Thursday, February 26, 2009

Struggle to make conversation

You've been there. We've all been there. You're in a conversation and it's all going well, you're bantering but not in an annoying or overly competitive way, you're feeling good, it's maybe flirty, either in a friend way or a let's share saliva way. And then it happens. You don't know why, or how, but the other person in the conversation is looking at you like you have two heads and you watch your potential new friend/new hookup slide their way out of the conversation and out the door. What happened? Where did it all go wrong? Well, having done this many, many a time, I finally understand where the problem lies. And it's not your fault, well, it sort of is, but it's more theirs. The thing is, you've stumped them. You've used a word or phrase or concept that is just totally alien to them. You've mentioned Hegalian Synthesis, or you've brought up the term Brechtian, or, hell, you've crossed the line between talkative and loquacious and then you have to explain what loquacious means. I used the word cathartic on a date and the boy looked both annoyed and intimidated and muttered "You don't have to do that, you aren't at not-Yale right now". Which, okay, fair enough, but cathartic? Really? Are you serious?

Now, there are a couple of options when this happens to you in the future. One, you can stop, explain the term or syntax (right after you explain the term syntax) and hope they don't run screaming to the hills. Two, you can start editing yourself a little more carefully when you are in mixed company, because, really, must you use "diaspora" like it's going out of style? Three. you can wait for your good friend vodka to sink in and then you wont be ABLE to use any kind of advanced vocabulary or complicated conceptual construction. Or, and this one is the one I'm adopting, door number four. Go on the offensive. Because in fact there are times in a conversation when I myself am stumped or confused about the topic of conversation. All of a sudden it's like a whole new language is being used and I'm like, que? But I cover it up and laugh and smile and wait for the moment to pass. No longer! No longer will I tolerate such a struggle. No, I'm making a list of topics whose emergence in a conversation I will no longer accept as legitimate or interesting. And it is as following:

1. Spring Awakening. I don't know. I don't want to know. Please don't tell me.
2. Vegan products and your opinion on them. I'm happy for vegans, I bear them no ill will. I want them to eat and be happy. But I will not talk about how excellent items without dairy are. I refuse.
3. Fantasy Sports Leagues.
4. Lost. If I haven't started watching it by now I'm never going to.
5. The Kardashians. I saw this ad for these women who all vaguely look alike in an US magazine from a year ago I was reading on the treadmill. And that was the extent of me caring.
6. American Idol. See Number 4.
7. Your dreams. Not, you know, for the future, but the act of dreaming, which wikipedia defines as "sequences images sounds and feelings experience while sleeping". Please stop telling me about them. There's no appropriate way to respond other then "what do you think it means" and frankly I really don't care what it means. Tell it to your therapist, that's what I do.
8. The economy and your plans to do investment something or other. It's not that I'm not happy for you, I am, I just don't understand anything you are saying.
9. Science. See Number 8.
10. Your grades, your gpa, and how that makes you feel. Come on, man, you're killing my buzz!

In other news, my friend Haley and I were eating lunch in one of not-Yale's ten thousand dining halls (I'm kidding, we only have around 20), and as we ate we watched an otherwise charming looking young lady battling with a sheet of aluminum foil as she wrapped up two individual peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. STRUGGLE.


  1. This made me vomit.

    We no longer having anything to talk about now that I don't go to not-Yale anymore.

    Don't ever bad mouth fantasy sports again,



  2. That girl might have been struggling with her aluminum foil, but I am in bed overlooking Lincoln Center--a sick and alone struggle, ogling strugglers in the rain leaving the ballet..

  3. it's never too late to start LOST. and it's as appalling as Battle Star etc. right up your alley.

    also, be quiet.