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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014

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I like a conversation that cuts to the chase.
I like a conversation that cuts to the chase.

You got something to say?

Anybody that's spent more than 15 minutes with me will tell you I'm a bit of a crab-ass. I'm cool with it by now and I've accepted the fact that, on the surface, I'm something of a curmudgeon.

And while there are a great many little things that chap my posterior, few things grate at me more than conversationally inept people.

Among my major annoyances are people that call me -- especially later in the evening -- that have absolutely nothing to say. One of my closest friends -- and, yes, Sara ... I'm using your name -- is notorious for this.

Here's a brief synopsis of one of our regular conversations:

(Phone rings)
ME: Hello.
SARA: Hi.
ME: What's going on?
SARA: Nothing.
ME: (pause) OK...
ME: (another pause)
SARA: So what's up?
ME: Nothing. You called me.
SARA: I just wanted to say hi.
ME: Hi.
SARA: (pause) ...

You can guess where it goes from here. After a few minutes, I'm ready to pull the hair out of my head. What's the point of calling somebody if you have absolutely nothing to say? I don't get it.

My friends wonder why I'm more prone to e-mail, IM or text conversations. It's just quicker, easier and more to the point. No need for idle chit chat, just tell me what you need and let's both be on our merry ways.

Then, of course, there is the "haircut conversation," as I call it.

Earlier today, I had my man Gunther give me a nice trim. I was long overdue for one and now look noticeably less-shaggy (which will make my great-grandmother, who said I look like a bum, much happier). Whenever somebody gets a haircut, people will point it out; it's human nature.

Of course, most people won't say, "hey, you got a haircut."

Instead, the response is more like the one given to me by the better half today:

"Hey, did you get a haircut?"

Really? No, dear. I just washed it and styled it differently. And my magic shampoo makes the last inch of your hair invisible. It's a good deal. Ugh.

There are other little idiosyncrasies that drive me up the wazoo, as well: one ex-girlfriend knew how to rile me up by asking "how many minutes" when I said I'd be ready or someplace in short amount of time; people that end every statement with a voice inflection similar to a question; people that add a possessive " ‘s" to everything; the phrase "just sayin'" ... the list goes on and on and on.

Now that I've vented, what about you? Use the talkback feature below to share your conversational frustrations.

Talkbacks

PacoMunsin | March 10, 2009 at 1:03 p.m. (report)

34933 ChateauDweller - I don't understand your question...

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ChateauDweller | March 10, 2009 at 11:04 a.m. (report)

I'm confused....what does Dave Begel have to do with my post?

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sandstorm | March 10, 2009 at 10:38 a.m. (report)

hate it when people write "one in the same".
the correct phrase is "one and the same".

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PacoMunsin | March 10, 2009 at 9:54 a.m. (report)

34933 Good point ChateauDweller. I hate it when people are named Dave Begel. How annoying!! Right?

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ChateauDweller | March 10, 2009 at 8:34 a.m. (report)

I hate when writers use "to be sure" and phrases like "MU has a great guard IN Dominic James." All "to be sure" does is create a pause in the sentence....just use a comma if that is what you want, otherwise you are writing conversationally!

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