Friday, February 11, 2011

Big Merle The Welder

"They say snow's a comin"...  "Boy I tell ya, this Tennessee weather is something"...  "Another day another dollar"... "Government do take a bite don't she?" (Raising Arizona)

Small talk, NOT my specialty. In fact, I'm quite horrible at it and avoid it if I can. Do I feel this is the best way to be? No, not at all, but we'll get back to that in a moment.

So where does small talk happen? Just about anywhere: the grocery store line, doctor's office, parks, your place of employment etc. I personally encounter small talk at work on a daily basis and it has a name - Big Merle The Welder. Don't get me wrong, Merle is the nicest guy on the planet but I've personally crowned him the king of repetitive one-line conversation. Everyday it's the same questions - "How was your weekend, not enough of it was there?" or "How's your dog, he still livin'?". Here's what's interesting. When I've taken the time to answer his questions he drifts off and on occasion walks away or starts conversation with another. Sometimes I'm in mid-sentence when this occurs. *It annoys me* So anyway, I started thinking about why I get so irritated with someone who's only trying to be kind. Is it perhaps my love for deeper conversation, a tendency to introversion, or plain ol' grumpiness? I personally don't enjoy feelings of irritation, especially towards another human being. I mean, we are supposed to love each other right? Love your neighbor more than yourself, love Big Merle more than yourself, love bizarre word-salad spewing man in grocery line more than yourself - this is hard! So again, while mulling this around in my brain I've come up with a conclusion. Everyone wants to be cared for. Everyone wants significance. Everyone wants to be loved, simple as that. Along with this conclusion, I must keep in mind how different people are. Different histories, pain, upbringing, love languages and capacities to give and receive love. To Big Merle, the small talk is obviously a way to show kindness, his way of relating. However to me it comes across as shallow thus producing irritation or feelings quite opposite of being cared for...I guess? perhaps?? Or maybe I'm just a grumpy ass, hope not.

The driving forces behind small talk are many, it's a multifaceted deal. As of right now, I'm tired of writing.

In a nutshell, I want to treat people better even if they're bugging the crap out of me.


  1. this is why i always go to the "self-service" checkout line at the grocery store, in order to avoid "small" talk... just sayin'

  2. I do that too. But why is it so awful? ...maybe we should get outside of ourselves a bit more.