I'm not your bitch, don't hang your shit on me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Tennis match talking

During a lively conversation between adults, a question or remark is normally served and the responses and reactions/opinions are volleyed back and forth.

Very much like a tennis match.

Being invited to the place of a friend of a friend, I have no idea what are acceptable topics for conversation. I have a few answers prepared, in case anyone asks about the weather or the economy. Beside that, nothing; no practice with my swing, or lunges for a stray ball.

While everyone is sitting in the spacious living room, they take the occasional sips of drinks and lobby conversation serves back and forth. It's fun to watch.

“Did you remember when…?” Whoop. “Yeah, but wasn’t that…?” Whoop. “I still can’t believe…” Whoop. “Wasn’t that the time when…?” Whoop.

My head snaps back and forth between the players, with whiplash-fast movements. It’s an exciting match. Like every spectator sport, you're sitting on the edge of your seat and want to get in on the action.

Only there's a problem: I don’t know how to play.

Since I don’t know what (or who) they’re talking about, I merely hmmm and hardly say a word. Why would I ask about them about who or what they're talking about? If I say something, I'll stop the game, dead in its tracks, I think to myself. It would be crazy to interrupt!

When someone turns towards me and comments on something, I try to answer as intelligently as I can. The feeling is equivalent to having the ball hitting the net, and having me run across the court to pick it up.

After the awkward pause, the game resumes and the players continue playing with their balls and racquets.

For the rest of the game, my reactions are of the spectator kind: the occasional head nods, and a couple of cheers from the stands.

In the end, I am pretty certain that I need to practice on my conversational serves.


Blogger tornwordo said...

Lol, I get silent around strangers too. If I get too bored, I'll ask something inappropriate. "Let's all talk about our first orgasm discovery."

And the tennis analogy is so true.

August 09, 2006 8:33 am  
Blogger Jeff said...

I like this analogy. I guess I would be the mascot getting the fans riled up! I hate talking deep talk, sure I'll do it, but when I get bored I crack a joke. Screw it. So many people think sophisticated talk or boring conversation is a way to look intelligent. Sure it is, but all people like a joke and it eases the room. If you don't like the joke, then go talk to others who are stuck up. Just my .02 cents plus GST.

August 09, 2006 1:03 pm  
Blogger Kevin said...

True. Although if you don't know the poeple they are talking about, you really have nothing to do but sit there and look interested.

I was reminded of that this past weekend.

August 09, 2006 1:09 pm  
Blogger Steven said...

Torn: As much as I'd love to break the ice, I think I'd get even stranger looks if I mentioned orgasm discoveries.

Jeff: Cracking jokes are a good idea... for those who have a sense of humour (I've learned that one the hard way).

Six: Exactly. I sat there and didn't say much only to be asked why I was quiet and didn't contribute to the conversation.

August 09, 2006 3:17 pm  
Anonymous Aaron said...

Well I would gladly trade you some of my conversation skills for your writing ones - if that were all possible.

Well - I should get back to Google.

August 09, 2006 3:36 pm  

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