Small Talk


After any holiday is a good time for small talk. Someone did something somewhere and thus a conversation is born. As an introvert, I take advantage of these times. Like a rabbit in a garden of lettuce, I get while the gettin’ is good.

My hair dresser, who prefers the term “stylist”, always wants to chit-chat while she is washing and snipping away at my hair. I try my best to appease her throughout our sessions but usually fall into a blissful silence. I love having my hair done and don’t have much to say. People aren’t expected to carry a conversation with a surgeon, usually because of the anesthesia, but also to let the expert focus on his/her work.

I take this same approach towards my stylist (I prefer “hairdresser”) who disregards my silence and continues with the chitty-chat. In my best effort at normal human interaction, I had a good question ready for her at my last appointment.

As she was sudsing up my hair, I asked, “So what did you do for the fourth of July weekend?”

Nailed it. She did lots of things, including a trip to her grandma’s house on Lake James.

As she detailed the boat parties, fireworks on the water, live bands and skiing, I remembered the one and only time that I went to Lake James.

It was on the fourth of July, too. I experienced the floating booze parties and water sports, first hand. They hadn’t changed much in over a decade by her descriptions. Boats still congregated in great numbers, dropped anchor, and the boaters hopped into the water to drink beer out of ice filled coolers and to float the day away.

Everyone ends up with a sunburn, dehydration, and varying degrees of a hangover (for those who are of age, of course).

When I was there, it was at a time when people had cell phones but they weren’t “smart” like they are today. People weren’t addicted to them like we are now, myself included. I was lucky enough to have my very own cellular device which was silver with a hot pink, rubber case. There were actual buttons to dial the numbers and a little antenna on the top. As a highly prized piece of advanced technology, I took the best care of that little phone.  I can say with absolute certainty, it was not with me on the boat.

Looking back, I’m not sure how I got the message out on the water, in the middle of a floating booze party that my mom was in the hospital, but I did. The only thing I knew was that there had been a firework explosion and she was involved.

I wanted to tell my hairdresser/stylist that I had been to Lake James on the fourth of July, too. I wanted to share how I always wanted to go back to see the fireworks on the water. I wanted to share with her something real, but then that wouldn’t have been small talk, anymore.