free hit counter Snacks, please!: Isn't that my line??

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Isn't that my line??

I have become a great admirer of Margaret's conversational style. It seems designed to make her companions feel acknowledged, listened to. At the same time, she gets a whole lot of information with just a few key questions, and the tone! It's perfect. You might walk away thinking, "Wait a second, did she just say no??" but, at the time, it seemed that everything was so agreeable.

Let's see...

Birds fly outside the dining room window, carrying twigs to a little nest on our roof where they will train their young to poop on our children. (I had a wee bit of enchilada sauce on my shirt yesterday and Margaret pointed to it and said, "Birdie." "Birdie?" "Birdie poop," she explained.)

"Look Margaret! It's a bird!"

"A birdie?"

"Yes, and it has a stick!"

"A stick?"

"I think it's building a nest."

"A nest."

"Shall we go look?"


Or this:

"Margaret, can you help me clean up?"

"Clean up?"

"Yes, Margaret, can you help me clean up?"


"Yes, Margaret, can you help me clean up??"


Anyway, I am pretty sure that Margaret has secretly enrolled in some kind of middle management training seminar. But when?? Where?? The only class that I endorsed was Artsydoodles, which as described in the county's parks and rec catalog, seemed to have little to do with the art of evasion. Where are my framed tissue-paper collages that she can rip off the walls in a fit of artistic dissatisfaction?? (Oh yes, she did, and I'm going to keep it and put it back up there with a little title/artist card that says, "The Artist's Naughty Period.")

"Margaret, will you come to staff meetings with me?"



Blogger Daav said...

I call this the "Charlie Rose technique". He asks a simple question and gets a relatively simple response. He then repeats back one of his subject's phrases to sound like a question, which then elicits a much more complex response. He then has many minutes of listening in which to pull out another tasty nugget to feed back to his subject. A brilliant way to pull an hour long interview out of virtually nothing.

April 16, 2009 at 7:45 PM  
Blogger Andi said...

Kids must be taught this when en utero because holy cow, Lauren's good at that too!

April 17, 2009 at 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Cynthia said...

That explains the email announcement I got for a book signing at Barnes&Noble with Margaret and her new book, "Getting to No: How to Be Perfectly Agreeable About Not Doing What You're Not Inclined to Do."

April 22, 2009 at 8:18 AM  

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