Conversation can be difficult.
You want to join in but not to dominate.
You want to let people know you’re interested – even if you aren’t.
You can’t use maths to average the sound emission duration for each person and make a calculation of your expected noise contribution on the fly.
Been there,done that.
You have to react in real time.
The amount of times I tried to think of something clever to say and realised I was just standing there by myself in the dark.
About 4 times.
It’s about the flow, like an interchanging sea of sound moving from one person to the next.
You have to surf a wave seamlessly and become part of the sea.
Pretending to listen is good but you get tired real quick.
The people can see it in your dead eyes.
You get bored and it’s your fault – not their stories about their interesting lives.
It can’t possibly be that.
It seems more like a game of pretend.
You pretend to listen to them when they speak, then they pretend to listen to you when you speak.
Please love me
You want group acceptance.
Even when the subject of conversation gets difficult.
“It will never happen again,” one said.
I join in with my A game.
“What about the American Indian genocide or the Armenian one?”
Apparently that’s a faux pas.
They were talking about paying full price for furniture.
Ooh Lovely Dolphins
But what about genocide?
Genocides are a bit like dolphins.
Some have a special status,somehow more relevant than others.
Others are more like Tuna – nobody cares.
Perhaps it is because we can only accept so much horror in our life.
Some genocides are too close.
The safe way we like to think about ourselves is threatened.
We could not be only a victim but a perpetrator – just like our ancestors.
Who wants to think things like that about themselves?
Please don’t reject me
I joined a simple conversation about furniture and introduced the ‘G’ word.
It seems to be the worst thing in the world – interrupting their social pretend.
People rolled their eyes.
I suspected I had made a mistake.
I normally don’t need to try to remain oblivious. It’s a natural talent.
Occasionally some gossip finds it’s way back to me.
People are saying I am a “catastrophe bore.”
Truth Hurts – What is Truth?
Is that the truth? Am I a catastrophe bore?
Or are they trying to slur my name because they didn’t like me in the first place?
Using my simple genocide mistake against me.
One genocide and I’m ostracised forever.
Isn’t small talk so difficult?
Furniture vs Genocide
I would never pay full price for furniture either.
Why couldn’t I have said that at the time?
It may not be socially inappropriate to bring up the hypocrisy of genocide selection
when talking about human behaviour.
It certainly is when talking about furniture.
It’s important I remember so it doesn’t happen again.
Otherwise you will be judged,ostracised and rejected without a word.
Don’t be a catastrophe bore.
and don’t pay full price for furniture.