Have you ever noticed how people talking on the phone always feel the need to make up some BS reason about why they have to hang up? I first picked up on this several months ago and have since realized – through extensive observation and research – that it is a peculiar habit shared by many of us. Across the country, even now, millions of people are saying goodbyes and uttering lies as they part ways.
Why do we do this?Why can’t we just hang up the phone?Does the person initiating the departure feel guilty about wanting to go?Does ending a conversation equate ending a relationship unless there’s a good reason why someone has to go?I don’t know.But whatever the cause, this has got to stop before I lose my mind.
I have one friend in particular who is especially partial to this practice. After fifteen to twenty minutes, he will begin to lose interest and will relegate his responses to grunts or – when he must – one word replies. After several minutes disinterested silence, he will inevitably utter something like, “Well, I think the mailman just came so I should probably let you go,” and we’ll say goodbye.
Apart from the obvious fact that no one under the age of sixty cares when the mailman comes, the irksome thing about this statement is that it is not a reason for a conversation to end. And, lest you think I’m just picking on an isolated lapse in reasoning, let me assure you: THEY’RE ALL LIKE THIS!
I’ve heard, “Well, I think the sun’s coming out so I should probably let you go.” “I was thinking about making a sandwich so I should probably let you go.” Or, from a friend who was driving, “Looks like we’re coming up on some traffic here, I should probably let you go.”
Now listen, I understand that it can be a chore to talk to me for fifteen minutes. I’m not upset that they want to get off the phone. I’d just like a little more truthfulness in our conclusions. We both know they don’t have to go anywhere, they just want to get off the phone, and I’m cool with that.
Why don’t they just say, “Well Kent, you’re boring the hell out of me, I’m going to hang up now”? Consider this a call to all my friends for more transparency in our dealings. How can I tell you about my struggles with gluttony and sloth if you can’t even tell me that you want to go? Shoot me straight. I’m a big boy. I can take it. What I can’t take is one more, “Well, I was thinking about rolling over to tan my back so I should probably let you go.” It’s deceitful, it’s hurtful and it’s tearing us apart.
That is all.