When I was an obnoxious little girl, my mother’s best friend always told me I talked too much. Okay, so most people who knew me said I talked too much–asked too many questions. My aunt’s parents called me Chatterbox; I don’t know if they even knew my name (they knew my sister’s name, though they insisted on mispronouncing it). They would assure my mother that I was in no danger of being kidnapped, not for long anyway, as the bad man or woman would promptly return me to be rid of the sound of my voice.
My mother did worry; I had no fear of becoming lost in a crowd, or talking to strangers. In fact, I thought it was funny to hide within the cover of circular clothing racks at K-mart, and listen to my mother call, “Kindra! Kindra!” Hahahaha! I was such an asshole. But I was an adorable asshole. At Troy Cleaners, where my mother washed and dried our laundry, I made friends with a woman who worked the dry cleaning service. Every laundry day, I would wander away from my mother to visit a woman with a long, black ponytail. This woman, she bought me a present once–a dark haired girl doll in riding clothes, sat upon a pretty brown horse.
Even though people said I talked too much, they loved me–I was entertaining. My parents hardly ever sent me away when company came around. The adults would chill out with some pot and bottled beer, and they’d listen to me sing along with eight-tracks. I had an awesome microphone–one of those big foam orange ones that plugged into the stereo. My favorite request was the Sesame Street theme.
I was a loud talker as a child. At the dinner table at home, I was often told to use my “restaurant voice.” The request was always presented to me as if it were a game for the whole family to play. But I was never accused of being a stupid child…
In elementary school, I was one of the kids who always had their desk moved to front of the classroom, facing the wall. In first grade, my talking was so problematic, I spent half the year sitting beside the teacher. Mrs. Rawson was my teacher’s name, and she was fucking mean; I had to eat lunch in the classroom–facing the wall–and I would cry when I opened my lunchbox. See, my mother always wrote notes on my napkin, or banana peel: Have good day! I love you, love Mom. Mrs. Rawson would say, “Oh, keep on crying. I like this song.”
My second grade teacher, Mrs. Hanchett, grew so annoyed with my mouth one day, she came at me and flipped my desk over, then went out into the hallway–she stayed out there for a very long time. The classroom was so stunned, not one kid laughed at me.
Despite my excessive, disruptive talking, I made good grades in elementary school. I graduated high school with a 4.0 grade point average, and in college, I was on the Dean’s List every semester. Shit, I was even an exemplary employee (who talked too fucking much during meetings, and cussed like a sailor ALL THE GODDAMNED TIME).
When my daughter began school, I knew what was coming. My girl, she was moved around every classroom by every one of her teachers; joke was on them, because my daughter was friendly and talkative with everyfuckingone. Her report cards all read similarly to the ones I presented to my parents: Excellent student, but talks too much. Above average, but her talking is disruptive. Please talk to your child about the importance of respecting her classmates–her talking frustrates them.
I’m proud to say that my daughter graduated high school with Honors, and she is now employed as a pharmacy technician; she talks to people all day.
I’m home alone while my husband works ten hours, so I the only person I have to talk to is my kitty, Melvin Cornelius. He’s a great listener.