No Small Talk and Good Food

Dinner Sunday night
Dinner Sunday night

I laid in bed in Debbie Glessner’s guest room on Sunday afternoon.  We just got back from Jon’s talk to benefit Debbie’s Dog Therapy group and I was tired. (Debbie started the group eight years ago with her friend Wendy.)  Not from listening to Jon’s talk, it was a really good one with lots of audience interaction, smart questions and ideas bouncing around.  I was tired because I was up for hours the night before, sick from food poisoning.  I was feeling better, but I was tired.  And I was considering not going to the dinner that we had to leave for in less than an hour.

It was a fund-raising dinner for Debbie’s group, people had paid to have dinner with Jon.  So I didn’t have to be there, and honestly, I wasn’t looking forward to it.  I’m not good at small talk, and didn’t feel like I was up for hours of talking even though I knew a few of the people who would be there.  And, I wasn’t hungry. So, as I laid in bed, I knew I had the perfect excuse not to go.  And when the alarm went off I was just about to tell Jon I was too tired to go,  but then, I changed my mind. I’m not sure why, I guess it was partly that I wanted to support Jon and partly that Debbie had made me feel so welcome and included I wanted to be there.

And I’m so glad I did.  Because it was a really warm and interesting evening.  The conversation was thoughtful and fun, none of that small talk I was dreading, but really satisfying conversation about animals and people and art.  I think it had  so much to do with Debbie and Wendy, the kind of people they are, honest, sincere, grounded, generous, well meaning and really good at what ever they choose to do.  I think because of the type of people they are , they draw good people to them.

So the dinner was actually enjoyable and I met some really nice people and heard some good stories. Like how Wendy was disappointed when her husband got her ruby and diamond earrings for Christmas one year, because she was expecting him to get her a goat.  Or how Dee grew up on a farm and  showed pigs in 4H  and  intuitively learned to ride horses.

And I did a lot of talking too, spouting off about my work and the animals.  I’m still surprised when people  listen to  me and actually seem genuinely interested in what I’m saying.    Sometimes I just have to remember I’m not the person I used to be.  The person who was afraid of joining in the conversation, afraid I’d say something stupid, afraid of being ridiculed.   I have to admit, I’ve come to love talking about myself and my  work as much as I love hearing other people’s stories.

And I found that I wasn’t tired at all during the evening.  I was actually energized by it all and because the food was so good (salmon, potatoes and spinach, some of my favorites) I got my appetite back too.  I’ll have to remember this the next time one of these events come up.  Remember that it can be interesting and enjoyable. Especially when you have people like Debbie and Wendy making it all happen.

6 thoughts on “No Small Talk and Good Food

  1. Maria, whatever it was you had over Saturday night, and it may well have been food poisoning, although if so, you were lucky to be able to carry on as you did. I’ve had food poisoning twice and it’s knocked me flat when I wasn’t running to the loo for the day. It’s so good to hear another person talking about not coping as well with small talk. I’d like to figure out why I’ve never been good at it either. I enjoy talking with people but to sit aimlessly over a drink at whatever function I was at bored me silly…and I was likely boring, myself. Why is it that small talk can feel intimidating…have you figured that out? Hope you continue on the mend, you coped well with all that you had to do over the week-end.
    SandyP in S.Ont.Can.

    1. I think small talk makes me feel like there’ s no real connection between me and the person. Then that old sense of not belonging kicks in and it makes me feel shitty. It’s a good question about small talk, I know a lot of people who have a hard time with it.

  2. Maria, it’s a topic of conversation that if others are reading and relate to it, might add their two cents worth. I think you’re right about the fact that there is no real connection between yourself and the person talking or being spoken to. I remember the days when going to parties was a sign of being ‘in’ with the group of people with whom I socialized (and reflected my own neediness, I have to say). I still remember the feeling of speaking with someone while they were scanning the crowd beyond me.

  3. Maria. I can feel the ambience and Debbie’s glowing presence. I was fortunate to meet up with her in Santa Fe! Hope to make it to her place one day!

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