Once, a girlfriend told me that one of the things she liked about me was, "When we have a conversation, you talk to my eyes, not my chest."
I remember a sense of relief coming over me when she said it, because it honestly was something I'd never consciously paid attention to. But I could imagine how rude it would be, even though it's not something that would ever happen to me.
Or so I thought.
Recently I was outside a fine establishment where I was attending a party, and a young woman I knew came outside to have a smoke. And she started talking to me about some guy who kept talking to her chest.
"I'm sorry," I said. "That must be obnoxious."
"Very obnoxious," she said. "Let me demonstrate."
And so a conversation between the two of us began, throughout which she stared at my chest:
Her: "Hi, Phil, how are you tonight."
Me: "I'm good, you?"
Her: "I'm excellent. The band is great."
Me: "The food here is pretty awesome too."
Her: "Oh yeah, totally. Do you come here often?"
Me: "No, I've driven by before but I've never actually been."
Her: "Well I'm glad you're here. It's always a good time."
I think it was about here where I finally cracked and said, "OK, stop."
I'm sure I've had a handful of moments in my life where my attention has lapsed and I've talked to someone's chest, but I really hope my ex-girlfriend was right. Dealing with it from the other side (even in a half-joking manner as we were), I can now vouch that having someone talk to your chest is extremely uncomfortable.