come with me." Then she'd strap me in my car seat, the toddler seat, and eventually I'd strap myself in the front seat, and together we'd drive for hours and hours, peering out at blurred trees and squinting into the sun, which always seemed to be directly in our eyes no matter what compass direction we traveled.
It was during these drives that my mom would talk. And talk. And then be silent. And then talk some more. I can't remember exactly what she talked about, but I do remember feeling slightly irritated at both the unimportance and the abundance of her thoughts. What was the point of this jabber? What do I care about the biography she saw on TV, the shoes she saw at Nordstrom, the sandwich she ate at Subway?
It's taken me years to understand the need to talk--the need to be heard. I'm 21-years-old now, been married a few days over four months, currently pushing through my last 20 credits of my undergrad at a university that is two states away. My husband and I recently moved for him to begin his first year of law school. Anyone who's been in this position knows the long (long) study hours. Anyone who's been married understands the funny gender/personality differences to identify and get used to. And I feel like my entrance into womanhood is making me realize that women just want to talk, but our society isn't conducive to that.
Take, for example, blogging: a perfectly great outlet for someone to talk and maybe be heard. But even blogging becomes more complicated than that. "You can't blog without an objective," they say. "You need to be narrow in your content--crafts, cooking, electronics, politics. Otherwise you won't make any money."
Since when was it important to talk only if you're going to make money?
People don't understand that talking for the sake of talking is enough.
That's why my visiting teachees have me over for HOURS, and why they interrupt me each time I try to wrap up the conversation to keep me around a little longer. Compare that to my home teachers' stay for fifteen minutes. I'm not saying they should stay longer. Their visits are great as they are. But lately I've been thinking about the women who want me to stay so they can talk talk talk. I've been thinking about why my mother strapped her nine-year-old daughter and drove her all around northern California. I've been thinking about my friend who said there are days when her two-year-old son is the only person she sees. I'm slowly coming to realize why I can't seem to shut up when my husband asks me how my day is going, and why bridal showers are filled with womanly chatter so thunderous that I can barely hear myself think.
There is so much to say. And lately, I haven't been able to locate enough people to listen to it.