You’re getting ready to re-enter the world. You’ve watched Netflix like it’s an 80 hour a week job. You’ve gained 15 pounds, and your butt shape is etched into your couch. It just occurred to you that the longest and most interesting conversations you’ve had this past year are with your pet.
The thought, “What am I going to talk about with other people?” is causing you not to make plans.
“What can I talk about now?” You’re wondering. 2020 is so 2020. Even 2021 is so 2020–2021. Nobody wants to hear about how messed up the world is. People are ready for Good News.
True story. The other day, when two Jehova’s Witnesses showed up at my door carrying the brochure, “The Good News,” I almost let them in. I thought, fuck it, I could use some good news.
NOBODY CARES WHAT YOU WATCHED ON NETFLIX
Newsflash. Once you start going to parties again, it’s time to stop talking about Netflix. I know what you’re thinking. “But I haven’t done anything but watch Netflix.”
I know. Me too. But, I’m sorry, talking about Netflix is like talking about masturbation. It’s a conversation stopper. Also, people will avoid you for the rest of the evening, except for super creepy people and bloggers who need fresh material.
I know what your follow-up question is, and the answer is NO. You can’t talk about HULU or Amazon Prime either. And no podcasts.
CAN I TALK ABOUT MEDICAL ISSUES?
No, sorry, you can’t. Unless, of course, you’ve got a rainbow growing out of your belly button, or your ass developed a third butt cheek. Other than those, nobody cares about your colon, your IBS, or your anxiety. I’m sorry. It sounds mean, but everyone is currently in shittty health, catching up on doctor’s appointments and finding out their numbers are weird.
I’m so medically obsessed I’ve resorted to writing blogs about vaginal probes and Squatty Pottys. Everyone is in shitty condition except all the people who bought Peletons.
OH GOOD! CAN I TALK ABOUT MY EXERCISE EQUIPTMENT?
No. Just like I told my son not to brag about his new iPhone, it’s the same with your NordicTrek, your Peleton, your rower, your hand weights, and your home gym.
People can tell you’ve been working out because you're wearing the same clothes as last year. Just take the win and don’t rub in the fact you didn’t have to buy a new wardrobe.
CAN I TALK ABOUT HOW BAD MY HYGIENE HAS GOTTEN?
Of course, but people can already tell. Your Bo Derek arm pit braids aren’t fooling anyone. I think the beads look great, but cultural appropriation isn’t embraced as lovingly as it once was.
Also, take a shower, get a haircut, and no sandals until you take care of those toenails.
CAN I TALK ABOUT MY PET?
Not unless your canine, feline, or ferret has one leg, can fly, or speaks several languages, don’t do it. On the other hand, even if your pet is superior to everyone else's, you might want to shut up about that.
People are just trying to get by. Reentering the world by talking about your flying, multilingual, home animal won’t get you reinvited back anywhere. Bragging is bragging. You can, however, audition your pet for the X-Factor or become marginally TikTok famous. But again, keep it to yourself.
WHAT CAN I TALK ABOUT?
Thanks for asking. Not to sound like an obvious asshole, but books still contain material that other people might not know about. People are bored. Please help them. If you commit to reading 5 minutes a day, you might be the most interesting person in the room.
The caveat is that you cannot talk about self-help books. You can talk about funny books, especially if you can remember the jokes in them. You can talk about history, adventure, crime, and general non-fiction books, especially if you can remember a delightful anecdote.
If you read fiction and can make it interesting for other people, go for it. People like stories, and we all could use a new one. We’re all very bored with the current narrative that is causing us anxiety, IBS, and colon problems. Tell us a yarn.
ONE LAST THING, CAN I TALK ABOUT FOOD?
You, please. You can definitely talk about food. Sourdough is off limits because we killed that dead horse many times over, but all other food is interesting and yummy.
We’ve been stuffing ourselves for a year. WE LOVE FOOD. Food=friend. Food is our common language. Food is porn that is not taboo. What could be more delightful?
Books and food are good. Everything else is bad. Good luck and welcome back!