I hate total silence, it doesn’t suit me and sometimes I think it’s a frightening prophesy of what my life could be like one day. This goes for all kinds of silence, be it in my flat, my car or even, in a conversation.
The latter often sees me jibber-jabbering away to fill the air space, often being able to talk endless rubbish for hours…
Gosh, do you think I could be Prime Minister?
So, this rather unfortunate crap-talking trait emerged at the weekend and I am still cringing now. In fact, driving back from Gloucestershire last night saw me slapping my forehead whenever I remembered it, which got me some very odd looks off a cute boy in the adjacent car when we were stuck in a traffic jam. Dammit, am I ever going to get a date?
So there I was with Jenny M wandering around the local farmers’ market when I saw that Katie Fforde was signing books.
She’s one of my favourite authors you see, and right this minute I am devouring her latest book at breakneck speed. Trying to be cool, I dragged Jenny M to the area where the signing was taking place and casually loitered, wondering what the heck to do.
And then, as if by some hideous magic trick, I suddenly heard myself saying hello to Katie Fforde. It took me about five seconds to realize that I had bounded up to her like an enthusiastic golden Labrador puppy and she was looking at me trying to work out if she knew me or not.
Quicker than you can say, ‘I’m a scary stalker!’ I began to jabber and, this is no joke, I think I averaged about 60 words a second in which time I managed to tell her at least three times that I loved her book. In all, I think I allowed her about one second to get any sort of word in, and I am still not quite sure what that was.
I was so completely starstruck that even my pupils were star-shaped, which genuinely shocked me as I had always, perhaps rather foolishly, imagined that if I did meet someone I admired I would at least be able to hold a coherent conversation.
So, in the light of this embarrassing mishap, I am going to learn to savour silences, to nod sagely in conversations instead of cracking all the jokes, and cover my mouth with masking tape whenever I am in Stroud, in case I ever meet poor Katie Fforde again!