Beyond Babedom

We're (way) over 40. Deal with it.

Car Talk

When we were younger and living at home it was almost impossible to have a private conversation, one of those “deep” ones where you really let the other person see the real you. One reason was that it was hard not to be overheard by at least one family member. The other was, you were virtually never allowed to be alone with someone of the opposite sex, without some prying adult nearby.

So, why is it still so hard now, even with our own homes and thousands of ways to communicate, to find a place to just talk?

It seems like the best conversations take place in the car. It’s more personal than over the phone and occasionally even more intimate than in bed – because even though you’re just inches apart in a car, you really can’t turn and look at each other. And that makes it so much easier to say the hard things.

Doesn’t matter if it’s a friend or a partner (although, in most cases you probably wouldn’t be lying in bed next to a friend . . .in most cases). Talking in the car can have the effect of releasing you from inhibitions. Maybe because the driver can’t stare you down – and hopefully doesn’t try to – or because even though you’re right next to each other, you can find a pretext to look away (like pretending to be look over your shoulder when what you’re really doing is seeing the other person’s expression).

Back in the 60s and 70s, we all ended up in the car with our parents for long stretches of time at least occasionally. Which is where you talked to them. Or listened to them talk to each other. Kids spend a lot more time in the car now, but they’re so plugged in, who talks?

Kids text and sext and email and Facebook each other. But do they ever talk? And when they do talk, is it ever without also texting 3 other friends and emailing two more simultaneously? And that’s all while they’re watching the TV in the back of the SUV. TV in the car! Is talk really that dead?

Start to notice how often old people get left out of conversations. And then think about how¬† we’ll be lucky, when we’re truly old, if there ever are any.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, November 21st, 2010 at 5:23 PM and is filed under Socializing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  1. Maggie says:

    To a man;it is

  2. Linda S says:

    too funny as I type out my answer. LOL I still love to talk , boy do I love to talk LOL

  3. Camille says:

    Unfortunately I believe that today’s generation doesn’t know how to talk face-to-face, they have absolutely no social skills. They only communicate electronically and when they have to talk to someone they’re lost. I wonder how they’ll handle job interviews…

  4. Chris says:

    Conversation started to decline when our forebearers surrendered the thirst for new ideas and informed opinion abandoning the printed word and live lecture circuit, (Google Chautaqua, or follow this link http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/traveling-culture/essay.htm),
    to various forms, first of entertainment and now infotainment. Institutions of actual learning that used to teach people to think for themselves in a rational manner, now manufacture die cast androids for the myriad behemoth enterprises of commerce, service, entertainment and government that coagulate to form our culture and society. You wonder why the car is one of the last places we can exchange intimacies and ideas? It’s one of the last places where we can be together, unmolested by the illusory world of images and stories contrived to seduce our attention from the flesh and blood reality of others, to the real 3-D world of people, weather and the demands of concentration upon something other than our own confined sense of self-gratification. Of course with On Star, and nine zillion channels of XM Radio available, this last sanctuary of exposure to reality is also under assault, and as soon as BMW perfects an auto that can drive itself, we will all doubtless eventually succumb to the lotus eating diversions so prevalent in most other venues of our lives. Be not surprised that the young have surrendered their thoughts and souls to Facebook, Twitter, video gaming and trash “reality” programming that permeates our mass media; these forms of intercourse substitute for the hard work of the real thing; relationships, those messy compromising interactions in which real people look at themselves through the eyes of others and find so much lacking that they are driven, almost immediately back to the tele for another dip in “Survivor Fiji” crazy pond.

    I wouldn’t waste too much time worrying about how the elderly are left out of conversations. I’m 64, and we’re virtually the last generation to have experienced actual relationships requiring interactions of a serious nature. That vacant look we sometimes get; the trace of a smile as our gaze fixes on the middle distance, is us turning to those treasured memories such times, and bathing in the afterglow of what once was a civil, courteous and enlightened society.

  5. Richard says:

    text me and we can discuss it

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