When I walk out the door lately, I realize that I have successfully combined every stereotypical image of “The Computer Geek” and the “Eccentric Hermit” into one package. No doubt anyone else seeing me is consumed with … well awe is definitely NOT the word. More likely a vague confusion about what exactly I am and how, or even IF, I should be approached. Which is my, for a change, short segue into my Humorous Anecdote of the Moment!
As we grow way from normal, face to face human interactions, it seems we find it more and more difficult to actually find safe conversation starters with people we don’t really know too well. I say this, but realize that it really has nothing to do with the desoicalization trends of technology. I am just grasping at another chance to shout from my soap box. The truth is I think this may actually be something genetically coded into humans.
There are so many topics two people can explore, no matter how well they know each other. The thing is, many of these topics are ripe with emotional context, and basically an invitation to battle. It’s one thing if you are talking with your BFF’s or your family members. Then battle is perfectly acceptable, depending on your specific relationship. But the average, peace-loving individual may want to steer clear of these subjects when circumstance force us to actually TALK to people we don’t know very well. For instance, if you are walking your dog, and the pesky critter insists on dragging you to that other guy over there, walking HIS dog, what do you say to each other. Do you discuss the dogs? For a moment, mainly out of sheer embarrassment. But it gets awkward leaving it there, so the need to extend the conversation … you know actually have an END point, compels you to say more. Do you discuss politics? Danger, Will Robinson!!. Maybe religion. Don’t even go there!! How about sports? That could make the other two topics look like a love fest. So what WOULD be a safe topic?
Then the answer hits you. It is right there all along … and all the time. The safest topic in the world, one which can be discussed with ANYONE, and even if there is some disagreement will end any conversation smoothly … and more importantly … PEACEFULLY. So you pick your phrase, and all is well with the world. “How could you not enjoy a day as beautiful as this?” Or maybe, “I can’t believe it is so cold?” Or any of a whole list of any other trite but accurate comments about the weather, some positive, some negative. The other guy gives an appropriate response, which may or may not actually relate to what you said, and you both go on about your business, potential disaster averted.
Lesson of the day … if you are not sure what to say, just mention the weather.