Conversation 101

I don’t know if this happens to you or not. But sometimes in the course of small talk, chit-chat, interviews, or get-to-know-you conversations, one of the people involved in the interaction plays the “way open-ended question” card. This is an AWESOME move if you’re the one doing it. But on the other end, it’s a little less awesome. For instance, let’s say two girls are having a conversation. The first–let’s call her Jane–is meeting the second–let’s call her Elizabeth–for the first time.

Jane: It’s so nice to meet you, I’ve heard such nice things about you!

Elizabeth: Oh, that’s nice to hear! It’s great to meet you, too.

Jane: So tell me about yourself.

The sound you just heard was the conversation coming to a screeching halt. “Tell me about yourself”? I never know the best way to respond to that. I mean, does the person want you to start when you were born and give the highlights of elementary school, high school, college, and how you got to your job? Or do they mean to ask what your likes or dislikes are? Or what hobby you’re into? Or your pet peeves? Or your faith journey? Or what you day-to-day life looks like? Or…?

Facepalm.

I hate that question. It’s so vague that I want to shoot myself in the face, but instead I just end up rattling off a lot of information in a not-so-coherent matter just so I can get past the question and move on with my life. I get that the person is just trying to make conversation and feels like they are making a genuine effort to get to know you. But that doesn’t make it any less painful to be on the other end of the question. Am I alone here? Maybe I’m just weird. And rude.

Okay, so here’s another one for you. You’re talking to someone, and this dreaded question comes up: “So, what’s your favorite show?” But unlike the previous ambiguous question, this one at least I can be prepared for. It took time, mind you. And a specific pro/con checklist…nah. Who am I kidding? I’m no Rory Gilmore. 🙂

1. Gilmore Girls

Sure, everyone on the show talks fast and is extremely witty. But once you buy into that, it’s just amazing quotes, quirky characters, and the journey of all kinds of relationships. Love. It. And after a while, I’m embarrassed to admit, the talking part starts to sound normal. Scary, right?

2. West Wing

Apply the wit of Gilmore Girls to the world of politics, and you get The West Wing. Everything I know about politics (pretty much) comes from this show and the ensemble cast is BRILLIANT. Plus, it has the dramatic element going for it. It takes about 5 episodes to understand the characters and the basics of what they do. But once you’re there? There’s no going back. It’s eye-opening, human, and heart-wrenching. Perfect combo.

3. Friday Night Lights

Football, Coach and Tammy Taylor, the stupendous writing, and the realistic yet artful way the producers approach the show? It’s nothing more than excellent. The rise and fall of life, captured in a small Texas town where football is king? Sign me up. (And yes, I cheer during the games even though I know they’ve already been taped. So sue me.)

4. The Office

Oh. My. Gosh. Is there anything funnier out there? Now, to be fair, I’ve only seen the first six seasons. I’ve yet to see last year’s or this year’s episodes. I’m hearing some good things about planking, though. But the best part of this is Jim and Pam (of course) and watching them, as normal people, interact with all their office crazies. And Jim’s “Is this really happening right now? Please tell me someone else is witnessing this” expression is one of the most memorable ever. For shizzle.

5. The Vampire Diaries

You might judge me for this one. And if you don’t like this genre, then it’s best that you steer clear. But what I love about this show is its unpredictability and fantastic acting. It’s more than just a Twilight continuation. In fact, L.J. Smith who wrote these books wrote them long before Stephanie Meyer picked up her pen. It’s got vampires, an intense love triangle, and it’s all set in high school but the way the writers elevate this into a story that keeps you guessing through every twist and turn? Pretty incredible.

Whelp! There it is. For better or worse. How ’bout you?

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4 thoughts on “Conversation 101

  1. Katie Ganshert says:

    I’m so with you on The Office and Vampire Diaries. And like you, I’ve only watched the first 5 (maybe season 6, I can’t remember) seasons of The Office. I think seasons 2 and 3 are just 100% hilarious. And you know my love affair with the Vampire Diaries. The other shows I have never seen, so I can’t speak to them.

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