So, the other day, I pick up my kids at school, and when I run into another mom with whom I'm barely acquainted, and I'm greeted with "Hi! How are you?" I say "I'm hungry and I wish I was sitting on my couch with the TV, a cozy blanket and a pint of Haagen Daz, but I'm here because I have to be responsible. But you don't actually care, so why are you asking? And I'm not going to ask how you are because I don't care and I really just want to get my kids and get out of here." It was so great...Well, in my mind, it was great, because my actual response came out more like: "Great, great. How are you?"
Crap. I have impeccable manners. Truly. I say please, thank you, excuse me, in all the right places. I don't liter, I hold doors open for who ever is behind me. I greet store clerks cordially and I don't snap at wait-staff, even when they suck. I even, heaven help me, say "have a nice day" on a regular basis. That's all good, right? Sometimes, I cringe at my own finely tuned social graces and tidy manners. Whenever I find myself engaging in small talk - or worse, when I initiate small talk - there's a part of me that's screaming or gagging. But on the outside all you see is a perfunctory smile nailed to my face, and possibly my head bobbing stupidly up and down.
It's not that I want to be mean or unfriendly - I just hate small talk and the banality inherent to presenting a civilized demeanor. As Elaine said on Seinfeld, "Why does everything have to have a social component?" then she pretended to be deaf in order to not have to make small talk with a car service driver. I totally get that. I'm sure I'd go to hell for pretending to be deaf - not that I would do such a thing (ummm, I probably wouldn't do it), but I get it.
Sadly, for aesthetic reasons, I can only wear my flair online.