When noise, engagement and their disdain form the rubber that meets the road


Those who get away to have peace and quiet eventually end up getting away from the peace and quiet for the very noise they left behind. —Bob Skelley

Many humans thrive on turmoil and drama. We have to have it in our lives for us to remain engaged and interested. Case in point the individual who always has to have a significant other. The very thought of being single is terrifying to these individuals. If only they could see that they can manage being alone, if even for brief stretches of time, and not end up completely losing their mind (like they do when they are in an unhealthy relationship—the kind people get in because they’re petrified of being by themselves).

We can substitute interacting with people for the times we would share with a significant other. Humans are gregarious by nature and can’t be alone all the time. Our bodies and minds would break down prematurely if that were the case. Even when we do something that isn’t the most fun, like seeing a modern day Bob Dylan show, we are often grateful for having attended with friends.

We go to dinner before the show. We visit, we catch up, and we talk up the pending show with high expectations. We realize at these times that the show features a performer long past their prime, but it’s the whole experience leading up to, through and to the conclusion of the show that satisfies our need for the encounter.

It’s a good thing our clothes wear out the more you wash them. Some of us might never get to a store otherwise, if not for the necessity of replacing socks, undershirts and underwear. People that wait until their undergarments are in tatters actually prefer avoiding people until absolutely necessary. There isn’t a study I know of to back this up, but I’m suggesting it anyway. And these wearers of skivvies posing as Swiss cheese are rewarded for their brief exchanges with salespeople in the store.

“Where’s the underwear?”

“Over there next to the almost naked mannequin.”

Those are the most words they’ve heard from another human being in weeks. That is, if you take away the times when they make random calls to customer service call centers to experience the power of asking to speak with somebody’s supervisor. This is what these non-engagers (“introvert” rhymes with big ol’ twerp and so I refrain from using it) find very satisfying—the chance to interact for brief moments on their terms.

We might look down upon these antics as strange, but those behaving this way don’t really care what someone else who is probably even more messed up than they are thinks.

The ability to not care what others think is huge for the individual who constantly seeks out domiciles bereft of outside noise that strains, yearns and finally pounds its way in. The skill of not giving a rat’s ass about other peoples’ opinions actually gets better with age, too.

“Bob, you’re such a crank. Don’t you know everyone disagrees with everything you’ve said so far in this article?”

“They do? What makes you say that, Stella?”

“Well, because it’s all so ridiculous. Your proclamations, protestations, everything here!”

“I’m sorry? What’s that? Could you please repeat whatever you just said? I wasn’t trying to intentionally ignore you.”

“You weren’t? Really! Well, intentional or otherwise, that’s exactly what you did.”

“I really do apologize. Do you know they say it’s a form of weakness to apologize?”

“Who says that? This is just another example of how ridiculous everything you say is, Bob!”

Bob Dylan performing at St. Lawrence Universit...

Bob Dylan performing at St. Lawrence University in New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve often wondered why it is my mind basically turns down the volume to my ears when I can see someone’s face just before they are about to say something I’m perceiving will have little or no value whatsoever. It’s not a reflection of the individual in front of me so much as it is my ability to filter out good stuff from the inane. And when this happens, I typically conclude the interaction with a nod of the head.

“Everything about this piece is inane and devoid of anything of real merit, Bob.”

“Says who?”

“Says me.”


“Says me!”


And this is the part of the blog where I astutely nod and move on to a blessed afternoon nap—the salve that is escape from salespeople, would be critics and idiot savants alike.


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