Small town; need small talk.
May 7, 2008 5:55 AM Subscribe
I need to brush up my small talk for my small town.
posted by kmennie to human relations (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I moved to a village of about 2 000, almost an hour's drive out of the city, a year ago. I'm right "downtown" here, and leaving the house always involves chatting.
This sort of regular small talk with people I only know in passing is unfamiliar to me, but very normal for the town. I often feel awkward with my two or three lines in return to the people I pass, most of whom I see regularly but don't know at all.
I could use some etiquette tips on this sort of thing from other small-town dwellers, and some help with witty repartee. There must be things I can shoot at various folk besides the Nth comment on the weather.
Side note: I have a baby, who is always on me in a sling or other carrier. This of course invites comment (and gives me something to hide behind, and to talk about). I am never quite sure how to respond to comments which beg no response -- "She sure looks cozy in there," "What a cutie," etc.
I probably sound like a bumbling social inept at this point, and certainly I sometimes feel that way on the street. I should not. I don't think my current neighbours are radically different from the downtown apartment-dwellers who used to be my neighbours; this area suffers no peculiar politics or religious lunacy and I am certainly not the only urban refugee. That said, I am still very much a newcomer; my house is 'the old [former owner's last names] place,' and many people here have had family in the area since the 1800s, and I sometimes feel out of place. Which often leaves me a bit...bumbling.
What do I talk about besides the weather in those quick exchanges where neither of you really even slow down?