Whither Small Talk

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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4 Responses

  1. I am an alcoholic, which is why I don’t drink and haven’t in many years, so just to speak on the point; perhaps our northern friends do it differently but at least those that have done AA we have a prescribed method of approaching the subject to a relative stranger that would be inoffensive and unknown to the person if not initiated. Personally I am far past getting offended by people asking why I do not, or similar questions, but I can see the point.Report

    • @andrew-donaldson I have heard similarly about Canadian and Northeastern US circles – not that I’m a member, but I have had enough loved ones who talked freely to each other in front of me without thinking about my presence as breaking anonymity, over the years, to have picked up some things.

      Perhaps because I have always had family members who were teetotalling for reasons of necessary sobriety, I still tend to get annoyed when people push on the point. Like, it’s one thing to forget or be unsure and offer someone a drink, it’s another to push and push as I see some people do.

      Of course, I was raised in a hospitality culture, so find a lot of things people do outside of those constraints to be rather baffling.Report

  2. Pinky says:

    You’ve got to figure that this topic of conversation comes up mostly in places where people are drinking, some of them drinking more than they can handle. Probably where a lot of them aren’t close family or friends, people who don’t know each other very well. I’d bet that a whole lot of the conversation starters are inappropriate on some level. People hitting on each other, getting in arguments, et cetera. So I’m not sure why this article exists in the first place.

    I don’t know if I’m completing my thought. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t try to be better people, or that people shouldn’t be given good advice about how to avoid offending others. I’m just not sure what to do with this article.Report

    • Maribou in reply to Pinky says:

      @pinky It comes up at extended family dinners and reunions of people who haven’t seen each other in ten years and work events before anyone has had anything to drink and suchwise things, actually.

      The pressure to drink is a big social pressure, not just drunk people being stoopid.

      I think the article is trying to raise awareness / shift behavior in the group of people who (probably to their mind cheerfully, not pushily) push people to drink when not drunk or stupid, not the other group.Report