Monday, June 20, 2005

How long does getting thin take?

According to Christopher Robin, it takes about a week, if you don’t eat. That’s not going to happen, apparently, given my caloric intake this weekend. I was going to take the stairs this morning as penance, but I was running late, and it seemed like bad manners to arrive at work late and gasping for breath. The last time I took the stairs—the only time I have taken the stairs—I had to stop at both the third and fifth floor landings and catch my breath. That second stop, I thought I’d just have to work from the stairwell that day. That’s how out of shape I am.

I really do want to take the stairs, though, and not just to get some much-needed exercise. The courtesy officers who work in the lobby are very nice and very friendly, but I’m on the shy side, so the polite small talk they make is something I’d rather avoid. Conversations of that type are almost physically painful. Every day the stairs look more and more appealing to me. It may sound rude, but it’s not meant to be. This is a person who stands inside her front door and listens to make sure her neighbors aren’t outside so that she can dash to her car in the mornings without having to make polite chit-chat. It’s not that I don’t like people, it’s that I’m intensely uncomfortable making conversation with them. Maybe it’s because it’s always the same conversation. How are you, did you have a good weekend, that’s some weather we’re having. Or maybe it’s because I don’t know how to extricate myself from conversations, which means I’m basically trapped until they decide to be merciful and release me. I mean, if I knew a polite way to say “ok, this is conversation absolutely must end now,” so that the other person didn’t get his feelings hurt, then maybe I wouldn’t be hiding in my apartment and peering out the windows like a fugitive. It’s different with my friends, because they’re used to me abruptly transitioning myself right out of the room. Life was so much easier when I didn’t care if I hurt people’s feelings. Maybe I should become one of those people who tell others things about themselves “for their own good.” You know, “I hate to say this, Bob, but this conversation is boring me. Perhaps you should brush up on your conversation skills. Now, don’t get angry, I’m telling you this for your own good.” People wouldn’t like me very much, but it could be fun, and it would make ending conversations easier. Also, many people would probably avoid talking to me in the first place. Hmm. I’ll give it some thought.

14 comments:

jes said...

i am so glad to know that i am not alone. long ago, i wrote a post similar to the topic of this one - that being, i didn't like making small talk to the security officers.

thus, the reason i knew the answer to your question: which stairs go ALL THE WAY to the parking garage?

we should make a pact to start taking them together, in total silence, to avoid any awkward conversations.

Jennboree said...

Oh good! Are all Jennifer's anti-smalltalk? I cannot carry a light, airy conversation to save my life. Seriously, I'd probably have to die due to the inability to go beyond "Hello" were it required to keep living.

You should have a baby. Or just borrow one when you're out in public. They are great conversation deflectors because you can just look at the child and coo along with the stranger/neighbor/coworker.

Melissa said...

Okay, now I officially have to meet you sometime. It was scary to me as I was reading it how much you sound like Jes! :) In other news, I've decided that actually losing weight is a horrible feat. Even if you watch what you eat and exercise, you end up building muscle which weighs more than fat and therefore do not see a change on the scale. Of course it does change the way your clothes fit, but still frustrating! Hang in there and good luck!

Ben said...

Is THAT why you talk to Jes so much?? Because you are at her mercy until she releases you... but then she NEVER QUITS talking and so there you are... stuck.

Ahahahahaha

Really though... a "Bob, I hate to say it, but I gotta run... good to see you though..." works everytime.

MsThang said...

I am in complete agreeance with this subject. I HATE small talk, and when I feel like my small talk capabilities are up I will quit talking or walk away lol. But I have found making up a good excuse always works like Ben said.. uuh I am busy see you later.

jes said...

BEN. you are in SO MUCH TROUBLE. i promptly say goodbye to Jennifer as soon as I am through talking to her. And i say it like this:

"Okay. I'm through. Goodbye."

it's a mutual understanding that we have.

Ben said...

Jes-

What?? Now I supose your mad that I am commenting... lol.

Amstaff Mom said...

I came by to say hi via Jes' blog. I also must mention that my maiden name initials are the same as yours. We have much in common already!

JLR said...

I used to know a guy, Bill, who would just hang up the phone when he was ready to get off the phone. I would like to be able to do that and have people still speak to me afterwards. Because it does seem like a simple "ok, great talking to you, gotta run" type hint doesn't seem to make an impression on the people I usually have to make small talk with. And sometimes, transitioning to goodbyes can be difficult. Them: "Oh, you have to go see that movie." Me: [pause] "ok, well, great talking to you, but I gotta run." You'd think by now people would have stopped talking to me altogether. But they haven't. Hence the hiding in my apartment. *sigh*

jes said...

no, ben, of course i'm glad you're commenting!

JLR said...

Ben, I just have to say that you look like my friend Derek, who is the only other person I know outside of my family who can quote freely from the movie The 'Burbs, which makes him cool, and that makes you cool by association. Just so you know.

Ben said...

I'm honored. ;)

Eddo said...

"This is a person who stands inside her front door and listens to make sure her neighbors aren’t outside so that she can dash to her car in the mornings without having to make polite chit-chat."

Is it possible to have a twin that is not really a twin but they are so much like you that you share the same soul but different bodies? Reading this I thought, Did she just say what I thought she said? I have that exact same feeling when I see my neighbors, I am not trying to be rude, it's just that I don't have time to be your best friend, sometimes I want to get into my house immediately without hearing about your day, I don't know you and I am closed off at times and it really has nothing to do with you and everything to do with me.

Some people might say it is an anxiety disorder, but I don't think so, I think it is just a human reaction when you are constantly being attacked by boring conversationalists.

Good Luck on working out - Try South Beach Diet - it works really well - but don't eat their frozen meals, they are yucky.

JLR said...

I think there are probably lots of us out there like that, only we don't know it, because we don't talk to anybody. :) Instead, we're walking briskly by each other mentally chanting "don't make eye contact. don't make eye contact." But I'm going to look at it your way--I'm going to tell myself that it's not me, it's them. If they were intellectually stimulating, I wouldn't be hiding from them.

I'm so glad it's not just me. That must mean that it's not rude.