Really Listening

“So, how do you know Tim and Annette?”

 

“Tim and I go back to college together.”

 

“I hear he was quite the legend on campus.”

 

“Who’d you hear that from?”

 

“Tim.”

 

“Of course. Tim’s a great guy, but --”

 

“He’s a bit of a --”

 

“Narcissist?”

 

“Glad you said it.”

 

“What about Annette --”

 

“I love Annette even more than Tim. Yet I think that’s the major bond between them.

 

“They’re both narcissists.”

 

“I’ve known it about them for years. I’ve studied narcissism.”

 

“Me, too. It’s important to understand, especially in today’s world.”

 

“They’re everywhere. In your family. On the job. Especially when you’re in a glamorous profession like mine .”

 

“There was one the other day on the tennis court next to me. I belong to a very exclusive club, too. The president’s a friend of mine and he’s going to hear about this .”

 

“Let’s not even get into narcissism on Facebook. It’s a hazard when you have as many fan-page followers as I do. I just wish I didn’t have to think about narcissists as much as I do.”

 

“Narcissists make the rest of us obsessed with them. It’s their way of getting ever more attention. Plus you don’t want to be their victim.”

 

“Or be a narcissist yourself.”

 

“What would you say the tell tale signs are?”

 

“People who don’t really listen to me. Like the last blind date Annette and Tim set me up with. I hope you don’t mind me talking about it --”

 

“Actually --”

 

“Because I lavished all this attention on the guy. It’s not like I tell everyone about my  swan dive that won the tri-county silver medal for my high school swimming ballet. But when I glanced over at him, he was just staring off into space. And the blind date before that only pretended to be listening. I could tell he was really studying the menu.”

 

“I ended up in bed with the last woman Annette and Tim put me together with. Talk about a complete narcissist! And extremely cunning. She knew just how to get me in bed, have me sexually worship her for hours, then ignore me afterwards. And when I called her on it, she insisted that’s what I’d done to her.”

 

“I couldn’t take being involved with one more narcissist.”

 

“Me, neither.”

 

“However narcissistic Tim and Annette are, I’m glad they set us up on this blind date.”

 

“Of course they’ll take credit for it.”

 

“It’ll all be about all about them. Still, it’s nice to meet someone who’s not --”

 

 “A narcissist? I feel the same way.”

 

 

Polly Frost is a playwright whose humor has appeared in The Atlantic and The New Yorker. She can be found on the web at  http://pollyfrost.com.

April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

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