Small Talk, Big Talk

by Marinka on September 9, 2008

I can’t stand all forms of small talk. It makes me insane when people talk about the weather and say things like “nice day!” or “hot enough for you?” or “thank goodness it’s Friday!” and “What a week” or any of those phrases that serve as social lubricants for normal people but psychosis-inducing mechanisms for me. I avoid them at all costs. Maybe it’s because I spent the first nine years of my life in the Soviet Union, where people spoke to relay information and not to comment on the self-evident, but I’ve never developed a taste for it. And yet, I’m not really comfortable with silence, either. Tragically, figuring into this is another obstacle–I don’t have many interesting things to say.

So, you see the problem–my husband and I spend a lot of time together. We both hate small talk, but unlike him, I hate silence. I solve this problem by asking him every once in a while if he wants to get a divorce. Because, I figure, if he does, I don’t want to be surprised. And plus, it’s conversation! I don’t do it often, and yet he still finds it annoying. You’d think that the charm would start to creep up on him.

Last weekend, our conversation went like this:

Me: Divorce?

Him: What?

Me: Do youwant to get a divorce?

Him: why would I want to get a divorce?

Me:I don’t know why you’d want to get a divorce. People just do sometimes. Does everything have to have a reason?

Him: (OR SHOULD IT BE “He”? But then, it’s Me and He and that sounds really weird)Yes, when people get a divorce, there usually is a reason.

I:Like what?

He:Like they don’t want to be married to each other anymore.

Moi:What are you saying?

Heoi: I’m saying that I don’t want to get a divorce.

Yo: Even though-

El: Even though what?

Ya: Well, we can never agree on the A/C because I want it on and freezing and you want it off when you sleep, because the noise bothers you.


Marinka:And it’s the same thing with the heat in the winter.

Husbandrinka: That’s not divorceable.

MotherhoodinNYCblogger:And you told me that my slippers squeak when I walk.

MotherhoodinNYCblogger’s husband: Whatever.

We:And you hate Tom Petty and Bon Jovi.

They:I don’t hate Bon Jovi, but he’s unoriginal and boring.

La Me: HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT? “friends and relations, send salutations”. How is that unoriginal?

Le Him: Yeah, not enough for divorce.

Me: Annulment?

For some strange reason, he really likes silence. Something about it being golden.

One year ago ...

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

anymommy September 9, 2008 at 5:34 pm

Wait. Hubandrinka hates Tom Petty? I think that is worse than being a rabid, scary ‘conservative.’ (My husband has forbidden me from calling him a Republican on the internet.)

AnyDaddy may be scary politically, but he loves the classics!!


Cathy September 9, 2008 at 6:36 pm

Oh my god. That was funny. I don’t mind silence – well, actually, it’s usually the sound of the keyboard after the kids are in bed… no time to talk for me!


Kate Coveny Hood September 9, 2008 at 7:03 pm

I actually remember thinging about this when I was a kid and wondering why grownups were so boring.

Small talk doesn’t exist for kids. They are able to fill silences with very simple conversation that is somehow not small talk.

I recently sat at a “kids’ table” at an event and we had a 20 minute conversation about bees (whether we’ve been stung, when, whether it was our fault, how much it hurt, how to avoid being stung by bees, whether they are actually scared or angry, if bees actually die after they sting you since that’s what everyone says and how that would kind of defeat the purpose of the sting as a defense and make it just spiteful…) I found this far more interesting than the discussion at the grownups’ table which probably had something to do with gas prices, politics or the weather.

Exactly when do we stop talking about bees and start talking about the weather?


MomMega September 9, 2008 at 7:52 pm

Wahaaat? He hates Tom Petty? And Bon Jovi? But what does he sing when he does karaoke?


wfbdoglover September 9, 2008 at 8:02 pm

me: What are you watching?
him: A MOVIE
Me: I know that – WHAT MOVIE
him: Dunno
Me: how can you watch a movie and not know what the name is?
him: dunno

me: screaming


Me: What MOVIE are you watching?
him: dunno

Definately grounds for divorce.


Insta-mom September 9, 2008 at 9:57 pm

Hysterical. But the best part was the changing pronouns. Laughing my butt off.

And he can dislike Bon Jovi as long as he can rock to Def Leppard.


Insta-mom September 9, 2008 at 9:58 pm

Oh, and I forgot to ask “How’s the weather in NY these days?”


Kylie w Warszawie September 10, 2008 at 12:20 am

I don’t mind silence as long as someone is there. Hubby HATES it. I’ll sit in the car for 12 hours (on a trip, although I have been known to go out to the garage and sit in the car for silence – no one’s figured me out yet) and read a book and he keeps talking to me. I love to talk to him, so it’s not an issue, but sometimes I’m like “Hey, look, I’m at a really good part in my book. Could you please stop talking?”

And I’m glad you found my blog (and I in turn found yours) too:).


Heinous September 10, 2008 at 5:21 am

Silence is okay sometimes. I could never imagine small talk with my wife though. That’s reserved for people I’m trying not to talk to. You really do need to do something with those slippers though.


Kristine September 10, 2008 at 5:56 am

There is a woman in my office who comes around nearly every monring and says “Good morning!” All drippy and sappy like, and then wants to ask how your weekend was and blah blah…I DON’T EVEN KNOW HER NAME!!! How can she possibly care about my weekend? This is the ultimate reason I hate small talk…people don’t actually care about what they’re asking.


Sophie, Inzaburbs September 10, 2008 at 6:15 am

This one’s a classic!
In our house I want to talk all the time about weird things I find highly interesting (because with most of my friends and neighbors I can only make small talk and apart from the fact that it makes me feel really boring, like you I am not very good at it). I will talk with and at my husband to get the point across.
However, he is also a big talker when he wants to be, about all kinds of things that I sometimes find slightly odd and boring. We try to meet halfway.
Our kids have inherited the talking gene. It is really noisy here.


ingrid September 10, 2008 at 7:52 am

I too am with silent man. He is also adjectiveless.

He comments on things by saying:

“That was good.”
“The movie was fine.”
“The weather is nice.”

Unhunh. So I fill it in with over-enthusiasm.
“That was the most divine thing I have ever eaten. It was piquant but smooth too. I will never eat like that again.”
… and so on…


Mama Ginger Tree September 10, 2008 at 8:42 pm

If you guys get an annulment do you think Husbandrinka would like to be my auxiliary husband?


WA September 11, 2008 at 8:50 am

Another good one to throw out there is, “I scheduled a vasectomy for you on Tuesday. Hope that works.”


AMomTwoBoys September 11, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Hmmm….maybe Husbandrinka should take a page out of HusbandQuart’s book:

Silent time.

Not kidding. He enacts it occasionally. Out of sheer necessity.


DYSFUNCTIONAL MOM September 11, 2008 at 7:18 pm

He hates Tom Petty?
Seriously? How, and why?
I’m thinking divorce is a good alternative.
Thanks for stopping by my blog!


180/360 September 12, 2008 at 5:55 pm

Love it!


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