Dealing With The Non-Stop Talker06:20

This article is more than 9 years old.

You've probably had your share of holiday dinner table monologue — you know, the type of person who takes over the conversation and won’t let go.

Radio Boston producer Jessica Alpert wrote a CommonHealth post last week about her agonizing experience at one Thanksgiving dinner years ago. You can read an excerpt of her post, below:

At a beautiful Thanksgiving a few years ago, I was dazzled by the elegant table, the softly falling snow, the lively chatter. It was all so ideal that I barely noticed who I sat next to — until it was too late. The older woman, a total stranger we’ll call Beatrice, asked me my name.

That was the last time I uttered a word.

Within fifteen minutes, she had covered her childhood, a painful adolescence, a draining marriage (her husband was only a few seats away), ungrateful children, a dazzling career and a cancer diagnosis. I smiled and nodded — attempting concern and compassion.

But beneath the veil, I was completely desperate.

We'll look into whether there might be some medical explanation for the excessive gabber.


  • Jessica Alpert, Radio Boston producer
  • Carey Goldberg, co-host of WBUR's CommonHealth


This program aired on November 29, 2011.