If I answered these questions, and others like them, honestly on a regular basis I would make a ton of people uncomfortable:
How are you?
We should hang out some time…?
How was your vacation?
Really, no one really wants to see my vacation photos. They would just stalk me on facebook and inevitably just be jealous after the fact. Feeling super positive about people? Check ANY vacation album posted on facebook. It’s likely you’ll find comments with an undertone of jealousy. You’re welcome for being a rain-cloud.
However riveting it may be, I’m not writing this to bring up the connection between vacation photos and jealousy. What I’m really trying to get at is the issue of lying and small talk. It’s only for the sake of propriety. If I answered “How are you?” with “I’m glad you asked. I’m actually doing awful right now and here’s why….” depending on who was asking, they would probably quickly regret it.
As if you didn’t know, honesty can also be pretty rude. It’s quite probable that if someone you haven’t seen in a while says “we should hang out sometime”, they just want out of the conversation and to make a quick exit. Read: you will not be getting a call. Although this is not ALWAYS true, just admit it: you’ve done it to someone. When on the receiving end of this, I’ve always just wanted to respond with something creative like, “no”. I mean really, what could get a better reaction? Also, I would probably mess it up if I got too wordy.
Why am I even talking about this??????!???!??!???!? Well, something rather unrelated to the topic happened today and made me think about the awkwardness of small talk with strangers.
I was on a quest for some obscure last minute Christmas Eve grocery items. I could not find what I needed anywhere. I thought this problem would end when I moved from College Station. While exiting the store, empty-handed, some guy that I passed just said, “Tory Burch”. I was in Westlake, so it could have been anyone wearing Tory Burch flats, but I assumed he was talking to me since we were the only people at the door. I looked up at him, smiled and said “yes”. I guess I was thinking he might ask me where he could get a pair for his girlfriend, wife, daughter, cross-dressing life partner…? No. There was just an awkward silence and short lived staring contest to accompany the grocery store clamor. He had obviously not thought through this quickly enough. This is what I get for being nice(ish) or at least responsive.
So here I am, writing about small talk. Maybe I should have written about how helpless men can be when conversing with women. Of course, I would throw in a thing or two about how endearing it can be…at times. I’m not that mean. Unfortunately, I’m also not that nice. It’s only cute if you like the guy. Maybe I should have written about double standards?
Either way…Merry Christmas!