Quiet . . .
INTERVIEWER: "How will we know when you are stressed?"
ME: (nod to imply the question was great then wait three beats while thinking of an answer (as all interview technique blogs will tell you to do)) "15 years ago I would scream and yell at and otherwise berate you. Probably with a ton of four letter words in the mix." (I laughed like this was a joke but those that knew me "then" know it is, sadly, true.)
INTERVIEWER: (polite laugh and a face-spreading look of absolute fear and horror that it might get worse when I answer for real.)
ME: "I will probably withdraw. I'll just sort of remove myself. Physically or otherwise. I'll go quiet. Come up with an errand that has to be run or make a b-line for the nearest fried corn snack that ends with tos; Doritos, Tostitos, Fritos, Cheetos, etc."
INTERVIEWER: "That's fair."
ME: "I mean - to clarify - that will be the sign. I'll stop with my normal loud, energetic, engaged, presence and ways and fade. But only until I calm down, get my feet back under me or otherwise adjust."
INTERVIEWER: "I think we'd prefer that to the vulgarity."
But - to turn a full blog post in to what have been a brief Tweet (hashtag #Overkill) . . . I realized today for the first time that the answer that just sort of popped in to my head in that three beat pause is a very real fact. I turn to tos when I'm stressed. Oh, oh, oh . . . I get quiet when - and only when - I am stressed or feeling overwhelmed. But fear not, eventually my stress leads to guilt or embarrassment and THEN the noise and vulgarity returns en masse.