I'm not much for small talk, really, but find that most people don't want to think all that much while talking, which is why having a conversation with me is generally an assault to their senses, what with their only topics being the usual "Oh, it's Monday" or "Yay! It's Friday!" or, "I'm so sick of the cold..." or, "Yay! The SUN is SHINING!". And even the stuff about which everyone agrees, they don't actually talk about it so much as one person makes a statement and the other grunts in agreement.
To get along in the workplace, I have had to learn how to pretend to hate Mondays, and, pretend that every Friday is a damn good day, just cuz...it is FRIDAY! I also have to occasionally pretend that this stuff Mother Nature is doing is either GREAT or, a huge bummer.
Truth is, I don't care much. The days pretty much blend together and the weather just IS, and there isn't much I can do about that.
I have a million topics pop into my head, daily--things that delight me, and things that annoy the living hell out of me. I often find that bringing them up in conversation illicits a blank stare, and I don't know if I should feel bad that the person has no idea what the hell I am talking about or why I would lend that particular topic any importance whatsoever, OR, I feel like a total idiot and wonder...why I would lend that particular topic any importance whatsoever.
And that, my friends, is the 'real' reason that I have a blog. You may refer to it as "social idiot" syndrome.
I'm OK with that.
Because I have a blog, I can still talk about all the stupid shit that generates those blank stares, without having to feel the sting of the actual stare. Cuz sometimes, I feel the urge to call someone up and say, "OHMYGOD I just LOOOOOOOOVE my new earbuds! Like, I can hear people BREATHING in between lines of the song! I can actually HEAR the pick hitting the string! And you know, last night, I was doing the dishes, and I was listening to my mp3 player, and I thought it was super-weird because 'Moondance' came on, and you know how you CAN'T listen to that without singing along, right? But my earbuds are soooooo awesome that I couldn't hear myself! So I had to take one of them out so I could hear myself singing, so I wouldn't annoy the children with the bad singing-out-of-tune thing. And then? When I took it out of my ear? It accidentally dropped into the dishwater! But it's OK, though! It still works!"
Now...usually, when you spit out that much dialogue in that hyperactive way that I do, you get a response similar to, "That's...nice...," and later, when they hang up, instead of thinking "that Shelly is such a delight!" they think something like, "that girl is so.....weird."
I mean...there are the people out there who have never even heard of the Moondance singing/dancing REQUIREMENT. They don't know that the Moondance singing/dancing REQUIREMENT also extends to pretty much everything Van Morrison ever recorded. Maybe (Gasp!) they haven't even heard of Moondance OR Van Morrison!
In which case, I ask you...who is the weirdo?
Based on the standards of the Small Talk crowd, this stuff is way too deep. (Earbuds? ...Van Morrison? ...you have to dance...?) These things have nothing to do with weather or the day of the week, so...as topics of conversation, they are generally way "out-there".
This complication extends beyond the things that I love beyond reason (earbuds...really. Can we get excited about some more inanimate objects? That's some real love for you. Then again, I wanted to marry Paul McCartney when I was all of ten years old, so I have a very, very long history of having very strong feelings for people and things that couldn't possibly (or even legally) get me back, but, hey, that's between me and my shrink, so shut up...) It extends all the way to stuff that bothers me immensely. I'm, uh, enthusiastic.
Yes, we'll call it that. Enthusiastic.
Here is a typical "I'm so annoyed" conversation, and, because she is usually the one on the receiving end of these, we'll insert Barb as the victim.
Barb (answers phone): Hey
Me: (yelling) Do you have ANY IDEA how many people named John Larson live in the metro?
Me: A BILLION, Barb! A fucking BILLION, OK? And guess which fine citizen sent me a copy of his doctor bill today, Barb?
Barb: John Larson?
Me: John-Fucking-Larson! And do you think John Larson would put his date of birth on there? Or maybe an account number? Social Security Number? ANYTHING? JeeezuzFuckingChrist! A little help here! A middle initial! SOMETHING!!! I spent TWO FUCKING HOURS looking through every John Larson in the state! And you know what? Guess what!
Me: Not only did stupid-ass John Larson give me NO MEANS except his address by which to distinguish him from the other eleventy kajillion John Larson's in the state of Minnesota, but apparently, his ADDRESS is WRONG on the thing! We never did figure out who the hell he was!
And by this time, even though she is a very, very good sport, Barb is reeling from the blunt force trauma of my "small talk".
Not to mention, gosh, I'd love to chit-chat about "Yay! It's Friday!" but somebody just put a piece of paper belonging to a 'Michael Johnson' on my desk and now, much like the Pharaoh, I have to kill every Michael Johnson, just to make sure that THIS ONE dies.
...weren't expecting the Moses reference, were you?
I'm blaming John Larson for the entire murderous rampage.
Not to worry, they'll never find him.
You'd think, hearing stuff like that, that I'm feeling grouchy or something. In fact, the opposite is true. I feel like a million bucks. Top of the world. All of the life that drained out of me during the month of March has returned, and I am FULL, people. Full of energy, full of happy, fully awake, fully alive, and back in kick-ass mode, where I should be, and where I need to be, to feel normal. And I don't really care if anyone else thinks it's normal--they don't have to live with me. March was a drag...a real drag. Thank God it's over.
For today, just so that the bulk of the population can grasp the level of my enthusiasm for life at this very moment, I'm going to blame in on Friday! and Sunshine! and leave out the details, because as we have seen, I tend to over-detail things. A lot. So, when I say, "Hey! It's Friday! It's a beautiful day!", you can simply grunt your acknowledgement, like you would normally do, and move on about your day, thinking that I actually have a grasp on this Small Talk thing. Just pretend this conversation never happened...