Last night we had dinner at my parents' house. A friend of the family was there with her daughters, and since she lives in Washington State and we haven't seen her in a year, conversation was fast and furious.
At one point I happened to glance over at my oldest son, and he had a dazed, helpless look on his face. "Uh oh," I thought. "Like father like son."
The first time I brought my husband (then fiance) to a big Italian picnic, he later confided to me that he had wanted to participate in the conversation, but was at loss as to when to jump in. No one stopped talking long enough for him to say anything.
My poor husband. He comes from a polite family where everyone takes turns speaking: one person speaks, then another, and so on. There are no interruptions and voice levels are moderate.
On the other hand, in my Italian family conversations overlap, and in order to get a point across, or a story told, we get louder and louder. Interruptions are the norm, and chaos can reign supreme.
So when I saw that same expression on my son that my husband had twenty years ago, I knew it was time for an important lesson. I gave this same lesson to my husband, and I could see that it was now time for my son to hear it.
The Art of Interrupting
Finally, when you can't get a word in edgewise, grab a glass of wine, listen, and enjoy the show. You'll have the best seat in the house.