Where does one go on to sharpen their small talk skills? A typical (or should I say sane) person would seek out social gatherings like the water cooler at work, a city park, cocktail parties or a get together with friends. If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you realize that is not how I roll. My first stop in curing my nervous social tics is my bathroom mirror.
The mirror has no significance or deeper meaning. There was no ‘coming to Jesus’ moment where I dragged in an old school boom box and start blaring Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror while I confront the reflection staring back at me. Neither does it involve giving myself a Stuart Smalley motivational speech that “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and gosh darn it…people like me!” Even though I contemplate it, I do not even ask where the beach is and respond by flexing my muscles and saying in a deep voice, “it’s over there.”
Step #6 from eHow.com’s “How To Make Small Talk” is the reason I find myself huddled up in the bathroom staring at a mirror in desperate need of some Windex. For those of us who are at the Hunch Back of Notre Dame recluse level, they suggest “talk to yourself in the mirror. Make a random list of topics and see what you have to say on the subjects. Baseball, Russia, butter, hip-hop, shoes…the more varied your list, the better.” That list is definitely varied. Can you picture how one can weave all of those topics in one conversation. Going from Pujols, Pumas to Putin and ending how much butter P. Diddy puts in his pasta is quite the feat.
I have my doubts, but I decide to give this a shot. Here’s how it went:
“Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?”
“C’mon Tony…be serious.”
“Well, if we have any chance of breakthrough I have to let you know you have a bear in the cave and it really is distracting me.”
“Thanks….wow the gray sure is showing. No wonder you wear hats all the time. If it’s not the gray, it’s got to be to conceal the fact you are going bald.”
“Hold up a second chief….that’s a pretty bold comment for small talk.”
“Chief? You don’t even know my name, do you? What? Are you going to call me buddy or cowboy next time you see me?”
Conversation suddenly interrupted when Madison opens the door.
Maddie: “Daddy, what are you doing?”
Me: “Um….I’m just talking to myself….”
Maddie: “Not again daddy…That’s silly…now give me some privacy, I have to poop.”
Me: “Seems fitting, beautiful. I dropped a load on this experience…”
Maddie: “What, daddy?”
Me: “Nothing, hunny, nothing.”