“As Long As It’s Talking With You, Talk Of The Weather Will Do”

Today, when I stepped off the bus the air in the loop hit me in a different way: it was cool, but not cold, the wind brisk, but not blowing. It’s downright balmy, I thought. And then I caught a glimpse of a digital temperature display: 28 degrees. Huh.

I remember visiting Arizona eleven years ago, in May. We were planning to move there, and I was looking at houses with my Dad. I’d lived in the desert before, but I wasn’t used endless freeways and endless sun. It was sweaty and miserable. And then the sun went down and I stepped outside and the air hit me in a different way: it’s downright chilly, I thought. And then I caught a glimpse of the temperature display in dashboard of our rental car: 99 degrees. Huh.

And with that, a confession: I’m one of those people who loves to talk about the weather.

This has not always been the case. In college, I swore up and down that I hated small talk. Hated it. I decried it as mundane, and unsatisfying for a deep thinker like me, who wanted more out of her relationships. [Yes, I was an arrogant, insufferable intellectual elitist.] What’s more, I thought it to be insincere. I thought that because I didn’t mean it when I asked “How is your day?” that nobody else meant it, either. [Yes, I was completely self-absorbed.] Until one day, as I was blathering on about the uselessness of small talk [Man, shut up, already, College-Me. It’s not like you’re the first person to think herself too interesting for small talk.], my friend K looked at me in surprise and said, “But you’re so good at it.”

This floored me. What did he mean? Did he mean I was insubstantial? Insincere? I figured out later that what he was actually telling me is that I wasn’t as awkward as I thought I was. As all teenagers think they are. Part of hating small talk is being too young to know how to relate to people. Another part of it is being too self-centered to bother trying.

Now that I’m older, I relish the routine exchange of pleasantries with strangers and acquaintances and passers-by. In fact, I don’t even think of it as small talk. I think of it as getting to know the world in small chunks. It’s still not enough. I want to know how your day is, but I also want to know how your life is. In the meantime, let’s just talk about the weather.

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2 Responses to “As Long As It’s Talking With You, Talk Of The Weather Will Do”

  1. Another great post. I loooove talking about the weather. I think the weather gets a bad rap as being the thing you only talk about if you have nothing interesting to say, but the weather IS interesting in the sense that it affects us all and can really have an impact on our daily lives! So I guess though I still feel self conscious talking about it, it really is one of my favorite things to talk about.

  2. Pingback: The Fatigues | Bending the Rules

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