Tag Archives: social cues

Small Talk is Hard

A few months ago a girl moved into my building– young, a teacher, seemingly normal and cool. Someone I would actually hang out with. We spoke in the lobby for a bit, exchanged apartment numbers, and said we’d see each other soon. I haven’t run into her since– until just now, in the elevator.

Girl: “Hey! How have you been?!”

Me: “Not much!”

And then our friendship ended.


Lessons I Learn in the Elevator

When your neighbor politely asks how you’re doing, don’t respond by telling him you’re having post-vacation anxiety and that you suspect you might have pink eye.

Your neighbor is not your therapist. Or your friend. Or, based on his reaction just now, someone who even remotely cares about you.

Try “Fine, thanks.” The old fine-thanks never landed anyone on the “do not talk to” list.

Although come to think of it, that’s a list I’d love to be on today. Maybe I’ll tell the kids I have pink eye.

Oh wait. Kids love things that are gross.

I can’t win.