Scenario #1

"Ok Doc. What's the prognosis. Good or bad?"

"It's looking good."

"Great! That's all I wanted to know. See you in a year."

Scenario #2

"Ok Doc. What's the prognosis. Good or bad?"

"It's looking good...."

"Great! That's all I wanted to know. See you in a year."


"But! What do you mean, But? Am I going to live? Is it bad? How long have I got? Give it to me straight, Doc. Give me all the details!"

In the '50's there was a TV program that was famous for the line: "Just the facts, Mam, just the facts."

In court we hear the attorney say: "Just a simple yes or no, Mam, just the facts."

Facts tell us very little. And there is nothing more boring than a list of facts. Yet facts is precisely what we want from others, and also are usually willing only to give when asked something we don't want to expound upon by someone we don't want to expound to. And that, Mam, is a fact, pure and simple.

I happen to be a person interested in detail. If you've read anything I have written, or seen any of my art, or checked out the lesson plan of my art instructions, you already know this. I like to give detail, often far, far more detail than anyone wants to hear. In fact I have a reputation for giving instructions on how to build a watch to anyone asking me the time. Not many people ask me for the time. Not many people have the time to listen to me tell them the time.

Have I elaborated enough on how I can elaborate? Then I will move on (finally!)

I have found, and was that way once, that most people who talk a lot know very little. And those who talk about themselves, know little about themselves, nor do they care about others. This is true of me....sometimes. If you are talking to me and I am checking my watch, it's a pretty good bet that I am not interested in what you are saying, and an even better bet that I'm not interested in you either. This being so, if you are the one checking your watch while I am talking, I assume you feel I am not worth your time.

I give details. I give many, many details. I do this for several reasons. The first reason is that I am interested in details, therefore I assume others who listen to (or read) me are interested in details as well.

Often I am wrong. When I am wrong I see people checking their watch, or I see the checker on my web pages clicking off rather than on.

Ask me about the weather. If I say: "It's hot," you might as well get ready for me to check my watch. If I begin to tell you about how hot it is, and how the wind is kicking up, and how ...whatever; you might as well get ready to start checking your watch because I have taken a liking to you and am about to bore you to tears.

I give a lot of details. To those I like I give a lot of details.

This love of details is not a one way thing with me. I have those who will bore me to tears with their details, but when I have a word or two to interject, they act as if I've picked their pocket. If I am interested in this person who only travels down a one way street, I will bide my time with them. If I don't care for them, then a minute is too long and I am found checking my watch.

I give details. Tons of details. But I have a hard time getting details in return. I want to hear all the simple little things in a person's life, all the joys, the sorrows, the funny things they think about. In fact, when those I care about talk, it takes pressure off me since often I find I have a tendency to fill dead air with the sound of my voice. My voice in dead air, I find, is a dead voice. I don't like it any more than does the one having to listen to what I fill the void with.

People are not interested in other people. Because people are not interested, they do not listen to other people. Oh, they will listen to people talk about their common interest, like baseball, or politics (as long as the person agrees with their views), and religion (ditto). But talk about something serious, or something trivial, and out comes the watch.

It takes a long, long time for me to get across to those I care for that I like to hear the trivial, the things outside my interests, even those things that are likely to hurt me. They are not used to people listening, so they are not used to telling. Breaking from habits and old attitudes is difficult and takes time and practice. I find I have to keep repeating my desire to hear the details before the sharing of details will be risked.

How can we know if someone is interested in detail, therefore interested in others? I have a test you can take to determine if you are interested in details. Want to take it? If so, you have. What I have just written is one of, if not the most insipid pieces imaginable to those not interested in details. If you have read this far, the chances are you are one interested in details. Either that, or you are one bored son-of-a-gun.


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