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Blogging with integrity: I hate small talk

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My mom told me this weekend that I sound too upbeat in my blog, and that it doesn’t reflect how I am in real life.

So, for the sake of bloging with integrity, I am going to reveal that, as you may have surmised by my numerous social media profiles, my blog posts, and pictures of myself in various situations, I am antisocial and I hate small talk. This is a problem for me because the building I live in consists entirety of chipper  organic crunchy granola white people who love small talk like it’s their job, especially on Monday mornings when I hate the act of living.

I will step on the elevator with my rage face on,thus, a natural defense against human contact. However, some friendly woman will not detect it and inevitably will say, “Oh, I love your necklace.” As a result, I have to mumble something nice in return, a feat that is, at 7:21 a.m. on a Monday morning, Olympic in nature.

Good People of Arlington. I love you. You are what makes this city. But.  Please, stop talking to me in the elevator.  I don’t care what you think the weather will be like outside. I have it both on my phone and in my aural/skin receptors once I open the elevator door. I don’t care about your speculations on the weather for the next week, or about what you did this weekend. If I did, I would ask.

I also don’t want to tell you what I did this weekend or how I am mentally, physically, and otherwise.  Who do you think you are, Lavrenti Beria?

Generally, I love human contact.  I love people, I love talking to people for a specific purpose, and I love finding out how my friends spent their weekends.  But not you, man in the elevator, not you.

16 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. I am curious to know which building in Arlington this might be! During my research phase, I lived in a friend’s apartment in Arlington for a good 3 months. The composition of the inhabiting populace was exactly the same as you mention yours is (the said friend was the only exception, esp to the “white” bit in that description). Not one person talked to me in the lift throughout the 3 months I was there. Ever. I didn’t mind of course (until now, when I read your post). But then I have practice from the UK, London in particular. We don’t do small talk. With anyone. Heck, we don’t even make eye contact lest we should have to acknowledge that others exist. You should, like, so totally move here (although few people over 12 talk like this over here).

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    • I am curious to know which building YOU lived in so I can move there. ;) I am horrible at small talk and I think I should move to England.

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      • Then again, you’ll encounter some of the most curious (in all its facets) people in Britain you’d never have imagined existed anywhere. ;)

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  2. I can so relate. And I think it’s cultural. I’ve been writing a post about how in Russia, you can say “hi” to someone in the morning and it sort of lasts the whole day, but in America, apparently it expires and every time you see the person throughout the day, they’ll say “oh, hi!” like it’s the first time ever. My stepson moved to NYC from Europe last year and we talked about this, because he thought that everyone in his school had early Alzheimer’s or something and that’s why they were greeting him nonstop. But I can’t quite finish the post because I’m worried that it makes me sound insane. Unlike this comment.

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  3. Don’t you just want to bring cue cards with you, like a(n antisocial) silent film star, with “go away” and “yes it is warm, thank you for enlightening me” type sentiments…you could try it as a social experiment and report back.

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    • Oh my goodness this is the best idea yet. I was trying to find this cartoon of Greta Garbo as a fish on Looney Tunes where she says “I want to be alone” but couldn’t, but you get the gist.

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      • I was thinking Dylan/ Subterranean homesick blues.

        PS: From the Pedants-R-Us department: those words attributed to Garbo are inaccurate. Her sentiment was closer to yours when she said: “I want to be left alone” (didn’t say “I want to be alone).

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  4. You know, you can always just say something rude to them in Russian, and then they won’t trouble you again. Unless they know Russian. But in that case, if they’re really chipper, it must mean they work for The Agency and you don’t really want them to talk to you anyway, only you’ve now identified yourself as a grumpy Russian-speaking Person of Interest. So, basically, you’re screwed.

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    • Russian is my go-to for the chipper white people who are on the streets of D.C. having me sign petitions for different causes. They always stand in the middle of the street and if you make eye contact with them, you’re dead. They’re always young and idealistic and ask you if you have ten minutes for the forests, or gay rights, or homeless rights, or beluga rights. I always say, “I do, but I don’t care about X” and watch their faces fall in an introduction to The Real World.

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      • Also good for people trying to sell you newspaper subscriptions. Then you can tell them you don’t know how to read. I do this all the time. I also tell the nudniks at the supermarket, who keep offering me to subscribe to their credit card, that I don’t believe in credit cards. Then, of course I pull one out, so I can pay with it.

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  5. Girl, you’re putting on the wrong face. You should have an “I hate this friggin’ world, you bastards, yes, especially you!” face, kind of like I carry around for convenient silences.
    I’d take a photo and send it, but I hate the world too much to do it right now, besides, I have to build up my nice face for kindergarten pickup in 15 minutes.

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  6. I’m impressed with the Beria reference. That was before both of our time. I wonder how many others got it.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, former USSR Chief of police under Stalin, but for a while, he didn’t officially exist – his name was covered up in the Soviet encyclopedia and wasn’t mentioned publicly at all.

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