after the ceremony there was afternoon tea – sandwiches, cakes, tea, coffee, some kind of cold drinks which I didn’t explore as they looked kind of chemical so I got water from the machine instead. it was a hot and sunny afternoon and we all headed outdoors, shunning the comfy sofas and armchairs of the lounge in favour of the garden furniture or, for those young and fit enough, the grass.
I did manage to have a few really good conversations with some people, and that’s what made it worth the effort. But I find it so hard to actually get a good conversation in these situations. First of all, you come outside with your drink and look around and have to somehow decide which group of people to head for, and then you have to try and somehow edge your way into the conversation, and it all stays at the shallow end for ages. Once you’ve worked out that this is all that’s ever going to happen round this table, you use some excuse to get up – going to get another drink/more cake/whatever – and hope to collide with someone who does actually want to talk for real.
That process can continue for a long while, having a whole load of non-conversations with people until – at last – you find a soul mate and sit down happily to talk about what’s really been going on in your lives.
until someone else turns up, of course…
But you may be wondering what that stuff in the title was about.
The thing is, in all these various conversations you have in these kind of situations, things come up and I absolutely know that my reaction was totally weird but I have no idea what normal people would have said.
Like, what do you say when you meet a girl you haven’t seen for half a year except for facebook and the last you heard was she’d finally broken up with that guy and she is now standing in front of you with a very nice looking bloke by her side and after you and she chat for a bit she suddenly remembers about introductions and says: This is [insert name here], my new man.
These are the sorts of times when I know that if this was happening on multiply or on facebook I’d be fine because I’d have all the time in the world to think about a response.
or, later, when I bumped into someone I hadn’t seen for even longer – she was in our first year but not in the second, and was there as a guest this time – and she said she’s getting married next month.
I think the word I was fumbling for was “congratulations”, but it definitely didn’t come out at the time. I was trying to think what to ask, and I still haven’t a clue what would be an appropriate question. I mean, what I want to know is: who is he? But how do you ask that, in a way that doesn’t sound like you’re completely surprised that there actually is someone who is marrying her?
*sigh* if you do hear of a good course in NormalSpeak do let me know, but as an introvert I would much prefer if it was a correspondence course – having to go out and meet people is… well… you see what I mean…