I was a very quiet child. Seriously. All of my report cards said, "Gayle is very quiet and needs to speak up more in class." The teachers were not impressed enough with high grades, it seems. They wanted me to be more vocal about being so smart.
Now that I'm grown, I've hatched from my shell and become one gregarious gal. I can't stop talking to people, even when a little voice in my head says, "SHUT UP! YOU'RE IN UNCHARTED TERRITORY!"
The first time I noticed a bad side effect of TTM (Talking Too Much) is when I was in line at the grocery store and struck up a conversation with a woman who was behind me. One minute we were laughing about the tabloids at the checkout counter, then I mentioned the articles about flying saucers. Next thing I know, the woman is telling me about being visited by aliens in her parents' orchard when she was nine. Her voice seemed to grow louder the further I moved away. By the time I escaped, I think I was having an out-of-body experience.
It would not be the last time I should have zipped my lip.
Last year, I was at the Duarte Festival of Authors, when a woman approached my table and looked at my books. We chatted about the festival and the weather and I told her what my books were about. It all seemed harmless. Then she said:
"I just finished reading Fifty Shades of Grey, and I loved it. It's so well written and the characters are so real. I'd love to read more books like that."
I don't have books like that. I could have told her exactly that and moved on. Instead, I heard myself say, "If you loved that book, you should try Fifty Shades of Alice in Wonderland." (Don't judge me. Yes, it's total erotica but as opposed to FSoG, Fifty Shades of Alice really is well written and it's funny. I like funny.)
And thus began the Great Bondage Monologue of 2012. I'd say "discussion" but all I did was nod and smile and try not to let my eyes bug out of my head. I'm going to try to describe it here without getting an X-rating on my blog.
First, picture a tall, stately, older woman. Maybe a cross between this:
According to her, she accompanied her very happy friend and his very happy boyfriend to a very special seminar. You got a different colored badge at this seminar, depending upon why you were there. Red meant you were an observer, yellow meant you might want to try things out, and green meant let's exchange numbers.
When she walked into the room, she saw the teacher, who was a dominating kind of woman (hint, hint) and her male assistant. The assistant was very thin, very pale, and very hairless - all over. Top to bottom. His well, you know, was clearly visible.
With me so far?
The teacher took a long strip of leather and proceeded to demonstrate knot-tying with her assistant, by tying various knots around his Well-You-Know, then anchoring it to his leg.
Please remember that I am listening to her explain all this in the middle of a park next to a senior assisted-living facility. This is where it truly drifts into TMI.
She told me she then went home to her (then) boyfriend and practiced what she had learned on him. They went shopping at the mall for awhile, then walked over to a restaurant for dinner. When she asked him how Well-You-Know was doing, he said, "I don't know. I think it fell off about an hour ago."
Had I but kept my mouth shut when she mentioned Fifty Shades, I would not be telling you this story today. There is apparently no cure for TTM, so if I'm going to suffer with this disease, I'm going to share it with you.
Actually, I blame my teachers for this. Gayle isn't quiet anymore.