Lying in bed last night, it suddenly hit me: I want to be more like Eleanor Wachtel.
It is not important that you have heard of her, but know this: Eleanor Wachtel is the shit. Gentle reader, you would be lucky to be in a coversation with this public radio host. You would walk away, thinking, Damn! I am one fascinating mofo.
Without getting too bogged down with descriptions, allow me to elaborate on the aspects of Eleanor Wachtel I most admire.
1. She actively listens
I listen, sure, but often something I hear makes me drift off into a tangential reflection and I miss the next part of what is being said. Eleanor Wachtel would never do that. Not in a million years.
2. She asks great questions that provoke even greater responses.
I was always told that the key to being a great conversationalist is asking great questions. Eleanor Wachtel asks questions that make her guests talk about things fluidly and unselfconsciously. Not to compare, but my questions seldom provoke winning repartee.
3. Eleanor Wachtel is undeniably smart, but her vanity is never present.
This is a big one. I think if I could dispose of my vanity, somehow, I would find certain social encounters way less cringeworthy in retrospect. Without vanity, I would stop trying to steer conversation in the direction of my esoteric interests.
I would stop trying to prove to the world that behind my often spacey demeanor, resides a daunting intellect. If I were more like Eleanor Wachtel I would be guided by measured thoughts and genuine interest in other peoples' lives, regardless of who they were.
Mind you, if I were Eleanor Wachtel, I would do something about that hair.