Being as I’m surrounded by short people all day, you’d think I’d be really good at “small talk” by now. Truth be told, what I’m actually good at is talking to small people. The other day, I actually asked one of my adult friends if she had to go potty.
Hoping not to make the same type of faux pas at BlogHer this weekend or actually ever again in adult company, I’d love advice on making small talk with strangers or new friends. How do you keep the conversation going? What are some great one-liners to pull out when you have nothing supercalifragilisticexpialidociously wonderful to say?
Here are a few tips for spicing up the usual dinner party conversation:
Instead of — “So, do you have any kids?”
Try catching them off-guard — “Dead chickens’ ghosts are haunting my new house. Do you have any thoughts on how I could wrangle them into the crawl space?”
Instead of — “You look really great tonight!”
Try personalizing the compliment — “You look so much better in person. South Beach Diet? Am I right or am I right or am I right? Right. Right. Right. Bing!”
Instead of — “You’re from Michigan? Do you know Amanda?”
Try drawing it out a little. The “do you know” game is always such a big hit. — “You’re from Michigan? I love Michigan! Start listing every person you know from there and I’ll tell you if they were my cousin’s ex-girlfriend’s college roommate or not. [wait for name] Nope. [wait for name] Nope. [wait for name] Nope”… hours and hours of fun
Instead of — “I’m Kathryn. Nice to meet you.”
Try to work on building an audience as well as a new friendship — “I’m Kathryn, the Daring Young Mom of dub dub dub dot daring young mom dot com, a hilarious little blog about this and that, my kids, yadda yadda page views per day. Nice to meet you.”
Instead of — “I’ve been looking forward to meeting you. I’m a big fan of your work.”
Try to let them know just how much you enjoy their work — “I’m so glad I finally get to meet you. It feels like I’ve been living on your green leather sofa for months and months, right next to you, typing on your laptop, the iBook you just bought. That was such a good choice. I told you that, remember? Commenter #167. Good comment, right? I got like three hits off that comment. I looked up your address online but I’ve been too shy to send you anything? Can I send you anything? Or would that be weird?”
Okay now, what have you guys got for me?