Friday, September 12, 2008

The Strong Silent Type

Any of you that have met me in person know that I’m a pretty social girl. I love my friends, enjoy big noisy groups, and, as Miss Mia can attest to, am not entirely shy and retiring in a karaoke club. Granted, I do like to think I know when it’s a good time to just shut up and enjoy the quiet, but, considering I’m a writer for a living, you gotta figure I’m a pretty communicative gal.

Mr. Big is not.

Mr. Big is one of the best looking guys I’ve ever been out with. Hot with a capital HAWT. Gorgeous brown eyes with these really long lashes, chiseled features, a sexy little goatee thing going on, and a body to die for. I’m pretty sure I’ve blogged at least three times on his abs alone. Yeah, he’s that yum. When I’m with him, I almost feel the need to pinch myself to make sure he’s real. When we first started going out I thought I could happily just sit and stare at him forever.

However, I’m beginning to wonder if I didn’t jinx myself with that thought.

Last night we went out to dinner and then to see a play that a friend of mine (The Bicycle Thief) is performing in. The dinner was great, Big found this awesome Asian fusion restaurant downtown where the decor was really interesting – lots of bamboo and wind chimes - and the food was delicious. But, the conversation was almost non-existent. I’m not sure if he had something else on his mind, was tired from a long day, or just plain bored with me, but he was so quiet. Just sort of staring out the window, silently eating. Which, of course, prompted me to scramble for anything to say to fill the awkward silence. I talked about the weather, the décor, the architecture outside, probably asked him how his day was three times before I finally gave up. I’m sure he thought I was a total bimbo coming up with all these inane questions to ask him, but I was starting to envy the couples around us who seemed to have an effortless stream of conversation going. At our table I could almost hear the crickets chirping.

By the time we left I was exhausted from trying to come up with lame conversation starters. And, I was pretty sure he thought I was either a) incredibly nosey (“So, where did you grow up?” “Uh huh, and you have a sister?” “And her husband works where?”) or b) the ditziest girl alive (“Ever wonder where seedless watermelon comes from? I mean, there’s no seed.” “How are those Cowboys doing? They play football, right?” “Look, a pigeon!”)

Luckily we made it to the theater and slipped into the back just in time to see The Bicycle Thief make his grand entrance onto the stage, and my need to fill the ever thickening silence was put on hold. Halfway through, I got a phone call, so at intermission I was thankfully saved from sounding like Inane Chatter Girl by slipping out to return the call. But, by the time the play ended and we were waiting outside to meet up with my actor buddy, the silence had descended again. I countered by commenting on the weather. Again.

I could have kissed The Bicycle Thief when he came out of the theater to meet us (in fact, I think I did) and jumped right into normal person conversation that didn’t require fifty false starts on my part. He brought along another one of the players from the show, and we all went out for drinks. And I swear it was the first time I felt I could relax all night.

Which leads me to a very disturbing realization: Mr. Big and I have nothing to talk about. I’m not sure if we’ve run out of things to say to each other, or just don’t have enough in common, or he’s just settled into his role as strong silent type and doesn’t think we need to say anything more. But, I’m pretty sure if we have another silent dinner like last night, I’m going to end up talking about organizing my sock drawer or the clockwise rotation of toilet bowl water. Or, heaven forbid, more weather. So, I need help coming up with something activity-focused that we can do next time. Something that lends itself to doing more than talking, so the silence doesn't fill the air like a big awkward blanket. Any ideas, ladies?

~Trigger Happy (and way too chatty) Halliday


Jenyfer Matthews said...

Is he *always* that way or was it a one off? Maybe he had something on his mind that had him preoccupied? Let's hope it was just one time thing - you can plan all the "active" dates you like but eventually you're going to have to talk to each other if it's going to go anywhere...

Terri Osburn said...

The dreaded silence. I don't mind not talking if it's a comfortable silence, but this was obviously not that. My suggestion would be to call his bluff and just keep my mouth shut. Though I admit that would be hard as I too am a talker by nature.

I'm not sure what activities you could do as Mr. Big doesn't sound like the roller-blading, pottery-making type. Perhaps wine tasting would loosen him up? And if you're drinking wine, there's no reason to be talking all the time.

Gemma Halliday said...

Jenyfer - He is kind of the quiet type. I was hoping that as we got to know each other more he'd be a little more talkative. But last night was especially quiet.


Gemma Halliday said...

Terrio - K, plan B is call his bluff. It will be the quietest dinner ever. Lol!

Wine tasting would be perfect... but he's quit drinking for a month. A health challenge thing. A good thing, but I'm going to have to rely on something other than alcohol to loosen him up. Any other ideas?


Terri Osburn said...

Since the guy I'm seeing actually talks more than I do, and that is a total miracle, I'm afraid I'm out of ideas. I would say get him to talk about himself (as men are prone to do) but he doesn't sound willing to do that.

Does he like sports or does he have a hobby? Maybe he plays golf? You could ask him to teach you to play. Or if you know already, you could show him up. LOL!

Keri Ford said...

