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Posts Tagged ‘Over-sharing’

Um, we can hear you...

Recently a friend of mine told me a story about how she was taking the shuttle to Newark Airport and was about to pull out something to read when the gentleman next to her started an animated cellphone conversation. He proceeded to talk about intensely personal issues with the person on the other end including family struggles and therapy sessions. It was a crowded train. She had no where to go and sat there as a captive but not necessarily willing audience member to the conversation. Who needs a book when you have a real life drama going on beside you?

This got me thinking about life in NYC. There are an abundance of people in the city and tons of people who over share in very public, crowded places. The other day I was sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office when the woman across from me got on her cellphone and proceeded to explain to her mother  what was going on with her medical issues. I pretended to be checking my email but I have to admit, a voyeur like me has a hard time trying not to listen especially when I am sitting within hearing distance. In my defence, waiting to see the doctor is incredibly boring and any distraction is a welcome relief 😉

I have also witnessed numerous couples having full out screaming matches on the street. As hundreds (no joke) of strangers are walking by, they are airing their dirty laundry at the top of their lungs. No one really seems to pay too much attention unless they are actually physically in the way. I guess this is what most people are counting on in NYC- everyone is soo busy with their own lives that they really don’t have time to be eavesdropping or they really don’t care. Both of these statements are true.

New Yorkers are also supreme multi-taskers. There are conversations that are had on the way from one destination to another. Unlike other cities where people drive from place to place and have the privacy to hold chats in their cars, many New Yorkers do not have this luxury, we walk. As we walk we make phone calls. I can’t tell you how many people I have passed on the phone using the line “Ya, Mom, I hear you but I have to go, I am going to lose you,  I am about to go into the subway”. Perfect excuse, right?

I guess the only problem I have with the over-share is when I can’t escape it and it intrudes into my personal space. There are some things I would rather not hear about. If there are a dozen empty seats at the park, please do not sit beside me and start chatting with a friend about your recent drugged out, sexed crazed adventure. If we are stuck in an elevator I really don’t want to hear about your mucus build up. And when I am behind you in line at Trader Joe’s keep your nanny and baby daddy issues to yourself. Because if you do, then I could check my emails, twitter and make my own “over-sharing” phone calls in peace 😉

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