Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Small talk.

I was feeling a bit lazy so instead of making dinner I decided to get some fish n chips for me self as a little treat. I walked up the road to the chipper and asked for me cod and chips. Yer man behind the counter gets them and throws some salt and vinegar over and then wraps it all up nicely for me.  I go to take it and he asks me: "Did you 'ave a nice day t'day love?" I froze. Did I have a nice day? I didn't know if I did or not. I looked at him. "Em yes." "That's nice love, you'll enjoy these, eh?" He hands me the bag; "Yes." I tell him, trying to think of something better to say, something that will show what a wonderful and witty person I am. Something that will cement me in his mind as his customer of the week. But I can't think of anything. " You live close by?" he asks me, all friendly. I nod my head. "Ah, that's good, you'll be home soon, enjoying them so." I nod my head again, still trying to think up the most astounding and wonderful response that will knock the batter off his sausage. "Have a lovely evening," he says before moving onto the next customer.  I nod again before leaving the shop.  The whole way home I think about what I should have said, what I could have said and my embarrassment at my total lack of social skills.
Greg and I attended the same school of Small Talk

Small talk. I just can't do it. When I see someone coming down the road that I know, I pray they don't stop and talk to me. Just a quick greeting and a little wave will do me grand, thank you. And don't sit beside me on the bus. You'll ruin the whole journey for me. I'll be sat there, squirming in my seat, trying to think of things to say to fill the awkward silences. And there will be many of them. Don't even think of bumping into me at the shopping centre. I'll lose the ability to speak. I won't be the girl who never backs away from a heated discussion down the local of a Sunday afternoon. Instead you'll be greeted by a grunting, nodding, bag of nerves, who shifts from one foot to the other while wringing her hands as her face turns from bright red to puce.  I'll wring my hands so much that welts will form between my fingers; yes, that has actually happened. I have often run into shops to avoid people I know. In my local Pennys I have hid behind railings of clothes and on the street I run past friends exclaiming, "I'm running late, so sorry I can't stop", all to save myself from chit chat. Sometimes I get caught of course, and make a complete idiot of myself. I bring up something inappropriate like the smear test I just had, making us both sorry we stopped for this tete a tete.  Other times I waffle on, out of control, not sure when to call a halt to the little chat.  I want to shout at the acquaintance "I'm sorry, I'm crap at this, just walk by in future!" Letting them know, it's nothing personal, that I am just a freak.  But I never do.

At least I'm safe over here in Derby; having no friends can sometimes be a blessing.  Except down that chipper, won't be going there again so.  Which is a pity cos it were right tasty.


  1. Oh, meet your twin! Someone I know sitting beside me on the bus is my worst nightmare. I used to pretend to be asleep for fear of inadvertently making eye contact with a neighbour...

  2. Oh, yeah I'v done that too - head against the window, eyes shut.

  3. Uh, the bus thing *shudder*

    Damn shame about the chipper though, can you pay a small child to go in instead for you next time and you can loiter outside waiting for your order?! I don't think kids do small talk?!

  4. I'm so glad I'm not alone on this one. I hate walking through town and see someone you know coming towards; fight or flight situation.

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  6. Hi Nutty Butter! Just came across your blog when I was googling "Tallafornia" girls for my blog :). Really enjoy your witty style and your observation ;). I'm a German mom who lives in Ireland (well, only partly now I suppose) and also write about little things that I notice. So if you'd like to check it out too, here's the link:


    Happy Easter (and enjoy the lovely weather ;)!

    1. Hey thanks for the comment - had a look at your blog. It's funny to see things from a non-irish perspective.

  7. Totally agree. My small talk really only consists of 3 or 4 lines which I try to use in various guises depending on who I meet. After that I become very random in what I say. Just can't help it. When I say random, it could be something like "I hate that guy's shoes" as an innocent passerby strays into our space.