“When I go to a party and try to launch small talk, it displaces its own weight and we sink with all hands aboard.”
– Hildegard Dolson
From “I Love a Nice Liar“, 1967
I stumbled across this quote from Hildegard Dolson the other day whilst reading a compendium of humor writings and I immediately identified with it, for I am not now, nor have I ever been, good at small talk.
It’s not that I think small talk is beneath me. Far from it. I envy people who are good at it. But whenever I try to engage in small talk, my brain cuts all ties with my mouth, wishes it well in its future endeavors, and waves from the dock as the S.S. Blathering Mouth drifts, rudderless, out to sea.
I can only watch and listen helplessly (and aghast) as my mouth strings together the most preposterous thoughts using the most motley, mangy collection of mongrel words ever to have escaped the confines of a thesaurus. I can only hope that people assume I am under the influence of strong narcotics, for I would hate for them to think that this is my actual brain talking.