She Said/she Said.... A 1-way Conversation??So, here's my situation.
I avoid social situations I don't plan/organize myself for a specific purpose. This is because I have REAL difficulty with small-talk, and absolutely dread being boring.
I met Patsy sometime in my early to mid-30's. We had kids about the same age and were very active PTA volunteers. Early in our acquaintance, she tried to recruit me for the Red Hat Society. You have to be 50 to join. I pretended to be flattered that she wanted me to join her group, but I was secretly horrified . Years passed w/Patsy as a neighborhood peripheral & eventually a FB friend. Last week, she decides we have to meet so she can interview me for an article she's writing. Coincidentally, she wants to sell me a 5ft mobile of the Starship Enterprise. It is disassembled. With no instructions. And no hanging apparatus. She's aware of my Star Trek collection, and figures hitting me up for $25 bucks for this "gift" will make me jump for joy.
I agree to meet Patsy for lunch near my office. She asks the coffee shop attendant for separate checks. We get our salads & drinks & sit. And I wait for my interview to begin. And I wait. And I wait.....
Patsy regales me with the exploits of her sons, the failures of her husband, the dysfunction of her siblings. She circles back round to her fury at conservatives, her intellectual superiority over Christians (despite my quickly self-identifying as a non-church attending, but believing member of this group), her political leanings, her FB "defriending" of too vocal people whose political ideologies irritate her, her financial issues, her lack of social circle in the neighborhood & her creation of a social circle through online groups & blogging... She ended by asking if I might like to travel to Paris with her. (Huh??!!!!)
As Patsy bulldozed on in the small cafe in full diaphragm projection, a number of things flowed through my mind: Why am I here? Am I supposed to interrupt and offer "confessions" of my own? But I haven't seen this woman in 10-15 years! I've never known her "like that." What time is it? Is she going to ask me anything about MY life? Is she going to ask me anything about the topic of her article?? Does she realize she's insulting me, AGAIN? Should I say something? If so, what? Why am I being so civil to her? Wait -- did she really drive ALL the way out here just to get $25 for a stupid STAR TREK mobile?!
1.5 hours later, I'm .... angry and confused. I feel like my sitting across the table from her, egging her on with understanding nods & murmurs while inwardly seething about her arrogance, self-centeredness and waste of my time, might, in fact, have been more arrogant than what she did. I'm worried that perhaps I did something wrong, feeling socially awkward as I always do; perhaps I should have tried to interject something about myself. I actually did try a couple of times (for example exclaiming when she spoke of her sister -- "That's my brother to a "T"!), but she never followed up on any of my feeble attempts to participate.
So... the advice I'm seeking? What would a normal person have done in this situation? What should *I* have done?