Friday, March 5, 2010

The Conversationalist

Just kidding! Here's a post right here!

I’m always determined that the next place I go, the next thing I do, I will stop being so damn awkward.

I have yet to reach that goal.

I am seriously just the worst conversationalist, especially with new people. I actually know where I go wrong, too—I don’t ask questions. And for this, I blame my friends and my parents.

I have grown up around a series of people who have no problem telling their life story, whether solicited or not. So my repertoire of inquiries have always stopped at, “Hi, how are you?” No more questions needed. My dad could take that question and run with it until your ears fell off. Literally, if you let him, you would probably just whither away in the chair you sat. And the first to go would be the ears.

But, believe it or not, there are people in the world who will not just talk for hours on end without breathing. Weird, I know. And when I come across such people, I have no idea what to do. Atrophied from disuse, questions do not spill out of my mouth with an unwarranted flow of care and concern. They march out, like a red-coated army that you can see coming from across the battlefield.

“So where do you live, Emily?”
“Wicker Park.” *Pause. Pause. Pause. Pause.* “Where do YOU live?”
“Up at Belmont and Sheffield.”
“So like…that’s cool.” *Pause. Pause. Pause. Pause. “Have you lived there long?” (WHAT? You have twenty stories about that area! What about restaurants? El stops?! Getting locked outside there with two beagles and a Westie?!?!? Hellooo?)

Maybe it’s just that I hate small talk. I’d much rather get real with you. But when you just meet someone, you’re not allowed to say such things. I mean, how do you segue into the fact that you’d eat all your food by stabbing it with toothpicks if it were socially acceptable? How do you bring up your debilitating fear of one day having a daughter and not becoming the Laurelai to her Rory?

So I continue to bite my tongue, to the extent that I can’t let go of it to form simple sentences that will not scare people. I still think one day I will figure it out. One day I will be able to have a stimulating conversation with a near stranger. One day, when I’m a grown up.


Anonymous said...

OMG! I'm absolutely terrified of not being a Lorelai to my Rory, as well. Makes me wanna have boys instead....but then you dont get to dress them up in cute little dresses or teach them to be strong young women. Damn.

Anonymous said...

I can totally identify. I'm the worlds worst conversationalist. I hate small talk and I hate talking on the phone to someone who calls regularly to *just check in and see what's happening* Unless you have something to ask me or tell me DON'T Call me!