Saturday, April 21 , 2018, 4:22 pm | Fair 70º


She Said, Z Said: Say It Loud, Say It Proud

Zak speaks out about his latest experience of being told to find his inside voice

Z: I have a confession to make.

She: Don’t worry, honey, I know about the girdles.

Z: No, I don’t wear girdles.

She: Then you’re really on Navy SEAL Team 6?

Z: These are the two confessions that occur to you? I’m either a cross-dresser or killing terrorists?

She: You’re a complicated man.

Z: No. My confession is that I am a loud American.

She: That’s not a confession. That’s a huge duh. In fact, when you told me that, I’m surprised our neighbors didn’t pound on the wall telling us to keep it down.

Z: Unlike last weekend at Pepe’s.

She: I still can’t believe that woman told us to lower the volume.

Z: Am I really that loud? I still blame it on your friend, M.

She: Yes, you’re really that loud. But it’s a big, family, Mexican restaurant, not some romantic dining place. It was pretty nervy of her to yell at us to quiet down.

Z: I still love that she yelled it at us. Bad parenting rule 101. When the kids are acting up in a restaurant, you only make it worse and are 10 times more obnoxious by yelling at them to shut up.

She: Are you the kids in this analogy?

Z: Sure, only I’m an adult. A loud adult.

She: I’ll admit, I was very tempted to turn up the volume after she yelled at us. If she had said it politely I would have felt terrible and apologized for disturbing her, but when someone rudely tells you you’re being rude it brings out the bratty child in me. Seriously, I was tempted to stick out my tongue or yell “neener neener” at the top of my lungs.

Z: I used to do that.

She: Used to? This isn’t the first time you’ve been told to hush up?

Z: Nooo.

She: Shocking.

Z: It’s not like a constant thing. Fewer than 10 times.

She: Really.

Z: OK, maybe 20. One of the first times was in college, when a girl in the dining hall — the college dining hall with 7,000 other noisy students — came over to my table and asked me not to laugh so loud. That set me off on at least five minutes of even louder laughter.

She: Very mature.

Z: Not so much. But I’m comfortable with that.

She: Everyone thinks of A as being the loud one in the group, but he wasn’t even with us.

Z: He’ll be so jealous. I’m guessing the two of us get told to zip it a lot of times, and we don’t even hear it.

She: When we’re out to dinner and I leave the table to go to the restroom, I can usually hear you guys.

Z: That must be very reassuring to you.

She: From inside the restroom. On the other side of the kitchen. In another restaurant.

Z: I still don’t get why people are so uptight about our volume level. I always like loud groups. They seem so full of life, and like they’re having a good time.

She: Have you ever heard another loud group over yourself?

Z: No. But if I did, I’m sure I’d think they were delightful, vivacious people.

She: Just the kind of people we’d like to be friends with.

Z: Although, I have had friends ask me to use my inside voice. And one time — and I think this was more a response to my chattiness than to my volume — a friend famously said, “You know, Zak, silence is an option.”

She: With friends like that, who needs obnoxious patrons at Pepe’s?

Z: Next time someone yells at me to be quiet, I’m going to flash them my girdle.

She: Yes, dear.

— She and Z want you to speak up! Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here for previous She Said, Z Said columns. Follow Leslie Dinaberg on Twitter.

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