Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The sentence finisher


One of my favorite t.v. shows of all time was Seinfeld.

He managed to take the mundane moments of life and turn them into an hysterical 1/2 hour show that we couldn't wait to view every Thursday night for years.

One of the watermarks of a Seinfeld episode, was his ability to make an everyday behavior bigger than life.

One episode that clearly stands out is that of the "close talker", played by actor Judge Reinhold.
(pictured above in Fast Times at Ridgemont High)

You know this person... the one that invades your space, your personal invisible boundary, moving right smack into your face while talking to you.

The other day, my husband noticed something about a friend of ours, that I had not been aware of.

He finishes your sentences...he's a sentence finisher!

I couldn't help but laugh hysterically, thinking, this is one episode Seinfeld missed!

This is the person who, while you're talking, is busy thinking up the best ending to your sentences or sometimes, your entire story. Before you can spit the words out of your mouth...they have already judged and executed the remainder of your story.

Now, if you're a brand new couple, this behavior is quite adorable. "Oh, don't you just love Susie and Joe together...they're so in tune with one another that they finish eachother's sentences".
"How romantic, how cute, how adorable, how endearing...they complete eachother".

Of course, cut to that same couple 20 years later, and Susie is reaming Joe for constantly cutting her off, never letting her finish a sentence, or get a word in edge-wise, and for doubting that she has a valuable thought in her head.

Joe is screaming at Susie for being a blustering loud mouthed bitch, who never shuts up unless she has a bowl of icecream in front of her.

(no, no, despite what you may be thinking, I'm not talking about me and Mr. Cruisin...he knows to keep his mouth shut when I'm talking).

Now, if you're not a couple, and just two people talking...it's a little more difficult to lambast the person for cutting you off. I mean, afterall, that lambasting should really be reserved for those closest to us...wives, husbands, children, parents...you know, the people we love and care about the most.

Never waist a good reaming on someone you don't really care about intimately and passionately.

So what to do when confronted with this kind of person? I say, why not have fun with it.

And here's how...

See how many sentences or stories you can start, and have that person finish. You know, kind of like mad libs or a sentence completion game. Become a sentence-finisher enabler!

Keep score in your head. How many sentences were they able to complete? How many entire stories of yours did they already know the ending to?

And why not just keep increasing the stakes as you go along...start telling about your bathroom habits; relay a story about your sexual escapades with your husband...

and see where the sentence finisher takes you!

Yahoo...what fun!

So, the next time you find a sentence finisher's behavior annoying, it's time to look in the mirror, girlfriend (sorry if you're a guy...what's the guy equivalent to girlfriend?) and ask yourself...

How have I let this person down? How have I not enabled them in becoming the most proficient sentence-finisher they could be?

Perhaps you have been unwilling to share, openly and honestly. What's a little sexual escapades story among friends...

And bathroom habits? ...why, crap, I've already shared the intimate details of my colonoscopy with you...

Perhaps we can do a "sentence finishing" test run right here...go ahead, fill in the blanks.

Okay, here goes...

last night Mr. Cruisin and I.........

17 comments:

Mia said...

Seinfeld definitely missed this one!!!! We love Seinfeld and watch it over and over again.

I am not sure what you and Mr. Cruising did last night :D..... maybe watched the bachelor? or how I met your mother? and ate some ice-cream to eat?

Ezzie said...

went out to celebrate your birthday, but got annoyed when the waiter would finish off every Q you'd ask about the menu. :)

Ezer K'negdo said...

got some In-and-Out burgers and ate cake :-)

torontopearl said...

...went grocery shopping together at a late-night supermarket to restock my supply of Cherry Garcia!
THEN we went to grab a bite at In-and-Out Burger. And THEN we got home and watched a Seinfeld rerun.

marallyn ben moshe said...

ordered in pizza and threw darts at that guy's photo...i think i would have to hit him...but the truth is that i sometimes do that...oy i'm the annoying guy myself!!!

Head over heel said...

went to a store. While they were cruisin down the aisle an older male couple came towards them. They stood infront of the koscher section and one of the old guy told his friend to look on the bottom of the bottle. So the one guy kept on saying to the other where he should look but he could not find it. So Mr. Cruisin ask if he can help. So the older guy who gave the advises told Mr. Cruisin if he could tell if this wine was koscher. He said: "You know my friend forgot his glasses and on top of it he is a goy and does not know where to look for."

cheated are the clouds said...

lit candles and decided to spend a romantic evening at home, just the two of us, the wine was flowing as Mr cruisin got that look of a young 25 year old..... Oh my this is a family oriented site better stop while you get the idea, great post laughed my butt off

Head over heel said...

UHH I just saw that I missed your lost blogpost. So I wish you a happy belated B-Day Cruisin-mom. May all your wishes and dreams come true. Just the best until 120!!!!

Claire said...

...ate ice cream and watched TV?

Haha, great post!

Cxx

Val said...

Excellent writing... had me laughing at loud. Thanks! ;)

cruisin-mom said...

Hi everyone, I love all of your comments! I actually didn't expect anyone to finish that sentence, so I must admit that was a fun surprise...you guys seem to know me well!
I've been out of town, and unable to answer one by one like I usually do.

Anonymous said...

Great post - a variation on the sentence finisher is someone who repeats the last few words of your sentence along with you, with a tiny delay, seemingly to show agreement or clarify your statement. We know a bona fide "sentence echoer" as I call her and her kooky habit makes me smile every time!

cruisin-mom said...

raggedymom: I admit it...I'm a sentence echoer! Yikes, I'm annoying!!!!

Sweettooth120 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sweettooth120 said...

My little girl is a sentence finisher, and yes, it's very annoying. I know she is just excited to retell the story too, but I do hope she outgrows this.

Last Night, Mr. Cruisin and I and my best friend BethAnn, like, went to Venice Beach, and like we rented roller skates - yes roller skates and like we were so Jack, Janet, and Christie.

Come and knock on our door, ....

Derek Berner said...

Stumbled across your blog from Google. Thought I'd let you know, Seinfeld definitely did *not* miss the Sentence Finisher: http://www.seinfeldscripts.com/TheFrogger.htm

Reagan Leigh said...

I second the last comment...Seinfeld DOES have an episode with a sentence finisher. It's actually a girl that Jerry dates. Very annoying. I'm dealing with an extreme sentence finisher right now and I have no idea what I should do. She's someone that I have to be around all day, 3 days a week. I just don't know how long I can take it without saying something! It's driving me CRAZY!!!!