A very old joke...
A guy joins a monastery and takes a vow of silence: he’s allowed to say two words every seven years.
After the first seven years, the elders bring him in and ask for his two words. "Cold floors," he says. They nod and send him away.
Seven more years pass. They bring him back in and ask for his two words. He clears his throats and says, "Bad food." They nod and send him away.
Seven more years pass. They bring him in for his two words. "I quit," he says. "That's not surprising," the elders say. "You've done nothing but complain since you got here."
I think sometimes I could be pretty happy taking a vow of silence, floors and food notwithstanding. I go through periods of being social and periods of being downright anti-social, the latter especially when I am feeling crowded, overwhelmed, beaten down or compressed. And, so, completely burned out, I really enjoyed being quiet in quiet Cozumel, sans commitments, just hearing the waves gently lapping against the shore.
Truly, even at my most social, I am not a chatter. I *can* chat and, oh, it's true, I blather on here, for you, my cheeky monkeys. But IRL, I can, at least at times, lean toward the quiet side--you know, those times I'm not drilling you with questions. Doesn't mean I'm not interested. If you ask me something*, I'll answer and maybe even expound a bit. With those friends who like to debate, I'll go full bore. But I wasn't raised in a family that encouraged chatting for the sake of chatting.
The husband, on the other hand, is a chatter. He'll talk to anyone at any time anywhere. I notice this particularly when we are on vacation because we spend large blocks of time together then. It takes him no time at all to meet a variety of people. Where I am enjoying the quiet, he'll be striking up conversations. He'll offer to fetch us drinks and ten minutes will go by. I'll find him at the bar, with my watered down drink still clutched in his hand, chatting. He hasn't even realized the time has gone by. And it's not all on him. He has the kind of countenance that invites chatting. People will choose to chat with him all the time. His face says, "Why, yes, please tell me what Houston is like in July." While mine apparently says "Do you have a death wish?" I don't think I intentionally put a squinky look on my face but there it is.
So, it was with interest that I noted one of the Date Lab questions in this past Sunday's Washington Post: "Chances you'd talk to a stranger in a bar..." I have talked to strangers in bars. I've had strangers in bars talk to me. But it's not the norm for me. I'd say the chances are ~10%.
What are the chances you'd talk to a stranger in a bar?
* You could at least pretend to take an interest, fergawdssake.