Cut the chit-chat

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I am not good at making small talk. About doing the whole friendly “can you believe this weather?” business that most adults are expected to do in most situations. Oh, I can pull it off. I can do it. I’m just saying I’m not good at it. And I don’t enjoy it.

I overhear conversations every day that make me stabby just because of how dumb they sound. People discussing the eating habits of their father-in-law; chit-chat about the virtues of using generic versions of Jet-Dry in the dishwasher; talk about someone’s grandkid complimenting grandma on the Christmas decorations they put up; cloying giggles as someone shares some adorable details about some kid’s totally average school achievements.

It’s the same damn thing, all the time. I tend to remain quiet, because I have some unorthodox opinions on things, for one thing… and also because of that whole “if you don’t have something nice, don’t say anything at all” rule.

Is there a point that most people reach when they are OK with making small talk? Where that is pretty much all you ever say anymore… when you actually enjoy going back and forth about the wonderful things you find in Costco? And if so, when will I reach that point? When can I feel like I am part of this strange society of nothing-talk? Will I always be this snarky, this annoyed by whitewashed, vanilla-talk about nothing? I think I might. I’m already 35. The foundation’s been laid. It would be a lot of work to break it all up now and rebuild a shiny-happy-person in my place, at this point.

So I think I’ll just go with what I’ve got, who I am, and build off of that.

There’s still room for smart-asses, right? Sometimes, random thoughts are acceptable, right? Creative free-association doesn’t always have to result in funny looks from other people, or jokes like “OK, what have you been smoking?”… right? If not, I’m just gonna have to be in the minority. I don’t think I can change. And you know what? I totally do not want to change. I have fun, and I laugh and I can entertain myself with the weird shit that floats through my brain. No, I am not on drugs, or drunk. This is just how I think.

I’ll never be a CEO or a vice president of anything. I will probably never even manage people at all. But that’s cool. It’s more fun this way. I don’t want to get trapped into thinking success looks like one thing, and that’s the end of it. I have no intention of being defined by my job. I do not want to censor myself; I shouldn’t have to, since I’m fortunate enough to have been born in this country. Of course, I don’t hurt people and I’m not going to be a mean asshole… but I don’t want to sell myself out just to fit into the white, middle-class mode of boring, mediocre ‘success.’ I don’t want a stucco house in a development where all the houses look the same. I don’t want to drive a fancy car I can’t actually afford. I don’t want a dull husband and to pop out a couple perfectly-average little kids that I am afraid to discipline.

I want to be happy and inspired in my home, and have a great time creating a look and feel that’s all me.

I want to have a car that is reliable, and brightly-colored. A car that can still look fine with a few dings and scratches. I do not want car payments. At all.

I want a partner (not necessarily a husband) that makes me laugh, talks too much, and has a charitable soul. Someone who inspires me to push my own creative limits, just because it’s fun.

And finally, if I were to have a kid, I’d want to give he or she access to as much as possible. I’d want to travel everywhere with that kid; visit all kinds of museums, see different performances, meet all kinds of people and animals, show them how learning can be frickin’ awesome. Most of all, I want to see who that child turns into. I want to be surprised by my kid’s choices. I don’t want a little mini-me. I don’t want a perfectly neat, entitled little shit with a trendy “different” name. I want a kid not afraid to be messy, not totally destroyed by hearing the word “no.” And I do think that a parent has the power to lead a kid in their own direction; a parent has the power to discipline, to teach and inspire. And that is frickin’ cool.

So, I guess I’m just happy and grateful today that I don’t always fit in.

That I do feel left out of certain things in the office-world.

I like it.

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3 responses »

  1. all this is why I love you and wish you every happiness.
    I HATE Lumberg office humor!! It starts out with small talk and ends with a joke where they laugh too hard at their own beigeness. gah.

  2. Awww, thanks! I know you know what I’m talkin’ bout. And you know the people I bond with at work aren’t among the Beige Brigade, anyway… somehow, I find the snarkies or they find me. Thank god. I just hope the few snarkies that are left don’t leave; we’ve lost too many already.

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