One of the many many things I’m allergic to is Small Talk! No, it’s not any product I’m talking about. The usual small talk amongst people, you know. It’s fine until it reaches the point when you cannot draw the line between just being nice and getting out of it. I cannot speak for all of you but I can surely tell how uncomfortable I get when it gets out of control.
As always, I’ll give you a reference from F.R.I.E.N.D.S. There was this scene where a guy named Gunther was pouring coffee to another guy named Chandler.
Gunther: *pouring coffee*
So there’s an obvious silence till the coffee is being poured.
Chandler: *breaks the silence* So what do you do when you’re not working?
Gunther: You don’t have to fill these silences.
Chandler: Alright. *storms off with the coffee*
If you think about it, this is a funny scene but this has happened a lot of the times in real life to me when there’s an awkward silence and I really don’t know what to say. The fear of a small talk popping up is what scares me the most.Ofcourse, I’ve mastered the art of stopping the talk before it even starts.
Bus driver: *while driving the bus and sees me sitting in the front seat* So what’s your name?
Me: Why at all should I tell you?
Lady in the grocery: *sees I’m a regular buyer so starts* You live around this neighbourhood?
Me: No, I come all the way from New Jersey just to shop here.
Friend on FB: *pings me after a LONG time and never talked to me in college* Hey! How are you? I really miss you.
Me: Heh? Really? Did we ever talk?
Friend on FB: We should meet up sometime.
Me: Never talked but meet, ya right!
Friend on FB: Hey, I’m just making small talk.
Me: Yeah, well…don’t!
Well, no I’m not always rude. I’ve tried making small talks. Trust me. It’s just that I’m not very good at it. Once, I tried talking to this grocery man who was unable to find a jar of pickles and kept asking me about the weather and everything including politics, best swimmer, lazy sharks, prices of fuel, gold and etc under the sun. I mean there was nothing left for two strangers to discuss and he still couldn’t find the jar of pickles that I asked him to search for. So, I actually left the store looking for it in some other place.
I face this problem when I’m on the phone with my relatives. I always term that as SMALL TALK! Oh, please. I’m not even close to my 2nd, 3rd or I don’t know any n-th mausi or bua whom I haven’t seen in years and when my mom just happens to force that phone down on my ear, all that comes out of my mouth is – “Yes, I’m fine. Take my respect. Give me your blessing. Talk to MOM!”. There’s this rush to hang up or give the phone back to my mother. I just cannot make conversations for the heck of it.
Ever got tensed in an elevator? I did. Lots a times. But you know what I appreciate in an elevator? SILENCE. I really do because you have no idea how uncomfortable it gets when a stranger in an elevator happens to pop up a talk with you when all you’re waiting for is for your floor to arrive.
And this is what happens to people who happen to strike up a conversation with me after years of gap and ask me for my number. Sure, they’ll have my number and everything but I’ll never pick up their calls. If I cannot talk smooth with my relatives whom I do visit once every year, how can I talk to people who have been out of touch for like 9-10 years? Honestly, how much can you fake or go on making promises that you’ll meet or call or catch up when there’s nothing to talk about!
The awkwardest — so awkward that it made me say awkwardest — has been when I couldn’t remember someone who was talking to me for about 5 minutes.
Uncle-type-man: OMG! Anamika?! Look at you! You’ve grown so big!
Me: *still trying to recognise him* Erm, hehe. Yeah.
Uncle-type-man: So what do you do now? Studying or Working?
Me: *still figuring* Well..I’m still studying.
Uncle-type-man: Aww, I still remember how you used to always be in your dad’s arms when you were a baby. You remember? I used to tease you that you’ll be a very lazy girl someday.
Me: *thinking if I was a baby, how is he expecting me to remember it?* Erm, do I know you?
Don’t ask me how I got out of this one.
What do you prefer? Small talk or No talk?
Freaky coincidence update: The day I wrote this post, that same evening this exact small-talk incident occurred to me in the elevator. Old man walked in and asked me whether I’m done with studies and I’m working now etc. I ended up asking him ”Who are you?”. It’s weird but I think my blog is on to me.