Monday, November 28, 2005

Talk about the weather

Here's where I'm staying. It's quite nice : )

Thanks to the friendly, outgoing nature of my gracious host, I've been on a whirlwind social schedule lately. He's energized by it and I'm completely drained.

"Sooooo how 'bout this weather? ....Yeah - snow.... Something, isn't it? ...Got your winter tires on yet?"

Good God. Why am I so bad at making chit chat? Last night I had to resort to mentioning tonight's Steelers game to gain points. Luckily I'd talked to Dad yesterday morning or I wouldn't have even had that nugget.

Please help me come up with my 30-second sound byte about what I'm doing. Every time I try it I end up sounding crazy. At one point last night all the seats around me were vacant and it was no accident.

"So, you live in the States?"
"Yes - Chicago."
"Oh,... have you eaten at...string of restaurant names..."
"Uhh - no. I'm partial to Panera Bread and 59 cent coffee at Speedway."
"How about Garrett's carmel corn?"
"carmel corn?"
"It's famous in Chicago!! You haven't had it??"
At that point I realize that saying Chicago was a mistake but am in no mood to get into the Plainfield conversation.
conversation dies. am sitting alone. wish I had a book.

Even worse is the "So what are you doing/who are you staying with/why?" conversation. I don't have answers that make sense. I need Linda's answers since she has been answering the same questions.

My friends are the only ones who get it.
"So where are you staying?"
explanation follows ending with "... I know it's a crazy plan that doesn't make sense..."
"Sounds like a Karen plan"
I like my friends. I'd better hold on to them because judging by my current social skill level I won't be making any new ones for a while.

Chocolate consumed over the weekend:
frosting off the top of a piece of chocolate cake,
piece of black forest cake, strudel (same night)
piece of Oreo birthday cake

Wine consumed over the weekend:
1/2 bottle of??? some delicious red wine I can't remember right now
3 glasses of something white that starts with an L
1/2 bottle of Barolo - yum, plus one glass of champagne

book progress over the weekend: 0
big surprise there.

I'm counting all this socializing as character research.

It actually did snow here. It's quite pretty.


Anonymous said...

Were you with Steve and Bessie?

From the amount of wine you drank I'd say you were.

You live in Chicago? When did that happen? What about your current lust-interest "Eric"? Where does he live? How does he fit in? Which one of the many Krazy Karen plans are you following now? I lost track at #347.

And yes, you never were quite the "small talk queen", although I would have thought that any topic that began included "winter tires" would normally be good for an hour or so of pleasant conversation.

Guess I'd be crappy at nano talk too.

Anonymous said...

Since the truth is obviously hard for anyone to believe try this:

30 sec sound byte:
I moved in with my sister because that was better than living in a box behind the local 7/11. We are writing a sitcom about a girl who moved in with her sister to write a book. There's some whacky characters in it. There's a computer genius that lives in the cellar with the girl, but only she can see him. Her parents are a little concerned about her choice of career moves but, as she is not on crack, they don't make waves. Once a week, some zany new love-interest enters the picture but something really really bad usually happens to him (or, as she is open to new ideas, sometimes this is a "her").
Now... I know it's a crazy plan that doesn't make sense but I lost a bet and it was either this or write marketing copy, also known as, "Satan's Black Lies."
Feel free to use all or any part of the above!

Karen said...

Sgt Yahoo?

Yes, I was with Steve and Bessie. It's always nice to be at an impromptu engagement party because then everyone starts talking about "Who is next?" and beaming at their spouses, telling proposal stories.

It was sweet, though - they looked really happy :)

Dodi said...

Ugh, small talk. I also lack the small talk gene. I tend towards either one word replies or babbling every thought I've ever had on the subject. Neither one gathers a crowd. The worst part about option two is that the next time I see the person, they seem to know everything about me and ask follow-up questions and I can't even remember their name.

My new tactic is to answer as briefly as possible then ask them a question about themselves. For those of you with social skills this is probably a no-brainer, but it's taken me 36 years to come up with.

As for your current plan, which is brilliant and brave, say "I quit my job to follow my dreams. I'm writing a novel, the first draft will be done in January. I moved in with family to give myself the flexibility to write." Not crazy, daring and practical wrapped up in one simple plan.

Dodi said...

Or, you could just lie. Say you are getting certified to teach yoga or training for iron man, or in the FBI academy. Well, you are the writer I'm sure you could come up with something good. Just make sure you have a back story in case they ask questions.

Or porn. You could talk about porn. I have had the best conversations at parties when porn comes up. You can even borrow my story about going to see a 3D porn at the Music Box Theater in Chicago. John Holmes was in it. There was a creepy guy that sat right in front of me. If he'd had a trench coat on it would have been the perfect cliche. He kept turning around and making comments. The one I remember is, "You girls aren't going to learn anything about foreplay from this movie. Heh heh heh."

Trackrick said...

I kinda like the sitcom idea, actually. One week, the boyfriend is hit on the head by a meteorite and forgets who he is. The next week the new girlfriend is whisked away by the sister's precocious 9-year-old to spend a life of luxury on his party yacht. Comedy gold!