I Tried Small Talk!

I’m standing around waiting for my daughter to come out of her preschool classroom, and I decide to try my hand at small talk.

Me to mom of N’s classmate: Did you have a nice weekend?

Preschool Mom: Yes. It was busy. We opened up the cabin in Tennessee.

Me: Oh really! My husband has always wanted a cabin in the woods.

Preschool Mom: Really?

Me: Oh, yes! For the apocalypse.


Preschool Mom {polite laugh}: Oh.

Me {cue rambling awkward}: Um, yeah, he and his brother talk about it {she’ll never meet them. don’t mention me. don’t mention me}. They look for cabins and email about whether it’s easy to protect with like moats or guns or cameras, well, you know…

Preschool mom: Are they in the army?

Well, it was nice of her to try and give me an out.

Me {defeated}: No, not really.

I did congratulate myself on not mentioning the zombies, the apocalyptic stash in our own home, and how they are going to be pretty darn sorry when our cabin is well-fortified, and theirs is, well, just a cabin in the woods.

So my filter is improving! High-five!

PS. Best zombie links sent to me this month? A song from Chara: Zombie For Your Love with lyrics such as “I’d eat your flesh, you know I’m just a zombie for your love.” (as far as I can tell this is what Kim Lenz is singing — I’m probably deaf, remember?)

And a link to  Zombie Magnetic Poetry from Ann. I may start writing all my Late Enough posts with it.

PPS. The first link in my PS is an amazon affiliate link so if you buy something through that 4-6% goes to me instead of Amazon.com. How zombie-rific is that?

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

34 thoughts to “I Tried Small Talk!”

  1. I’ve never been good at small talk with other parents. But if you started a zombie conversation with me about the end of the world I would probably be able to keep up with you. My husband is very worried about these things.

  2. This is the kind of parent talk I would love to be having.

    Sadly, I have yet to find a parent who wants to talk about these things with me, so mostly I stand around trying to look interesting while listening to women discuss china and shopping.

  3. Please clarify? At what point did your small talk fail? If there is any awkwardness it should fall on the shoulders of unprepared cabin owners. Surely not prepared people such as you. Although two gallons of water and a radio strains the definition of “prepared” it’s head and shoulders above you average cabin owner. Guns, check. Cameras, check. Might want to Google “Claymore” before moating. Smack “zombies” in my tag cloud for further advice and info.

  4. See, if I’d been that mom, we’d be best friends now.

    It’s good to be prepared. It’s better to have friends who are prepared

  5. I know no one else that would talk about the apocalypse in a first conversation. Hahahaha! Points for making the effort?! And yay for making the blog!

  6. Thank you for thinking there is still hope for me.

    I always blow it.

    I have to stop even trying.

    I blew it again this year.

    Not sure what the problem is. Maybe I think I’m being helpful, or I think I am helpful, but actually, I’m just a filterless TMI boob.

  7. OMG…too bad you weren’t standing next to me. My husband is the same as yours….Zombie, fellow Americans…the man…whomever, he’s ready…and the other day he found an old Missile Silo for sale, just a cool $2.5 mil. too bad your not living here, I think they’d get along. He looks at land and talks about when he gets his acreage….something about turrets and man holes.

  8. This and all of the comments below cracked me up.

    While I’m not personally too worried about zombies, I am a bit type A and can appreciate the desire to be prepared.

    Thumbs up to attempting small talk!

  9. Now if you brought that up to me? We would instantly be BFFs because the husband and I discuss this topic often, only instead of actually looking for a place to fortify on our own, we figure out who we would glom on to [SWAT team neighbor? Yes! Cousin who is actually building a bunker? ALSO YES!].

    Or we decide which wine we’ll drink as we wash down the bottle of sleeping pills that will be our only salvation.

  10. Ha my brother is preparing for the zombie apocalypse too. I don’t talk about it because people then think I should have him committed and question my parenting skills when I have him babysit.

  11. When you said, “Oh yes! For the apocalypse.” I would have jumped to the foregone conclusion that you were referring to the zombie apocalypse. Is there any other kind? Seriously.

  12. I feel your pain. I had to explain to my co-worker yesterday that my husband calling him my “work husband” was not, in fact, jealousy.

    I had to go into a whole explanation on how if my husband came to work and had lunch with me, I would be cheating on my co-worker, but if I slept with my co-worker, I would be cheating on my husband. Different domains. And yet, that didn’t seem to alleviate the awkwardness.

    Ah. the world we live in. (we also have a plan for the zombie apocalypse)

  13. I don’t know, I’m pretty sure “the apocalypse” does not count in “small talk” with most people. But I would have been right there with you. Way to go not mentioning the zombies!

  14. I can’t even talk to other parents about PARENTING. I swear, half the time I try to talk about what’s going on with my child, the other parent will say, “Oh, we never had that with so-and-so” or, worse, just look at me and say, “oh.” If you lived in Los Angeles, we could have small talk. And Zombie talk. And analyze all of our problems. Like women are supposed to do.

  15. LOL. Ah… well, it started out well enough.

    I tell you, if/when we ever meet, it’s going to be one big awkward-fest. Because I’m terrible at small talk/meeting new people and you’re terrible at small talk/meeting new people, so together we’d just be a bumbling, stammering mess.

    We should sell tickets.

  16. Oh man, I tried to make get-to-know-you small talk with the new girl in my office last week and I ran out of stuff to say and now I’m pretty sure she thinks I’m incredibly socially awkward. If only I had thought to mention the zombie apocalypse!

    You just reminded me that I still need to read my Zombie Survival Guide – which my friend bought me in 2006!

  17. Good lord, this is hilarious! I’m the queen of small talk. I would be the one to continue that conversation for a while. Then I’d get really interested in this cabin theory. Then I’d start planning my own nuclear holocaust shelter in the woods….

  18. That would have been me too, except I’d probably just think she was weird for not responding with an offer to friend me on Facebook, you know, just in case we need to share resources.

  19. I hate small talk with people I don’t know. I especially hate small talk with parents in the pick up line that I don’t know. I usually pretend to be deaf. Now I know that I can start talking apocalypse and zombies!

  20. This is the problem: I suck at small talk b/c I waste too much thought worrying and trying to interpret the receiver of my message’s face.

    If I register it as “not acceptable person here” then I clam up.

    Then I shuttup. Then I sit and be boring.

    What do we do, A? Just let our freak flag fly, because there’s no winning at this game….not for us.

    Not for us.

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