Wednesday, December 1, 2010

words, words, small talk

words keep me alive. they fascinate me with their ability to mean everything and nothing, to drive right to the heart of a point or skirt around an issue, to horrify and electrify and surprise.

there are words that satisfy me, like succulent and befuddle, and others that amuse me, like fiddlesticks, poppycock, and mollycoddle (where do those words come from, anyway?). there are words that sound better spoken with a british accent, like rubbish and darling.

i can't live without words. to speak is to be ALIVE. maybe this is one of the reasons why small talk annoys me so much. small talk is a crime of words. small talk is nothing but robotic, and certainly never includes words like succulent.

hi, how are you?
well, thank you. you?
good. how was your day?
good. yours?

sometimes you can try to break up the cycle by giving a five minute spiel in response to how are you? but that can backfire on you, because instead of starting a real conversation you could reveal that the other person has no desire to know how you are, but simply wanted to ask for formality's sake. then it gets awkward, and usually ends like this: well, good luck with that! which sounds about as sincere as barbie.

small talk can lead to a real conversation, yes. and i do like people to ask me how i'm doing, rather than not. but sometimes i feel starved of real conversations, feeling lost in the sea of superficiality, where people put up brick walls and don't really want to know how i'm really doing and don't want to tell me how they're really doing.

today, i lack intellectual interchange. but maybe i'm just too tired to make the effort, and it's really me who is at fault, not other people.

so, how are you today?


jessica renae said...

good thanks! ;)
haha.. no, actually super stressed about this paper. BUT
i love this post. it's... exquisite. i feel sometimes that despite the high academics of byu, there is an absolute lack of intelligent social interchange. but you're right, too. someone has to start the conversation. might as well be us!

Curt and Ronda said...

This reminds me of the verse that I memorized when I was in college long ago....
"I think perhaps tomorrow I'll try to make a friend; to really get to know him intead of just pretend. I'll ask him if his feet hurt, has he burdens to be shared, and if he doesn't walk away I'll ask him if he's scared.
And if he doesn't walk away, if his feet don't turn to stone,
I'll ask him if he's scared to be alone."