You know you have no real life when, within 2 minutes of meeting a friend you haven’t talked to in months, someone pops the “So…what are you learning?” question. I caught myself before asking that question at my close friend’s vort and just gave him a hug. Then I edged out and walked purposefully towards the cake.
It’s weird. I guess other people must have cooler lives because they always ask me what I’ve been up to and I always have to pick out some non-event to make discussion out of.
‘What’s been going on with you?’
“Same old, same old.”
“Oh, I just went to ____. There’s a client there.”
‘Oh, how was that?’
“Ok. Nice weather… Interesting looking trees…Not very different from these trees.”
‘Yeah… We just went to ____’s wedding/bar mitzvah/barbecue.’
“Oh, I heard he/she was doing that. How was it?”
‘Good. Food was pretty good. We met Rabbi ____.’
“Oh…How’s he doing?”
This is about the time that I begin scouring my brain for anything to actually relate and connect over. My first impulse is to just say something I’ve been feeling- never a good idea. Impulse emotion conversations usually go:
“You know, whenever I’m at a party, I always feel like I’m a kid in a room full of adults.”
‘That’s weird, but thanks for sharing that giant blast of dysfunction. Uh, I just remembered I have to stand over there now. Bye.’
I like to stick to things instead of feelings. Something’s been going on in my life I can connect over. I’ve certainly been sad/happy over something. I wrote a good post on my blog! Nah, don’t want them to know about that. The conversation is getting sooo awkward now…Anything…I met a great girl a few weeks back! Noo. My mother probably doesn’t want to hear about that nice non-jewish girl at work I seriously considered going out with. I- wait, no, the point of that story is finding really weird porn. And that ends even more uncomfortably.
“Ok, I have to go
take a dump which I’ve been holding onto since yesterday (no, not as interesting to them), uh, take care of something (check the phone! ) I…ooh..almost forgot. I’ll see you.”
‘Yeah, I’ll be here.’
“Awesome…so I’ll see you around…here…soon. K.”
And then I just have to avoid eye-contact for 3 more hours.
That’s why I’ve decided to invite this guy to all future simchos: