I CAN’T do small talk.
It’s just beyond me.
I’m in awe of anyone who can do it for longer than two or three minutes.
You stand there at a party, glass of warm wine or flat 7up clutched in your sweaty paw, grinning awkwardly at complete strangers, mumbling about the weather or the latest about the recession.
I usually end up cursing. Not on purpose, just out of awkwardness.
“Fucking rain, eh? Yeah, Met Eireann said it was going to be pissing down today.”
It’s only when I see the widened eyes and pursed lips of the other party goers that I realise I’ve done it again.
It’s not only strangers I’m awkward with, I can’t do small talk with friends or family either.
I rarely ring anybody just for a chat, reserving the phone for when I actually have some news or need to ask a question.
Mammy Dunne on the other hand checks in regularly just to say hello or to see what’s new or what’s happening.
Nothing’s happening Mam. I don’t know what to say to you, I got up and worked, had my dinner, did some cleaning. My knickers are pink today, if that’s any use to you.
I’m the same with Yer Man. He’ll come in from work all questions.
How was your day? What did you do? Any news?
The day was grand, same as always, no news. I know he wants me to be one of those women from the ads on TV who never shut up, who talk at a mile a minute and who go into great detail about the minuate of their day, but I just can’t get it up for him.
I’m a monster. It’s terrible. I can’t even stir myself to talk to my husband.
It’s not that I don’t want to talk to him, or to my mother, or to the randomers at the party, that I think I’m above them or something – it’s just sometimes, I have nothing to say!
I’m equally as taciturn when the shoe is on the other foot – I can’t bear to LISTEN to small talk either. I try my hardest not to be rude about it, I nod and smile and try to engage. But inside I’m thinking ‘I don’t care, I really really don’t care.’ And I don’t. I can’t help it.
I had an online conversation today with two very lovely women who talk to their mothers between four and nine times a day. Plus a couple of emails and text messages.
They talk all the time, chatting about their day, plans for the evening and even more indepth stuff, everything and anything really. It’s no hardship to them, if they didn’t do it, they’d miss it.
These people are like aliens from another planet to me! (In the nicest possible way of course.) How do they do that? How do they have nine conversations a day with their mothers? Or anybody for that matter?
I’ve long since thought that I have no soul, that I’m an empty shell of a human being – I don’t listen to music, I have no passions, very little stirs me to any sort of reaction and I despise the sorts of TV show that everybody else raves about – and this small talk thing only confirms that for me.
A monster with no soul, that’s me.
How about you lot?
Are you a talker – or have you the blackest of black souls?