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i've never been a fan of small talk. probably because i'm not very good at it. (unless, of course, i've had a few glasses of wine.) i just don't understand the rules. so i often find myself saying things that makes the other person squirm like a cat that doesn't want to be held.
i could philosophize about it. but i'll just say, sometimes it is an art form.
actual conversation overheard today while volunteering at the MOCA info desk:
friendly-nice guy: hey, help yourself to my peanut butter m+ms.
black-hair-dye guy: oh cool, thanks.
(friendly-nice tells a woman where the ladies’ room is.)
b-h-d: so, do you really like peanut butter or something?
f-n: sure, I like peanut butter.
b-h-d: do you, like, eat lots of peanut butter?
f-n: uh, yeah, I guess. i eat my share.
b-h-d: do you like reese’s peanut butter cups?
f-n (enthusiastically): oh yeah. who doesn’t?
b-h-d: right. right. who doesn’t. right?
b-h-d: so, do you buy that um, expensive gourmet peanut butter? or do you prefer jif or skippy?
f-n: skippy's pretty good.
(pause. pause. uncomfortable pause.)
f-n: i mean, any kind. i like any kind.
b-h-d: me, too. especially chunky.
f-n: oh yeah. chunky's good with jelly.