I was having a little pillow talk with DH about how I suck these days at making polite small-talk (this may or may not have been related to spending time with his extended family).
He was all, you’d think with that blog and all that time you spend on the internets you’d have plenty of topics of conversation.
And I was all, we-lllll, not really.
I mean, what do we talk about on the blog?
Feminism. Nope. Not in polite company.
Racism. Nope. Ditto.
Bragging about kids. Not with his family (who have their own kids), not at toddler birthday parties, no siree. Not a chance.
Money. I wish. I do get to talk about this with DH’s father, but for the most part this is not a topic of conversation to bring up with DH’s family because we’re doing really well and they don’t want any suggestions. They really don’t. Similarly taboo at toddler parties. Back when we did parties in cities people would ask me about personal finance, investing, and/or the economy once they found out I was an economist, but that hasn’t happened in years. Maybe because they know they’ll see me again and don’t want to talk about their own finances? Or maybe because nobody wants to go near talking about politics in polite company (for good reason) in a polarized red-purple state.
There’s still food. I can totally talk about food. That’s like the one conversation I was able to participate in over break at DH’s (though I had several opportunities to discuss toddler poop, but chose not to– that’s all on me). Food is what I talk about when I have to make conversation with a job candidate whose area of research I have no knowledge of. I like food. Food is awesome.
Books… I don’t normally talk about books because I sort of only read Spec Fic (and recently I’ve added regency romance). It’s always exciting when I find out someone else is a Spec Fic reader, but I’ve had work colleagues I’ve known for years and it’s only recently that one of us has come out as a science fiction/fantasy reader. That’s always exciting, but it’s something one doesn’t talk about. I recently found out that my RA also comfort reads Georgette Heyer. But romance reading is something one talks about even less than fantasy! Most people seem to discuss book club books in polite company and I really don’t read or enjoy them.
In truly nerdy company I used to be able to discuss anime, but nobody watches it and what with the kids and all I don’t really have time to either. (Though DH and I have been slowly making our way through the third season of Natsume Yujincho. Apparently if you stop watching anime for a while new seasons come out!)
Interestingly, with the exception of anime, these are all topics I can and do discuss with my family on a regular basis, with politics added as an additional topic when my extended family gets together. Families are all so very different.
Once the topic of weather has been completely exhausted, I’m a pretty dull person in polite company. That’s why we have the blog.
What do you talk about when you make small-talk? Is it anything at all like what you talk about on the internets? Where do you get topics of IRL conversation?