Friday, June 4, 2010

The problem with small talk

The easiest problem to identify with small talk is quite simple: everyone hates it. I don't know a single person that would enjoy making endless remarks about "the weather," "how different you look," "how different the weather looks," "how long it's been since we saw each other," or any combination such as:

"how different we saw each other once"
"how long it's been since we've seen the weather"
"how different we looked when we last saw each other in this weather"
"what different weather we long ago saw each other in"

And countless others. And yet, we all do it. And we all do it in the same way; with a pleasant smile, a higher tone than we usually use, an air of absolute optimism, and a ticking clock barely moving in our brain-- assessing when we can get the fuck out of there.

So- why do we do it?

It seems that we do it out of respect to others- its a societal convention that's demanded of us if we don't want to appear rude or disrespectful to the neighbor you barely know and see three times a year when you're home in Macy's in the clearance department. And yet, if all of us really hate it- aren't we being cruel to inflict such mind-numbing suffering on others?

I think we are.

I think the world would be a shit-ton (a quantifiable and legitimate unit of measurement) better if we all stopped bullshitting each other. A simple hey, or head nod is good enough. You acknowledge that I exist and I do the same- why do we need anything more??

Now clearly, I 'm not talking about good friends or even regular friends or people you sorta like from a distance (I mean that in the least creepy way possible). I am talking about people you barely know- names you search for and figure out ways not to say because you're not sure if its right. Old neighbors, old but no longer connected friends, old people in general. The cashier, the bank teller, just fucking people. Because here's the thing, I don't care about:

1) your daughter's baby (ps, you look a little young to be having a daughter who's having a kid)
2) the weather
3) what Jeff is doing these days
4) That Ashley's in jail (ok, I do want to know about this- so small talk rules don't apply here)
5) What the fuck you're doing over the weekend
6) The weather.

Now, I realize I may seem rude, but it's really out of my utmost respect for the human race. I want you to be able to get your shit done and be with the people you really want to be with rather than spending valuable time talking to me about shit I'm not caring about or listening to.

So, hello Ducks and What They Do readers- I'm Emilene and it's nice to meet you.

Now go the fuck out and be with the people you care about. I hope we will never need further introductions.

Also, if you ever hear me talk about the weather- send me a stink bomb in the mail.