I think it’s fair to say that i don’t like to make small talk. Regardless of this fact, i do still have an arsenal of small-talk tidbits like observations about the weather, because the only thing worse than small talk is a foot-shifting awkward silence. rarely, this small talk turns into an actual conversation since i prefer to observe and analyze than talk about nothing in particular. Sometimes though…like today at the park.
Great day to be at the park, huh?
I know! I just had my birthday yesterday–what a perfect present.
Oh, happy birthday!
Thank you, although at seventy-eight they’re not quite as happy as they used to be.
(Side note: during small talk, please never share something depressing. thanks)
Well, at least the weather was nice.
I am thankful for that.
It could be worse though–our weather is amazing compared to the rest of the US.
You know, all the bad weather everywhere else…?
Oh, is there a storm or something? Where at?
Um…yeah, i guess there’s been a couple really bad ones in the midwest and east coast
Oh well, you know they’re used to that kind of weather.
Yeah, i think this might be a little worse…
Oh? How bad is it then?
(it’s never a good idea to admit to living under a rock)
(Also, should I have told her about Egypt?)
In case you’re wondering, of course the natural direction of that conversation was just to peter out with aimless references to how it rains all the time here, so that’s exactly where I let it go.)
Also, and this probably isn’t worth your time reading, but you should know that the origin of the phrase “peter out” refers to dwindling away to nothing and was first used by miners during the gold rush in the mid 19th century. No one is certain why “peter” is used, but one explanation is that it comes from the french word péter which means to break wind. That makes this much more entertaining than you imagined, i bet.