I should start off by writing that I'm not very good at small talk. I usually depend on a friend to start conversations when we are out in public, say in a bar, or in a bookstore, or anywhere really. I'm afraid that I come off as disingenuous or bored or annoyed.
A former roommate of mine would say that I could give people a look that implied that they bored me.
"Oh look, it's MA," she would utter, "what's she thinking? Ah. Yes. 'You bore me'."
Yes, sometimes I do find people boring or boorish or uninteresting, but most of the time, I just don't know what to say.
"Why yes, the sky is awfully BLUE today."
"Indeed, steroids are ruining baseball as we know it."
Well, today, I managed to engage in quite a bit of small talk, thankyouverymuch, all because a woman in an electric wheel chair cut in front of me in line at the Tivoli Giant in my beautiful Columbia Heights.
The Tivoli Giant and I have a very tenuous relationship. I disapprove of its prices for things that one can get a Whole Foods for less, I'm not so pleased with the lines, I really don't like running into my upstairs neighbors there, and although I've done it a few times, I'm still a little afraid to buy fish at the seafood counter.
But damn it if that Giant isn't convenient, and many times filled with handsome men (even if more than a few times they would totally never be interested in me as they are shopping together for their perfect condo just above the metro, but I digress).
Today, the lines were so long that they stretched into the aisles. And rather than take up the space separating the magazine rack/start of the checkout conveyor belt from the start of the grocery aisles, people were patiently standing in aisles so that shoppers could walk across the front of the store with ease.
Right as I was on the precipice of getting to the elusive actual check out line, a older woman in an electronic wheelchair buzzed right in front of me into my spot in line! I should add that I had a killer headache and part of the reason why I went to the Giant in the first place was to pick up some Advil.
But I didn't say a word because she was older and in a wheelchair. What can you do in this situation?
"Excuse me, Madam, you're going to have to wheel yourself to the back of the line to the far end of the laundry detergent as everyone else has done."
I wasn't going to be THAT person.
So I turned to look at the supercool guy standing behind me (who was buying two bottles of wine and cookies. Score!) and smiled my most sheepish grin and slightly shrugged my shoulders.
By the time he and I got to the place in line where we could actually watch the groceries sail down the conveyor belt, we had to engage in some kind of small talk.
But this time, my dearest readers, I wasn't as lame as I could have been because we could talk about one of my favorite subjects, Pepperidge Farm Cookies!
Supercool guy: "Long line, eh?"
Me: "Long day! But at least you have cookies and wine, but mostly cookies!"
ScG: "Yeah. I couldn't help myself. And I had to eat two. Oh well!"
Me: "I don't blame you. At all."
Wheelchair lady paid for her stuff and I paid for my stuff and as I turned to go, I said, "Bye! Have a great evening and enjoy those cookies!"
Small talk! Who knew I had it in me?