Small talk.

Small talk.

I’m thinking about creating a bunch of posts of Things I Should Write a Book About. I get these wild ideas all the time, but then I’m never quite sure if they’re going to go anywhere so I let them sit and hope they grow, but then I just forget them. It’s basically like expecting a garden, because you bought some seeds, but never planting, yet alone watering, a damn thing.

In today’s edition of Things I Should Write a Book About, we’re going to talk small talk. Why do people do it and is there another way?

Maybe this should be a game show instead.

I’m not talking about the small talk you do when you’re sitting in a waiting room next to someone you’ll never meet again and they decide they want to know where you’re from, where you work, and who you hang with. That small talk is the absolute worse, but that’s not exactly what I’m referring to.

I’m talking about the small talk people do when they think they’re actually trying to get to know you, but they’re really just spewing off inane survey questions to give you an illusion of comfort so they can get into your pants. That small talk. The ‘wsup hru’ and the daily (sometimes twice daily) ‘gm’ texts. Oh, and the ‘ how was your day?’

I’m sure dudes “mean well” when they ask these questions, but they really just drive me up a wall. Just make my back itch. It’s like chess, you’ve gotta think things through.

Boy: Hey wsup?

Girl: Not much, just got off work.

Boy: Oh, word? Where do you work?

Girl: Such and such place.

Boy: Oh, that’s interesting. I work at that other place you’ve never heard of.

Girl: Great.

And this conversation is assuming both parties are in the mood to provide more than one word responses. I had to stop being friends with this one guy who not only responded with one word, but two or less characters.

Girl: What’s new with you?
Boy: Nm.

Now, how else can you get to know people? Indeed, that is the question of the ages. I recently, asked my friend to go back through six years of text messages to see when/how we started getting cool, and I’m still not absolutely sure, but we never found any bullshit small talk.

In response to that question, I offer a few suggestions for getting to know me. If you follow these, you have a much better chance of getting to know me.

  1. Get a life. If you’re mad because I don’t want to give out my number, get a life. If you think I should text you while I’m at work, get a life. If you have nothing better to do than message me as soon as you get my contact information, get a life.
  2. Find some actual common ground. If you must lead in with a question like “How was your weekend?” then follow-up with something interesting. Did we both cry over the Cavs game? Do you have a dog? Did you also love Toonami as a child? Oh, and if you mention the celebrity you live next door to, best believe you’re only asking to be used for an autograph.
  3. Be memorable. And not for an especially casual use of the English language. A spark is ideal, but if you haven’t got that, then you’ve got to have a really good joke up your sleeve, an infectious laugh/smile, or a type of game that makes me second guess all of my man goals and go, “maybe he’s the one.” On more than one occasion, I’ve been interested in one guy based on looks, but his friend did something that made me change my mind.
  4. Ditch the “How are you?” unless you actually plan to do something with that information. If my day was great, then what? And on the flipside, if I said my day was terrible, what are you gonna do about? Some dudes think offering to give women a massage is an appropriate response. I think those dudes should get lost at sea.
  5. Befriend me. I know, I know. Everyone’s terrified of the friend zone, but you’ve got to start somewhere. In my pants? Absolutely not. Show me that you can be my friend first. I’m not saying you pretend that you have no interest in me whatsoever and ask me for advice on dealing with all six of the girls you’re texting. I’m saying, allow me to get comfortable talking to you without me having to worry that I’ll be accosted with a cheesy come on every five minutes. Also, this is pretty much the only leverage available for dudes who I’m not instantly excited about. Some guys become more attractive the more you get to know them, just like you can meet some beautiful guys who are ugly and rotten.
  6. Kill me with kindness. I’m a super sucker for nice dudes. I get crushes on nice servers, men who hold the door open for me, friends who do little things just because I asked. It’s the simple things that I appreciate. Do I care if you have a car and a job? Yes, but don’t expect to get a pat on the back for it.
  7. Know when to throw in the towel. Some dudes don’t have “it.” It’s not that you don’t have “it” at all. You just don’t have my “it” and that’s cool. It’s nothing personal, you’re just not the one for me. If you get a sense that I’m not interested, bow out gracefully. You know what’s super ugly? When dudes try to beat me into replying by sending text after text. Or worse, when they start calling me names because a two hour delay in responding made them feel inadequate. If you act this way, then you most definitely are the problem.

I feel like I could write a book about this because there’s so much more I need to investigate. What are the most successful intro-lines? How many chances do you give someone before deciding they’re a dud? Is magic the only actual pre-requisite?

More to come.

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