OK, you think I can't shut up? Let's just say it didn't start with me. One story after another. Aaarrgggh! She told a 10-minute story about her car breaking down. The dramatic core of the story was she was assisted by a man who had tattooes and only a few teeth. Yes, I thought, there are indeed tattooed people who are better at caring for those in need than dental hygiene.
This story (one of many) was told through hysterical laughter, and accompanied by wild gestures, and finished with the fervent expectation that this story is funny and interesting to you. And painful disappointment when you just looked puzzled back.
The relative also is constitutionally unable to ride in the car without talking constantly. There is a stream of consciousness commentary that just assaults the senses. Every road side must be read aloud and commented upon. Every change in scenary must be mentioned. Every exit discussed. Endless inane questions must be asked.
"Oh, look, there's a Dunkin Donuts. Do you like Dunkin Donuts? I really miss going to Dunkin Donuts. We used to go to Dunkin Donuts a lot. Didn't you used to go to Dunkin Donuts a lot? Oh, look, this exit is for Pottstown. Is Pottstown near here? Do you still go to Pottstown a lot? Did you say you go to Dunkin Donuts a lot?"
She just sits there with this default setting of saying out loud every thought that comes into her mind, over and over again. You have LITTLE CHOICE but to start a conversation just to stop the inanities. Every story has a banal moral that is screamingly obvious to the casual observer. There is no detail too small to relate. Nothing that passes by is too unimportant to discuss. And every story must be histrionically rendered with enthusiasm usually reserved for telling something, I don't know, funny. Or insightful. Or interesting.
Criminy. Three days and I'm utterly exhausted....
Whew! There, I feel a bit better.
Jebus. And my ex-girlfriend called me yappy. At least I can summarize an anecdote.