November 30, 2011

Small Talk

Oh man, so after all this talk about holiday parties I've actually been invited to some. To holiday parties filled with people I won't know. Which means I will have to small talk. Which means it will be awkward. Which kind of makes me not want to go. Which is lame because I was the one who thought it would be fun in the first place

It's just, I don't want to talk about my job. Oh well, I do this thing mumble mumble technical words spoken so quickly no one could understand but yeah I like it and I work with good people and yeah, I mean, I'm interested in pursuing new work, but I mean, in these tough economic times, but yeah. Oh. It was nice to meet you. 

And I don't want to ask you where you're from.

Oh. Gaston. Nice. 


Oh Michigan. I haven't been there.

Me? I'm from Newberg. Yes, the beach is nice. But Newberg is not near the beach. Yes, that's Newport. Ha. Ha.

And I don't want to talk about how we know the host because then it becomes this thing where you basically admit that you're not really friends, just acquaintances really, and are probably in their email address book under the label People to Invite to Cocktail Parties (B-List) and then it turns out the person is like, their best friend, and they're like, Yeah, I've never seen you before so I thought maybe you were just a random. Joke!

And how do you get out of a conversation when you don't know anyone else? In a normal situation someone who you know would come up and say, Oh hey. Let's gossip about so and so's new boyfriend, and you excuse yourself (or not, depending on your level of intoxication) and then you guys go cackle in the corner. But at a party with people you don't know, you just get to the point where there's nothing left to say but neither of you see anyone else you can latch on to and you start chugging your drink faster and faster as the conversation goes on until you can stop and say, Oh look. I need a refill. And then you run.

It's daunting. But I'm better than that. I will not let Holiday Party with People I Don't Know beat me. I'm working on a mental list of conversation starters that don't center around work or where you're from or how you know the host (Example: What's your favorite dinosaur?). I can be that person.


Kyle said...

Never ask about work. I find asking them who they know at the party will lead to some crazy tangents of people you both know leading the discussion down an easier road.

Rachel Wrong said...

Speaking of that, your red-headed friend Chris works at the Woodsman Tavern. He came up to me and asked if I was in the wedding, then reminded me that he watched the Last Unicorn at my house after it.

Charisstopher said...

God, I have to do this so much now and it's totally against my nature and awful. Whenever I can't think of anything to talk about I default to this:

Most people like dogs, everyone has a "one time on the bus" story, and we're all confused about what's going on in Russia.

Charisstopher said...

oops, wrong link:

Rachel Wrong said...

Oddly enough, I have read both of those articles. Did you send me these at some point?

Charisstopher said...

I bet I talked about it during one of the rare breakfasts that we didn't read ridiculous glamour articles out loud to each other. Maybe I sent you the links, too! In any case, seriously. Having a go-to is crucial.