I’ve written before about my inability to make remotely-competent small talk. Tonight I’m in the elevator petting a woman’s small, blonde, furry, energetic dog and the following conversation ensues:
ME: I don’t think you walked him far enough.
ME: He still seems pretty lively.
HER: I thought you meant because he’s chubby.
ME: Really? I can’t tell with all that fur.
We reach her floor, and there’s a pause as she moves off the elevator. I could just say ‘good night’ and navigate this conversation peacefully. But no.
ME: You should dye him black. Then he’d look slimmer.
HER: (Pause.) Ok. Thanks.
She picks up her dog and scurries off.
Is there some kind of ToastMasters for making small talk? Like, MarmaladeMasters or something?