Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Lost Art of Conversation

I'm heading to the Aiming Low Non-Conference this weekend. Evidently I can't get enough of being around imaginary people on the Internet.  It's kind of fun, right? Not at all anxiety producing.  What with the people and the new places and the being on your best behavior so that people don't punch you in the face.

I am actually not bad at meeting people.  I'm a pretty good conversationalist, and I tend to be able to keep my snark and bitchiness to a minimum, at least for the first few seconds.  After that? Well, you know me.  I'm all charm.

Which makes me wonder why people seem to feel like they're comfortable sharing the weirdest things with me.  I'm not sure what it is about me or just life in general, but people tend to blurt out the most OMFG did you really say that stuff at me apropos of nothing. 

For example, TWICE last week while working out, I got blindsided by people who seemed to understand the art of conversation up until that moment when someone - maybe me - had an aneurysm.

Lady:  What do you think about the Kwame Kilpatrick trial? Do you think the prosecutor will convict them?

Me:  Well, they're facing federal charges, and the feds are generally pretty good about putting together their cases.  Of course, it's a jury trial, so you never know what will happen.

Lady:  I know.  My mother was put on trial for murdering her father and they let her off.

[She walks away.  I try not to swallow my tongue. I talked to her later and got the whole story, but what a cliffhanger! I felt like I was on an episode of Days of Our Lives.]

Older Lady:  I like your tattoo. Does it say anything?

Me:  No.  I just drew the design and had it done.  Thanks, though.

Older Lady:  I'm thinking of getting the name Ralph* tattooed here, on my chest.  But I don't like pain.

Me:  Well, they're not really painful, but you might be more comfortable getting a tattoo on your arm or something.

Older Lady:  Well, I want it on my heart, because Ralph was my husband and he just died 6 months ago.

Me:  . . . Oh, I'm  . . . I'm so sorry.  Wow.  Huh.  Yeah.  Well . . .

[We keep talking and I feel like an ass for being so blase about tattoos when she's suffered a loss and OH MY GOD, LADY, I'M SORRY.  Let's get a Sharpie and see if that works.]

I'm offering the following Segue Suggestions in case we're ever in a conversation and you feel like covering one of those topics:
  • "I like your tattoo" should be never be followed by news of a loved one's death.  That's something you can lead with.  Seriously.  Don't spend time talking about body fat or pain thresholds.  
  • Discussing a criminal matter can be redirected with info about your own family, but holy cow, don't drop a bomb and run.  FINISH THE STORY.
If you see me at Aiming Low or just in general [I don't have any plans for Halloween, so if you're free, let's get together, o.k.?], let's try and have a non-awkward discussion.

Oh, who am I kidding? I'm going to talk about gas or poop or my vagina.  You can, too.


*Obviously, the guy's name wasn't Ralph.  I forgot what it was, though.


  1. I am so disgusted with myself for not being able to get there this weekend. I'm trying really hard not to go into all-out bitch mode but it's hard. I think I will probably boycott twitter starting tomorrow morning until late Sunday.

  2. I'm jealous my new conference bud is going "conferencing" without me. HOW DARE YOU. Seriously though, have fun. That looks like a good one- would have loved to attend.

  3. Oh my girl.
    I wish I were going to be there with you this weekend.

    Please hug all the appropriate people for me.

    And also the inappropriate ones.

    (Miss you.)

  4. I'm sad I'm going to miss out on the opportunity to talk about weird, inappropriate things with you. Is it okay if I text you weird, inappropriate things instead? Like, I think my vagina might be depressed.

  5. A couple of jobs ago, I was having a conversation, over lunch with someone from accounting. We just sat down at the same table & conversation popped up (as conversation is wont to do when I'm around).

    Well, we were talking about a bunch of stuff, and the fact that I was "a baby" came up, and I graduated college in 2000, and 2000 was the year that this woman's husband died, and then she started crying and hugging me.

    I'm a nice guy, but I'd really rather talk about your vagina or poop.

  6. WHY don't people do that to me?! It's normally me blurting out something really crazy or inappropriate. If we met I'd be one of those people that said some crazy shit and then waited for your reaction. Glad you wrote, love you still!!!

  7. well you know that I will talk to you about anything...but you get the WHOLE STORY WITH ME LADY!!

    I wish I was going to be in the space you are this weekend, it would have been a hoot. ;)

    have fun...and ummm, BEHAVE. ;)


  8. Ohmigosh it is SO awkward when people do that! The Noncon sound like so much fun - have some for me!

  9. I'm very awkward most of the same. You, are not. Have fun!! xoxo

  10. Am I the only one who REALLY wants to know the story of the lady who shot her father & didn't do time? This is something I need to know just in case ummm something should happen, sometime.

    I am too big of a wuss for a tat. My whole day is ruined by a paper cut.

    People on airplanes used to tell me the weirdest stories. None since I started traveling with my son.

    You are having so much bloggy fun this year!

  11. Hmhmmm

    Now louder laughing:


    Only to you, Suni ... you just have that face. I think that's why you made yourself pull on the bitchy pants: can you imagine how sticky sweet you'd be then???

  12. Glad I'm not the only one the weirdos stalk. What *IS* it with people dropping awkward bombs???


Every time you comment, I get a lady boner.