I never got used to it. After almost 12 years of living here I still haven’t got used to the words “tell me”. Now, this really depends on the context, because maybe you’re interrupting a person unintentionally while they’re speaking and you’re listening, so you naturally say, “yes, sorry…tell me”…or when you enter a caffe bar in addition to “The usual?” (this one I love because it gives me that feeling of intimacy, of belonging, of welcome, of home), they often say to you, “tell me.” And that’s ok.

But I hate it when they tell me that after I answer the phone. Each time I am about to call someone because I want to hear his voice or to find out what happened to her/him during the day, I really hope not to hear the so much hated “tell me”.

“Hello, Ale!”
“Hello, Sanja, tell me!”

…………………………

So, these “tell me” always sound so dismissive to me. Despicable. As if I am a nuisance to another person. As if I’m stealing time from the person I’m calling. So, what happens is that for a quick second I just freeze and I forget what I wanted to say. I almost begin to stammer and then I say something like, “No, no…well, I just wanted to see what’s up, how you’re doing.” I almost apologize for that phone call, because I’m stealing someone’s precious minutes of their messy day, full of things to do and no time to lose, so typical of Milan.

Here there is no place for carefree chatter, for chit-chatting, talking about the emotions, the feelings, the pain. For sharing.

The phrase “tell me” emphasizes the fact that you’re calling someone because you have something important on your mind, something useful to say or ask.

In short, you need something.

Also, it’s because here people don’t have time to waste.

And I will never get used to it.

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