But back to the fact that this is a small town. The kind of small town where you, inevitably, end up running into people all the time. All. The. Time. Add to that the fact that I just spent two years working retail and, basically, I know everybody here. And the thing is, I'm not precisely friendly. I'm not sociable. Okay, so maybe I am friendly. I don't really scowl or growl or yell at people. At least not all the time. But that doesn't really mean that I actually want to engage in conversation with every single person I see, now does it?
And people here, they are friendly. Or something. The small town kind of friendly where they don't really ignore each other on a regular basis (oh, to be back in the callous anonymity of a big city!). So what ends up happening is that every time I go somewhere/do something I end up running into someone I sort of know and with whom I should (should being the operative word here) be able to engage in conversation.
As a little parenthesis here, did you know that when I was about 3 years old some doctors told my parents I was autistic? Yeah, my social skills were that good. Animals, I had no problem with. People, on the other hand, I could not handle.
Fast-forward a shitload of years and subtract one misguided autism diagnosis, and it's last night and I am sitting at the Lounge of the Lost Dog Cafe drinking beer and enjoying a pretty fabulous Drag Queen show. And then add a couple of people whom I have met a number of times in assorted situations who see me and come over to say hi. Hi! How are you? Fantastic to see you! How are you liking the show? Wonderful, no? Yes. Yes, yes, yes.
And then what? Then nothing. Uncomfortable silence. Awkward smile. Sip of beer. Rinse. Repeat.
And it's not like I am a total bitch. Okay, so maybe I have some major bitch moments, but those are neither absolute nor continuous.
And where does that leaves us? That, my friends, leaves us with a dire necessity for a copy of "Small Talk for Dummies". That's where.