Written for Daily Hive by Allie Entwistle.
The crazy amount of wintery weather in the last two months has made it nearly impossible to open a conversation with anything other than, “How about that snow eh!?”
Small talk is the social safety net that frees us all from the horror of the awkward silence- but now that the snow is gone, what are we left with? After all in the afterglow of our recent bout of the white stuff it’s hard to imagine talking about anything else. But somehow, we must find a way.
To help bring some kind of sense to this world, we’ve dredged up some conversation starters to stand in for the snow.
Mentioning a local sports team is a tried and trusted method of connecting with an acquaintance. The only hitch about bringing up sports is that the other person might keep talking about sports. You may suddenly find yourself roped into a three hour analysis of last night’s sports match – with nothing to contribute. Or worse, something to say about Vancouver’s associated franchise’s recent travails. To avoid any unwanted extended sports talk, try bringing up a sport that no one watches, like lawn bowling, or your rec soccer team.
People seem to spend a lot of time complaining about vegans, so I’m sure it could be possible to could squeeze out another couple of minutes of conversation out of it. Start with pointing at a the gluten free options on the menu and scoff “Ha, vegans” while shaking your head. It won’t be accurate or original, but it will probably be enough to sustain human contact for a couple more seconds.
A rarely used option is to find a genuine shared connection between you and the person you’re interacting with. Start by asking them if they have any hobbies, and then slowly chip away until you find literally anything to grasp onto. It seems heavy handed and difficult, but with the snow melting do we really have a choice?
Talking about the absence or presence of rain is a safe and reliable conversation starter in our regularly sodden city. It may have lost its edge since the major appearance of its cooler, fluffier cousin, but I’m sure if you walk into an elevator and exclaim: “It’s really coming down out there!” at least one person is bound to nod and say “yeah.” Mission accomplished!
Finally, a worthwhile topic of conversation! As an opener: “How about that snow, hey?” will probably still work for the next six months – at which point you will be able to seamlessly transition into: “Hope it doesn’t snow again like last year!” As the years pass, declaring: “Remember all that snow we got in 2017?” will become the gold star standard of small talk.
So let’s stop caring about how cliche “talking about the weather” is, we love it. We cannot and will not stop. May Snowpocalypse 2017 live forever in infamy, a shared experience by all who lived through 30 cm of it!