Saturday, July 14, 2007

Talk to Me (Joni Mitchell)

My friend M was nominated for the following award, and tagged me (below) - I told her it was both a hoot and an honor and I'd graciously accept... and it even comes in silver, my favorite color... of hair *and* jewelry... :-)

" schmooze (shmz) Slang v. intr. To converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection.

Now, it is my turn to share the wealth and pass along the honor to 5 worthy bloggers. But, which ones? There are so many lovely schmoozing ladies and gents out there! Ok, using the definition of schmooze above, I nominate:

My dear friend Susan at Optimistic Voices because she is lovely and southern and is the best schmoozer I have ever met! This woman never, ever takes no for an answer and you find yourself groveling at her Birkenstock-clad feet and thanking her for it.

So, here are the Schmoozer Rules:

1. If you are the recipient of The Power of Schmooze Award, write a post with links to 5 blogs that have schmoozed you into submission.

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the award.

3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Power of Schmooze Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote (there is an alternative silver version if gold doesn’t fit your blog). "

So... I guess I earned this award honestly as M, who's known me over a decade, can attest - I'm one of those people that can talk to anybody... but what I've come to think that *really* means is that I *listen* to everybody. Whether it's the doctor's waiting room or in line at Target or in a group of friends, I just seem to have one of those faces that invites conversation - when I'm with someone, I'm paying attention and giving them my whole self. I am genuinely interested in other people and their stories, stories - I am fascinated by the life experiences of others...

My persuasive powers do tend along the lines of Roslyn Carter's steel magnolia reputation, as I grew up in Atlanta and still maintain a Southern drawl (one friend refers to my voice as mellifluous) - I'm easy-going and have a high tolerance for frustration, which makes some people (mistakenly) think doormat. I go out of my way to avoid conflict and attempt to accommodate everyone's way of thinking/doing... but when push comes to metaphorical shove, if I feel strongly about something, I have no trouble expressing my opinions and preferences - I believe this behavior traces back to growing up in an alcoholic household, where my father "accused" my mother of controlling everything/everyone. I didn't/don't want to be that so I lay low if the choice is immaterial to me - however, I *will* make a decision if no one else steps up!

Back to the power of schmoozing... I've always been a people person and, whether coordinating our elementary school PTA Cultural Arts Fair or organizing a crossing-state-lines-for-a-favorite-musical-artist road trip or booking a monthly concert series, I do believe I have the gift of encouraging people to "sign up" - I'd like to think it's not that I'm trying to sell the proverbial bridge or swampland, but because I'm enthusiastic about my passions... and how in the world could anyone resist and not be thrilled about being involved as well?!?

Come on, Just Do It - you know you want to (and the first one's free... :-)

P.S. My book choice not only fits the theme, but is also perfect because M turned me on to Elizabeth Berg's writing when we first met... <3

SONG: Talk to Me by Joni Mitchell

BOOK: Talk Before Sleep by Elizabeth Berg

POEM: What I Like and Don't Like by Philip Schultz

I like to say hello and goodbye.
I like to hug but not shake hands.
I prefer to wave or nod. I enjoy
the company of strangers pushed
together in elevators or subways.
I like talking to cab drivers
but not receptionists. I like
not knowing what to say.
I like talking to people I know
but care nothing about. I like
inviting anyone anywhere.
I like hearing my opinions
tumble out of my mouth
like toddlers tied together
while crossing the street,
trusting they won't be squashed
by fate. I like greeting-card clich├ęs
but not dressing up or down.
I like being appropriate
but not all the time.
I could continue with more examples
but I'd rather give too few
than too many. The thought
of no one listening anymore—
I like that least of all.

QUOTE: "When we talk about understanding, surely it takes place only when the mind listens completely - the mind being your heart, your nerves, your ears - when you give your whole attention to it." ~ J. Krishnamutri

1 comment:

  1. Ah...Talk Before Sleep..sigh...I remember how long it took me to read the book, I was so afraid of facing the subject matter..and then once I did I insisted that everyone read it! *grin*

    Wonderful post, Susan!