🎋Small Talk🎋… by JoAnn

Two women are sitting at a table talking.

Many people say they don’t care for small talk and that it’s fake and a waste of time. What does it mean if I actually enjoy small talk? And the others that seem to like a small talk conversation with me? Are we dull individuals? I don’t think so.

I believe in small talk because I have used it all my life to break the ice or show someone I care what kind of day they are having. I have not once begun a conversation for any reason other than friendliness or caring. That may make me weird. I don’t know. But the people I choose to talk to seem to enjoy my small talk and almost always add their own.

Through my years of small talk experiences, I have noticed that the elder folks seem to enjoy it the most. They are the most receptive and the most anxious to continue the conversation. Many times I have been approached by a little old lady or old man, with them believing that I worked at the store in which they were shopping. This has happened to me so many times that I have lost count. Why do I look like an employee? I don’t believe it is how I’m dressed, but simply that I always have on a smile. I never leave home without it unless I am sick. It’s sad to think of a dear elder needing help and searching a store for a friendly face. I’ve often been told that I have one of those faces, and I take it as a compliment.

Now that I am fast approaching little old lady status, I am noticing that more young people enjoy my small talk. Maybe I finally have that “everyone’s grandmother” vibe going, and they feel safe with me. I always grab the opportunity whenever it is my duty to the younger generation. After all, with the world the way it is now, they all need a little grandmother-type love in their day.

Nothing makes me happier than to see a cashier at a busy store, dead on her feet from working all day, smiling because I offered her a compliment. To see her whole face change and light up when I tell her she’s doing a good job or that the store looks great. It’s really just offering a little appreciation, is all. It’s free, and we all have it to give away. Many times that cashier will chime in and tell me what kind of day she has had. Or that she is a single mother of 3 and this is her second job. All she needed was a little encouragement and perhaps a small pat on the back.

That is what small talk does for people. I enjoy it, and I plan to do it for as long as I can talk. Sometimes people are not interested, and that’s okay. My feelings are no longer hurt. I respect if they need silence in their lives for whatever reason. But if they seem open, they will get a few words from me. And I will plan to receive a few back in return, and if I’m lucky, a nice, friendly smile.