Didja Hear About This?

Gratuitous funny picture of LOL cat reading the newspaper.

Why do people think that whatever they are reading is more important than what you’re doing? 

My dad and I were sitting companionably in his living room, each buried behind our respective sections of the Sunday paper.  I was perusing a fascinating article on something-or-other.  His article on a different something-or-other was even more fascinating, apparently.  

“Didja hear about this, Peg?” he said, and started reading aloud.

I mentally marked my spot, lowered the paper and looked up. When he came to the end of the passage he looked expectantly for my reaction.

“I DID not know that” I said.  I really hadn’t.  I smiled and went back to my paper.

I got through two more lines before Dad piped up again.  “Not only that, it says here…” and he launched into another not-to-be-missed tidbit from the aforementioned article.  I slowly lowered my paper.  When he finished the passage and looked over, I summoned up a reasonable facsimile of an interested expression.

“Really!”  I exclaimed with faint enthusiasm.

I resumed reading, marking my annoyance at the interruption with a mild snap of my paper.  Just a little snap.

I tried to take up where I left off, but I couldn’t concentrate.  I was waiting for the next read-aloud shoe to drop.  I didn’t have long to wait.  Dad jumped into the next paragraph without even checking to see if I was onboard.

I stayed hidden behind my section for a full two seconds before convincing myself such boorish behavior was beneath me, then slowly lowered it.  It looked like I was resigned to sharing this article with Dad, and it was time to give in with some semblance of grace.  I maintained a polite expression of interest for the duration.   More or less.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not picking on my dad.  He’s an interesting fellow.   It’s not him, it’s me.  When someone does something that annoys me, it’s usually because they’re forcing me to look in the mirror.

I do this same “didja hear” thing all the time.

When I read something that gets my dander up, especially if it’s political, I’ve got to share. My usual audience is my long-suffering hubby, Bill.  We always hurt the ones we love.

“Listen to what those num-nuts on Capitol Hill are doing now!” I’ll shriek in outrage, sharing the source of my anger with no regard for his agenda.

So they’re about to reveal whodunit on that cliff-hanger TV show he’s been watching all season?  Catch it later on Hulu. 

So the team he follows is one touchdown (or basket or tiddly-wink flip) away from the championship?  It’s only a game.

So he’s reading some dusty tome about the civil war?  Spoiler alert –  the North wins.

When my undies are in a bunch I’ve got to let somebody know about it right, damn now!

I’m ashamed when I realize how self-centered I’ve been.  From now on, I’m going to stop and consider the other person’s wishes before I decide to “share”. 

I can’t wait to get home and explain my new resolution to Bill.   He’s probably watching American Idol right now, but I KNOW he’d much rather talk about how considerate I’m going to be from now on.

Just one more day to vote for your fave in The Jacket Writing Competition.  C’mon, you know you want to!

About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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41 Responses to Didja Hear About This?

  1. gojulesgo says:

    hahaha You’re so right, Peg! I was just telling the dog about this hilarious blog post I was reading, and he looked annoyed that I was interrupting his nether-region grooming. He has no appreciation for the efforts to which I go to make him laugh. I hope your husband is more understanding than Uncle Jesse.


  2. bigsheepcommunications says:

    I share your annoyance at newspaper-reading-sharers. Newspaper reading should be a solitary pursuit. Multiple people can read the paper simultaneously, in the same room, only if they understand this rule.


  3. In our house, it’s not the newspaper or a book we’re reading…but “Look at this amazing youtube video!” (and this one, and this one, and this one, too) when I’m in the middle of something, like grading. Mind you grading is important work. I try, I do try to be considerate but… So the next time this happens, I will visualize T-Bob in lipstick and smile along.


    • pegoleg says:

      If we had the interwebz at home, I’m SURE we’d fall into that trap, too. One little peek at a YouTube video, or LOL cat site and you’re in the zone for hours.


  4. zen city says:

    great point – thanks for sharing! I will become more aware of interruption in general – peace & fun to you!


  5. Oh, I feel ya, Peg. At my house I have three kids to deal with. This is why I do all of my reading in a locked bathroom with the fan on to drown everyone out. Some days I’m in there for hours before they realize I’m writing another blog post on my iPad. And no, I don’t do this while on the throne. I have a secret doorway that leads to a tunnel to another secret room where there’s a desk, a couch, and a mini-fridge stocked with beer and chocolate.


    • pegoleg says:

      Wow, you have a Bat Cave??? I’ll be the Girl Wonder. I’m on my way over- have Alfred chill a little Muscato for me, and I prefer milk chocolate (Yeah, I know the dark is better for you. I KNOW!)


  6. notquiteold says:

    Okay, I do that. But I HATE when someone does that to me. (meaning my husband of course).


