Sunday, June 18, 2006

yada yada

I make horrible small talk. It’s something I’ve always struggled with. What do you say when you don’t know someone well or want to keep the conversation light (because deeper stuff would ruin the situation).

Working for a living, specifically having to meet and talk to dozens of new people a day like I have at Big Green and the City, has helped allay my fears somewhat. Even if you’re not a people person, just being there and doing your job forces you to be more social.

Still, once I go home form the day, I’m totally spent when it comes to social interaction. I don’t feel like talking. But waiting on me is another set of acquaintances and friends, who are probably increasingly pissed with me because I don’t have anything interesting to say at the end of the day. They mean well, as do I, but sometimes it just doesn’t make for pleasant conversation.

It’s funny. I go to work and get on the computer and phone, get off work and go home, and get on the computer and phone. Sleeping and shopping are the only breaks. Oh, yeah, and the physical labor around the house that increasingly gets pushed to my corner because my parents are aging and my brother is either gone or doesn’t give a fuck.

I’ve found one of the best (only?) ways to cope is to go far, far away whenever I can. Being on a bus for a few hours headed to New York or Baltimore or Pigeon Forge clears my head and gives me something extra to look forward to. I need this. Badly.

This is one of those posts that doesn’t have a unifying theme, and I apologize, but this is what’s on my mind today.


  1. I seem to have a lot of friends that abhor social settings, even if I'm not one of them. So I know where you're coming from, but it's all in your own mindset.

    Small talk with near strangers, by nature, is rather horrible. I used to hold a job that required me to talk on the phone a LOT with recruiters and salespeople, so I became much better at doing it. I also found that over time, it is easy to spot in's that help move a relationship from a mere fiscal transaction based one, a to casual professional acquantanceship.

    I also found that the easiest way to make it less burdensome is to consider it a process for engaging learning...think of it as an opportunity to learn something about someone else's interests and needs. If that's the motive, it is less tiresome to do, and can actually become quite fun.

    That said, I still find sitting around, and not even talking, with a great friend to be the best experience of all.

  2. You've got some great points on this. I think if I look at small talk as less of a chore, like you said, it might help me with my aversion to it.

    I don't think it'll make me like it, but I guess it'll help me get through it a little better.

  3. southern nostalgic renderingsMonday, June 19, 2006 9:23:00 AM

    PIGEON FORGE? I LOVE PIGEON FORGE! Every year around memorial day weekend mom used to gather up all the kids and the dog into the station wagon and we'd all head out to pigeon forge for a memorable holiday weekend with barbeques, s'mores and dad passed out with a can of PBR balanced precariously over his parabolic beer gut.

    *sigh* thanks for the memory, steven. I feel even closer to you now than before...

    where the f*ck is pigeon forge??

  4. Don't fret over it too much - not everyone can be a Robin Williams when it comes to talking about anything.

    Enjoy those breaks whenever you can get a chance!

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  6. Heather: Pigeon Forge
    is that place in East Tennesse4 i went last year. it's a toursit trap, but actually quite fun.

    Kris: I dunno. Being Robin Williams wouldn't bee too bad as long as I wasn't as hairy as he is. ;-)

    Seriously, thanks for understanding.

  7. Hmmmm...perhaps I'll have to take a drive out to Pigeon Forge sometime. Do they have camping there??

  8. If you do go to Pigeon Forge, make sure to also include visiting nearby Gatlinburg as well. It is a cute little town that is somewhat of a touristy thing as well...but is a lot of fun to walk through. We stayed the night there a few years ago with our kids. Behind our hotel, out the backdoor of our room was a little creek with resident ducks. I also remember a really cool book store there. Pigeon Forge is the home of "Dollywood" and lots of outlets...both towns set in the midst of the smokey mountains. I would guess there are plenty of good places around to camp (given it's local), but we didnt explore those that time.

  9. Carrie: I’m not certain, but I think they do have campgrounds. Check out Muddy’s description.

    Muddy: That’s a really good description of greater Pigeon Forge. When I go back to that area (maybe in November or December) I’m going to Gatlinburg first. I was going to go last time, but there was some kind of problem with the buses and I never made it past the transit transfer station near the Old Mill.

  10. Part of making conversation is asking some open ended questions - you can get others to talk and share. Kind of like our blogs, except with talking!


  11. I try to ask questions, but I hate being intrusive if I can help it.

  12. Not exactly on topic on my blog, but I found this while feeding my NPR addiction today:

    Hey, if a famous movie producer can do it, so can we.


  13. You hit the nail on the head with this article, Amy. If we never break out of our personal comfort zones, we'll never truly know what we can accomplish. Thanks for the link, you'll see it posted soon :-)