Small Talk, Sainthood, and Mr. TMI

5 Nov

Inspired by a fellow blogger who wrote about the potential of small talk to be an act of kindness, I decided it could be an act that I might generously bestow upon others on a daily basis, and aimed to consciously practice. The art of small talk, however, is not the easiest of arts to master, as just as it takes two to tango, it takes two to participate in a conversation, and regardless of how gifted one may be, if the other is lacking in such talents, the conversation can quickly cause one’s heart to veer far off the path of generosity. Such is the case when one finds oneself engaged in small talk with –
Mr. Too Much Information.

I think everyone knows a Mr./Mrs./or Miss. TMI. The Mr. TMI I have the “fortune” of knowing works within my office building. On the elevator, in the deli, behind the bushes, or lurking outside by the fountain – he always seems to be anywhere and everywhere I’d rather he not be, and there’s no avoiding a conversation with this articulate fellow.

The first day I kindly chatted with this gentleman, he informed me of his testicular disease, and assured me “his parts were all in working order.” Another day, as I tried to order my turkey sandwich on rye from the deli, he mused upon the fact that “he used to be rich, very rich, but had lost all of his money.” As I walked through the parking garage yesterday, he was in the middle of the lot, swinging a golf club at imaginary balls, and was quite intent on letting me know that it was a “$600.00 club” that he was selling to his friend for “only $20 because he had plenty at home.” I also know all about his daughter who just got married, the various reasons he left his wife, and the characteristics he aims to choose in a woman he might date. And all of this in brief podcast-esque conversations that feel like one hour.

Truly, his conversations are an infringment upon the code of social ethics, but Mr. TMI recognizes not his ill behavior, and alas, I cannot avoid him, so I have come to accept these forced and awkward conversations like a horse-haired shirt, and I muse – if my inner monologue did not betray my generous act of articulation, would enduring moments with Mr. TMI be worthy of sainthood? I truly believe so . . .

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6 Responses to “Small Talk, Sainthood, and Mr. TMI”

  1. Noelle November 6, 2007 at 1:57 PM #

    I cannot stand that kind of TMI, so yeah, I think you’re somewhere verging on sainthood.

  2. Noelle November 6, 2007 at 1:57 PM #

    I cannot stand that kind of TMI, so yeah, I think you’re somewhere verging on sainthood.

  3. Jocelyn Reese November 7, 2007 at 1:14 AM #

    I can’t wait until his TMI includes you as a subject. That would be dandy now wouldn’t it?

  4. Jocelyn Reese November 7, 2007 at 1:14 AM #

    I can’t wait until his TMI includes you as a subject. That would be dandy now wouldn’t it?

  5. Nerevised November 7, 2007 at 4:48 AM #

    I would be sticking my fingers in my ears, singing “La La La… too much information”. For the self control you have shown not to do this, you deserve a medal at least.

  6. Nerevised November 7, 2007 at 4:48 AM #

    I would be sticking my fingers in my ears, singing “La La La… too much information”. For the self control you have shown not to do this, you deserve a medal at least.

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