Fill The Space

For those of us who like a chat you’ll know exactly what I mean. There’s a group of three or four of you, you’re acquaintances more than friends. You gather each week at the same place, maybe it’s gymnastics or that half an hour between pick up and drop off. Perhaps by accident you’ve ended up in the waiting room of the doctors surgery at the same time.

The silence between you begins slowly but builds at a rapid pace, it somehow suffocates the room. You can hear every sound, a clock ticks loudly, your stomach makes a noise. ¬†Those initial seconds turn into thirty more, before you reach what you feel has been an extraordinary awkward minute. Or was it an hour? It felt like it could have been an hour. Is there really nothing to say? You jump in to save the day, because somewhere in your extroverted we all need to be friends mind, you truly believe that’s what you’re doing. Saving the day. Logic tells you that we need to talk, this could be so much better if we were talking.

A voice in your head shouts FILL THE SPACE, SAY SOMETHING, ANYTHING! JUST FILL THE SPACE.

And thats when it happens. The inappropriate joke. The obvious observation. The story about your latest bikini wax disaster. The snippet that will haunt you in your bed at night.

Why did I say that?

I keep telling myself that I will become a better listener. I’ll be the person who sits in silence, waiting.

But this could be so much better if we were talking.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15026987107815016616 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle

    Before we moved to Singapore I was rabidly anti-Halloween but changed my mind about 2 minutes into my first Trick or Treating. It’s not about candy – most of that gets binned in a month’s time – it’s about community and hanging out with the neighbours!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15026987107815016616 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle

    I reckon I may have been anti Halloween as well. I just didn’t get it. All of the treats my guys get mysteriously disappears within 24 hours. And then the gate guards on the compound weirdly add on a few kilos. :-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15026987107815016616 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle

    I mentioned on my FB page that my feed had more heated discussions on Halloween than on election day – it’s a divisive topic in Oz!

    I was an expat kid so got to experience Halloween and missed when we returned to Sydney. As you say, I think a lot of Australians miss the point.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15026987107815016616 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle

    It’s the one thing that takes the gloss off of Oz in a heartbeat when the kids talk of moving home. “Oh, but they don’t Halloween in Australia do they Mum?” immediately they all re-think the idea :-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15026987107815016616 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle

    In the little villages I grew up in, in the UK, All Hallows Eve was old fashionedly good – trick or treating and apple bobbing and guising. It’s a festival…bring it on I say!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15026987107815016616 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle

    I love the apple bobbing! I think so too, a festival of fun. xx

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15026987107815016616 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle

    I loved this piece (was with Donna at the party – she pushed me in the pool, but despite this I can confirm she looked just fabulous), despite what you say being almost diametrically opposed to what I said in my blog – http://www.trialsofatrailingspouse.com – ‘fraid I really hate trick or treating, but bring on the parties any time!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15026987107815016616 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle

    Can you give Donna big hug for me? She’s so much fun, that I’m now a little jealous of you. I’ve lived in Houston and I know how much trick or treating goes down, good luck :-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15026987107815016616 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle

    We have celebrated Halloween the last 2 years and I now love it. My kids have been planning all year and we go to a friends house for a big party. He is American so it is totally over the top with decorations and so much fun.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15026987107815016616 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle

    Will do :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15026987107815016616 4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle

    I used to be anti Halloween… thought it was another American holiday encroaching on Aussie culture (its actually not American). And besides, Easter is all about a rabbit, which is a pest and Christmas is a fat dude in a winer suit, both of which are surrounded in sugary treats too. So the argument of its all about the lollies and its unaustralian don’t count. Halloween even has Christian notes to it… which was another argument I heard this year, that Easter and Christmas are christian holidays therefore should be celebrated in Aus (I thought we were multicultural)…. well Christmas and Easter were originally Pagan… so that ones out too.

    I think anything that promotes kids creativity and a sense of community and family time is a good thing.