You can knock the weather as much as you want but without it half of the people we meet would be unable to start a conversation.
Everybody can look outside and see the weather. So why is it we are all in such a rush to tell each other what each of us must already know?
Are we really that unimaginative that we can't think of anything more creative to talk about?
Or, could it be that the weather is a safe topic. You can start talking about the weather and know that you immediately have something to bond over.
"When are we ever going to see warm weather?"
Is easily picked up and followed with,
"Yes, I was just discussing this over coffee with my husband this morning. It's been a miserable April hasn't it?"
The conversation volleys back and forth in a sing song comfortable way and no one is threatened and you even feel a sense of camaraderie with this complete stranger because you are both surviving another April in Chicago.
It takes little effort to talk about the weather, it builds immediate connections and it is safe. No one is offended by your rants about how awful this weather has been, as a matter of fact, more often than not, they climb on board and are more than willing to add their two cents worth.
Then you enter the blogging world.
Conversations are never as conservative as the weather. Bloggers boldly go where no man has gone before.
Dooce is one of my favorite bloggers. She's funny, honest, writes well and takes great pictures. (I have visions of being the baby boomer version of her) One of her blogs talked about her dog devouring a corn dog. Stick and all. They are concerned but as the stick never appears, they think they must have been wrong, he didn't really swallow the stick. But then six months later on a walk at the park the dog deposits the stick. I won't go into the gory details, but they even posted a picture.
Can you imagine that conversation at the banana stand in Jewel with a complete stranger?
Me, looking for the perfect bunch of bananas to the woman next to me, "I was reading Dooce this morning and she was talking about her dog. You see, six months ago he had eaten a corn dog, stick and all."
"Oh my." She's polite but she is sorta looking at me with that, do-I-know-you-from-somwhere-because-this-seems-like-an-inappropriate-conversation-to-have-with-a-stranger look.
I continue, "They never found the stick and had pretty much forgotten about it. Until today, when they were taking him out for a walk."
With great relief my new found friend says " They walked their dog in this weather? Can you believe we are having such cold temperatures still?" She is putting her bananas in the cart and strolling away because as you know, weather questions are usually rhetorical.
I put my bananas in my cart and follow her over to the potatoes.
I continue, "She notices that the dog has attempted to poo about three times but can't seem to produce anything, so she is starting to wonder if something is wrong." (my friend jumps at the sound of my voice and is now avoiding eye contact.)
I take her silence as anticipatory so I proceed with my fascinating story.
"The dog is finally successful and as her hubby is scooping it up he notices an odd thing...he starts to push the poo aside and do you know what was in there?"
My shopping buddy is now moving quickly away, obviously not a dog owner.
As she whizzes through the rest of produce and into the bakery section I shout out "Yes! It was the corn dog stick AND SHE POSTED A PICTURE! Can you believe that?"
I think I fit right in with the blogging world and can hardly wait until one of my dogs eats something that should really have not been eaten so I can blog about it. Oh and I am going to start having my groceries delivered. (As was so kindly suggested by the manager at Jewel.)