I agree with Terrio. Sports or his hobby and YOU ask questions. My hubby was so nervous the night we met. He wouldn't hardly talk to me! I started asking questions about the football game we were at and WOW flood gates opened. Men love to talk about things they love.

Course, there's always the honest route. "Is something on your mind? You've been awfully quiet lately."

Anonymous said...

Damn, I was going to suggest alcohol too... works every time.
Although, if he's usually the quiet type anyways, and this was just an accentuated version, it makes sense that it could have been a one time thing. I guess if a quiet person has a quiet day it can easily turn into chirping crickets.
I'm not sure I would know.
Of course, you could always go on the offensive & plan things that don't offer a lot of talk-time until he can drink again.

P.S. Gemma, cheers to the best karoke back up dancers ever!
P.P.S. All this talk makes me want to go wine tasting...

Gemma Halliday said...

Football! He's totally into football. But... I even tried that trick! I asked how his favorite team was doing. I got a, "Good." Did they win this week. "Yep." How many games have they played? "One." Cue crickets. Sigh.

I guess I'll chalk this one up to, as you said, Mia, a quiet guy having a particularly quiet day. AT least I hope. He's so cute I'd hate to think we've actually run out of things to talk about.

Hmm... maybe we can take up golf...


Elisabeth Naughton said...

So, I need help coming up with something activity-focused that we can do next time. Something that lends itself to doing more than talking, so the silence doesn't fill the air like a big awkward blanket.

Ahem...Well...there's one thing most men are into that doesn't require a lot of talking...and if he's doing it right, who cares if he's the strong silent type?

Buuuut that might not be the activity suggestion you're looking for. ;)

(Don't mind me, I've finally gotten to the steamy scene in my wip...)

You need a silly-activity date to get him to loosen up. Oktoberfests are big this time of year. Find a chicken dance to get him into.

And what is up with the no alcohol thing for a month? Is it Lent already?

Anonymous said...

Oh, been there, done that. I'm actually pretty shy in "real" life and I once dated a guy who was even shyer than I am (which at the time I didn't think was possible). Talk about an uncomfortable evening.

No suggestions on how to draw Mr. Big out, though. Everyone else seems to have good ideas, though.

Keri Ford said...

Gemma you should appreciate this silent time. I WISH WISH WISH I could get some silent time out of my hubby sometimes!

ps. when I asked football questions, we were AT the game. So I was all, what's that 25sec clock mean? What's his fav team? innocently talking up their rivial should light a fire under his butt!

Keri Ford said...

Thought of something else...DIRTY TALK! Next time you're out and he's window gazing, say something totally sexual, BUT...BUT! when he looks at you all confused and will probably ask you to repeat yourself, blow it off like you have no idea what he's talking about.

Do this several times a night and it might perk him up a little.

Gemma Halliday said...

Lol! Kerri - I love your suggestion! I'm so doing that! We'll call it the Let's See if I Can Make Mr. Big Blush in Public game.

You know, not that Elisabeth's suggestion wasn't good either. ;)

Yeah, but something silly sounds perfect. Maybe I can get him to go bowling or something like that that I totally suck at. Could at least lead to some laughter.


Gemma Halliday said...

Okay, I totally just spelled your name wrong in that last comment, Keri. Sorry!!!

Beth said...

My DH is also the silent type. I have learned to let him have his silence. I consider it a challenge to keep myself quiet. When that gets annoying I talk to other people and leave him be. I don't let him ruin my good time. Maybe try that. Talk to the waiter, the people next to you or get out your cell phone and call somebody. He might eventually get the jist... or not.

Annette Gallant said...

What about a double date? If there's another couple there, it might take some of the pressure off. And if the guy is his buddy, he'll probably loosen up and talk a lot more. That's how it works with my husband.

Good luck! Hope it works out for you. Mr. Big sounds pretty dreamy. :-)

Gemma Halliday said...

Thanks, Beth! Good to know that quiet doesn't necessarily mean lack of interest.

I do think maybe just finding someone else to talk to is a good idea. As soon as we met up with The Bicycle Thief, I was all about talking to him. TBC was so nice, he kept trying to include Big in the conversation. But, I'd given up at that point.


Gemma Halliday said...

A double date is a great idea, Annette! Hmm... Big did mention something about going up the coast with his buddy and buddy's girlfriend sometime...

I'll admit, I've been a little reluctant to introduce him to any of my friends for fear of jinxing it. Seriously, once all my friends meet and like a guy, something always goes wrong and we break up right after.
Which I don't want to do. 'Cause, yeah, he is pretty dreamy. ;)


Anonymous said...

Oooh, I agree, a double date or group outing is a pretty genius idea (even being alcohol free). Plus you get to go to the coast! Good Times... hopefully at least. Have you met this buddy & buddy g/f ?

catslady said...

ack my message got eaten.

catslady said...

I'm not so optimistic - sorry. I'd much rather have an ugly guy who cares enough to actually talk than a hunk who doesn't. My guy is fine if he wants to talk but if it's the other way around, he has a tendency to tune me out. You don't want a lifetime of that!