No one tells you being a fast talker is a problem until you're about halfway through an enthusiastic retelling of what you consider to be a particularly enthralling personal anecdote and they interrupt to say you lost them — about three plot twists, or 30 seconds, ago.
By then, of course, it’s too late. You are a Fast Talker™, joining the ranks of fictional 1920s journalists and antique show auctioneers. For many, you are also a Problem®.
You're 13 so you're a small one, rest assured, but a problem nonetheless. How do you know? Well, here comes the dead-horse-so-beaten-and-chopped-up-into-dog-food punchline: Don't worry, they'll tell you.
They tell you to slow down, repeat yourself, "give everyone's ears a break." But what they really tell you, no matter how politely, is that you need to change — for your own good, of course. (Not to mention their convenience).
When I was a teenage girl, typically vulnerable and highly impressionable, my insecurity ran wild, leaving no aspect of my physical appearance unravaged. Though multiple aspects of my personality were also prime for self-loathing, my voice's velocity wasn't one of them. Because it was so inherent to who I was, I barely noticed it. I certainly didn't know anything was wrong with it until the Greek chorus of family members, teachers, and friends' parents weighed in.
For a while, I listened to them. I might’ve listened to them forever if I hadn’t been lucky enough to listen to two other women instead.
The first time I watched "Gilmore Girls," I realized I’d been there before. I recognized that tree.
After coming home from a typically tragic day at middle school, I turned on the TV to decompress with a healthy dose of ABC Family (R.I.P.). Within minutes of stumbling into season 3, episode 6 ("Take The Deviled Eggs") of Gilmore Girls, I was hooked. Despite having no sense of the plot or setting, I knew those characters. Lorelai and Rory were who I hoped to be.
They talked fast and frequently, unconcerned if anyone else got their jokes, placed their obscure references, or could even stop their heads from spinning long enough to comprehend them. They lived purely for themselves and each other.
I discovered Gilmore Girls at a crucial point in my life when I could've lost this intrinsic part of my personality. Every time I spoke, I was conscious of a concerted effort to slow down. It never felt natural. It felt like one more item of insecurity had wormed its way to the top of an already extensive list.
I figured there was little to no hope for my verbal rehabilitation until I saw two older women living with the same affliction. Except it wasn't an affliction, a plague, a Problem®. It was, well, them.
The Gilmore girls lived these happy, successful, effervescent lives, not despite who they were — but because they didn’t compromise who they were.
In them, I saw a version of myself I was not yet confident enough to become but — "someday, someday, maybe" — knew I could be.
If I stopped listening to all the voices who wanted to stifle my own. If I quit apologizing for something I'd never really been able to control, and now, no longer wanted to. If I dared to like myself enough to let myself.
It was a tall order for an anxious adolescent but, like a classic burger and fries combo all washed down with an extra large cup of Luke's famous coffee, it was one I wanted to fill.
For so long, I'd been made to feel self-conscious about the thing that made me feel most like myself. Gilmore Girls didn't just tell me, but actually showed me, what no one else did. If Lorelai and Rory could be successful, happy, loved — just the way they were —this chatterbox might stand a chance, too.
When I was interviewing for college and then post-graduate jobs, my parents always reminded me to "slow down," but also to "be myself." It didn't take me long to realize I couldn't truthfully do both. When I have to choose, as I do every day, I pick the latter.
If that means a joke goes over someone's head, if that means a reference gets lost in translation, and even if that means "Here lies Lindsay. Her mouth only stopped moving when she did" is written on my tombstone ... I wouldn't have it any other way.
There are a few voices I can’t get enough of, and it’s taken me seven seasons to say, with conviction, that mine’s one of them.
That might sound selfish or arrogant, and maybe it is, but it's gotta be this way. If I don't believe I have something worth saying and hearing, even at a mile a minute, who will? If I don't like, no, love listening to myself speak, even when I have just as much trouble keeping up as the next person, who will?
And if I don't run my mouth, well then, how am I going to get my cardio?
Call it a quirk, a peculiarity, or even a foible. It's mine, and as long as I don't get lost in the "wild jungle full of scary gibberish" sloshing around my cranium, I think I'll be OK. If you can't keep up, then you better get your thumb ready to hitch a ride with Roadrunner, because I'm not slowing down. Copper boom.
Life’s short. It’s imperative for me not just to talk fast, but to be myself. I don't have time for anything else, none of us do.
My babbling capabilities, while seemingly infinite, will eventually reach their limit. Of course, I'm trying to cram every last bit of energy into each word, sentence, paragraph, diatribe I can muster while I've still got breath to give. Can you blame me? Can you blame us?
I mean, you can, but I won't stick around long enough to hear it. I've got things to do, places to be, and one highly anticipated Netflix revival to binge-watch.
Oh, about that: I'm thrilled. And terrified. And talkative, natch.
I've gone into rhetorical hyperdrive every single time I hear "gil," which, let me tell you, doesn't bode well when you're trying to make polite party conversation with a group of marine biologists.
Fans have expectations the world over for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, but I only have one. Technically (and quickly) speaking, it's more of a pipe dream than an expectation. I don't care where, what, or with whom Lorelai and Rory end up, all I ask is that they talked as fast as they could to get there. Because if they did, the Gilmore girls are where they're meant to be.
Cover photo via Instagram