    • pegoleg says:

      Alright, ALRIGHT! Jeez, you’re relentless! I confess – I really think this is just rude when someone ELSE does it. When I do it, it’s just because I have something important to share and everyone else should listen up.


  7. Considering how many people avoid human conversation by instead interacting with their smart phones and other devices, perhaps it is a good thing that some folks engaged in solitary actions are eager to start speaking to one another? However, I know how frustrating this particular scenario can be. I often find my reading time cut off by a talker who isn’t sharing anything from text or video, but simply wants to give voice to each random thought as it occurs. I have resigned myself to setting the book down in these circumstances.


    • pegoleg says:

      Hey, hi there stranger! Nice to hear from you again. You have a really good point, here. When you see so many people sitting side by side, looking at their computers and not talking, maybe interrupting isn’t so bad.


  8. Is that silly cat done with the sports section yet? Or am I going to have to keep interrupting her/him with interesting stories until s/he throws it at me?


  9. pegoleg says:

    Like any self-respecting cat, she’s checking her brackets. Be patient.


  10. Dana says:

    Ooooh, guilty as charged! I didn’t even realize I was doing this (all the bloody time) until reading your post. Ack. I’m definitely not going to show my husband this post– maybe he doesn’t know how irritating it is when I interrupt him all the time to talk about nothing in particular? Ignorance is truly bliss, right? 😉


  11. Tar-Buns says:

    Truly love the cat picture. She is so pissed off that you are interrupting her reading! 🙂
    You forgot to mention when Dad gets going on his jokes/emails. Oh, the joy! :0
    Maybe I’ll show this to Pat as he thinks I’m like his Mom and Dad’s dynamic, willing to drop everything I’m doing to help/admire/discuss his latest project. Sometimes I’m guilty as well.
    That’s what our vows are for, me thinks. Love the best, tolerate the other 🙂


    • pegoleg says:

      Tar, you speak truth for all the hear – your last line is right on. That’s something I have to keep reminding myself, and I don’t always do a good job of it.


  12. Al says:

    For your information Peg, you don’t flip a wink you “flick” it. Great strategy and profound thought go into a Wink tournament, so any mundane distraction like someone wanting to read an article on the start of WW III could prove disastrous.

    I only hope the ETWA (English Tiddlywinks Association) doesn’t find out you refer to it as “just a game”.


    • pegoleg says:

      When I first saw your comment I thought “Winking? I didn’t wink at my dad. I didn’t wink at anyone in this story. Jeez, poor Al has finally gone round the bend.” Then I figured it out. Now it occurs to me you know an inordinate amount about flicking winks. Do you think that’s healthy?


  13. Laura says:

    That is a really great picture — it really looks like the cat is peering disapprovingly at you over its glasses.


  14. Lenore Diane says:

    I cannot wait until my boys find the clarity you seem to have found…. 🙂
    This was great, O’Peg-o!


    • pegoleg says:

      It’s hard for kids not to interrupt because they’re so excited about what they have to share. That’s kind of an endearing trait in a child; not so much in the rest of us.


  15. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    Oh, but I am guilty of this! All of it. Well, except writing that really awesome ending of giggle-inspiringness.

    I’d best think on this post. And actually act on it, the next time I’m about to tune out something Ba.D. says only to interrupt him twenty seconds later with my own fascinating tidbit!


  16. You said it, Peg: “When someone does something that annoys me, it’s usually because they’re forcing me to look in the mirror.” So true, my friend.

    Funny description of your newspaper reading with your dad… 🙂


  17. mj monaghan says:

    Peg, I can’t let MLB (my lovely bride) read this! I do this to her all the time.

    Well, you know, because what I read or say, really IS more important than anything she’s in the middle of reading or doing! hehehe


  18. Oh Peg, your post had me in stitches, presicely because I could definately see myself, and my husband, and my kids, and my best friend (need I go on?) in it. It’s so funny, because we ALL do it, and we don’t even realise it (or sometimes we do, and just don’t care). There is nothing more annoying when I’m busy watching something on tv (that can’t be paused or rewound) and my hubby comes in to tell me something. I want to listen. I want to be supportive. But dammit, I’m watching Desperate Housewives and I’m about to find out who that strange new neighbour really is! So I keep eyeing the tv, hoping he’ll get it. Sometimes he does, most of the time he doesn’t. Then again, when I want to tell him something, I’ll rush in while he’s busy watching a programme, and just start talking. A part of me realises that I’m doing to him what I hate him doing to me, but then again, I figure if he wanted me to keep quiet, he’d tell me, right? Lol. People are very strange, and I keep thinking that if I could get all of our little quirks into a book, it would be a bestseller.


  19. pattisj says:

    Mirror, Mirror…I resemble that remark, too. Poor hubby is always muting whatever show he just landed on while I try to share stuff with him.


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