Why Is It So Important Anyway?
Today I got a bitter reminder of how vital small talk is when in social situations with strangers. I was going to go study in the library--I have three days to write a ten page essay that everyone else in my class gets eight days to do--when I guy I am only faintly aquainted with suddenly joined me at my table.
I really didn't mind, but I wanted to be polite so I tryed talking to him, and after the cliche "How are you's" and "That's great, me too's" a silence settled over the table. Awkward, maybe because of me! I continued writing and would look up and smile every once in a while because he wasn't doing anything and looked bored out of his mind. His sighing drove me mad though, so I kept asking dumb questions in the hope he would talk: "Do you like mangos?" "What's your take on showing pandas **** to influence them to breed?" and the ever popular, "Am I bothering you?" He never answered beyond a frightened monosyllable reply, so I took him for a lost cause, blaming my own lack of tact until...
I got fed up doing my homework and turning to a new page in my notebook, I grabbed my pen and doodled a quick drawing of a horse and said, "Check it out, its a pony!" He surprised me by responding, giving me an amused look and mumbling that I was nuts, which I quickly denied by telling him if I was crazy, I would have drawn a unicorn, so he took his pencil and added a horn. Thus began a lovely conversation based on a drawing, which evolved from a horse to a unicorn to a pegasus with a horn, to a pegasus with a horn and camoflauge, which we named Pegicamocorn! It was amazing! So if you ask me, when language barriers got you down, drawings tend to bridge any difficulties!