there is absolutely no reason that my social interactions have to be as dull as they are. despite the fact that this is supposed to be some kind of bastion of intellectualism, i always seem to find myself locked in the same conversational patterns. “we should have underground tunnels,” “my professor is a jerk,” “i haven’t seen a movie in sooooo long.” the best and the brightest climb over themselves to get into a place like this. and what do they do when they get here? engage their fellow giants of academia in discussions of cephalopod development or japanese cinema? maybe in class. maybe in papers or on exams. when out and about in public, 90% of conversation follows a tired, painfully boring script. whether it is the idiot frat boy boasting about getting drunk on a tuesday night, the future i-banker smarmily explaining that the only skiing he finds “challenging” is in the rockies, or the aimless liberal arts major justifying her decision to take a year off; i have heard it before, and i am not impressed. and though all of these things are dull and all too common, i have narrowed my wrath down to 3 basic lines of conversation. basing their selection on the observation that unlike most other uninteresting talk, these categories simply contain no meaningful variation. eliminating the abuse of the following topics (and their permutations) from your life will vastly improve the level of discourse:
1. how tired you are.
2. how much work you have.
3. how cold it is outside.
we are all tired, busy, and cold. i don’t care that you are too. you may feel that there is something exceptional about your situation, but there really isn’t, trust me. obviously, if it is snowing in june, or you have to write a book in the next several days, you can broach the subject, but otherwise, think of something interesting to say before you open your mouth.