Useful Conversation Advice

When I first meet people and they ask me what I do, I say, “Well, I mean, I’m not a professional body builder.”

This allows them to ask questions.  Questions like these questions:

Q. You look like a professional body builder.  How do you stay in such great shape if this isn’t your profession?

A. That’s a good question.  I’m glad you asked it.  I’m actually not in that amazing of shape.  But I do run a lot and when I’m running I make an expression like, “This is really difficult” or “I’m going to destroy you!”  And, that seems to keep me feeling like I’m in really good shape.

Q.  If you’re not a professional body builder, what is your profession?

A. Hmm.  That’s another good question.  I don’t actually know what my profession is.  I’ve had at least 25 jobs in my life.  Let me ask you something, do we need professions now?  Or can we just create side hustles?  Or can we just own a laptop and that is our job? Hmm.  I’m not sure.  To get right down to it: I think I’ve always wanted to be a graphic designer.  Does that answer your question?  Oh before you answer that, let me take this other question.

Q.  Do you know where Jacob is?

A.  Great question.  Yes, I do.  He’s inside.  I think I saw Lana in there too.

Q. What do you need to do to become a professional body builder?  I was very good at wrestling during high school.

A.  Wow, that’s great.  You’re probably closer to achieving the dream than I am, but I would recommend a morning routine where you eat about one or two bananas and drink a lot of water. Then you can essentially leave the rest to makeup contouring.

Alright everyone, thanks for asking me all these questions.  That’s all the questions I’m going to take because I want to go inside and check out the chip situation, but thanks for coming out and make sure to follow me on social media but not in real life, like not in a dark alley.  I mean, yeah, I’m not a professional body builder but I know how to ghost a pigeon if you know what I mean.*

*this is a bonus conversation strategy.  if you are sick of talking, just say something that seems like it makes sense, but really it doesn’t.  usually, no one will ask you questions and you can go find the chips.  





MFA Basketball Team

Bonjour tout le monde!  I’m sorry it’s been a while.  I’ve had quite a July.  Let me tell you about it, Frida.

So, listen.  I know I invited you out to lunch to celebrate your recent promotion at your unknown workplace, but  I have no idea what this promotion entails.  You are a data sourcing manager?  Yes, those are words but what do they mean?  Not to dismiss your entire career, but it doesn’t sound like a real thing.

So, while we wait to order, I’ll tell you about something real: my MFA basketball team.

I graduated from my Masters in Fine Arts program in Fiction with a concentration in basketball.  You know how I texted you a while ago about my MFA basketball team: The New England Flash Fictions?  Well, this is that team.

We are D-1 in the Northeast Poetry Sport League (PSL).  The fiction players are very good at attacking (good hand eye coordination), while the nonfiction players are better at defense (people often question their personal essays so they are used to blocks and checks and stuff like that).  The poets are really good at jump shots as they can easily ascend from the literal to the abstract.   Yes, of course there is a doping problem, Frida.  Why’d you even bring that up?  Are you data sourcing right now?  Is that what this is?

Anyway, we went into the regionals and we won.  I am happy to show you these photos on my phone, if you’ll just lean over here.  No, that smell isn’t the velour booths of this moderately priced chain restaurant.  I’m wearing wool and it’s wet.  Sorry we don’t all own seasonally appropriate clothing, Frida.

This photo is of me giving an inspiring motivational lecture before our game in the final four.  We dress in regular clothes and put these jerseys over it.  Yes, I run in leather boots.  What is the name of your company, LinEx?  LemEx?  Lemons?  I have no idea.  I know the logo is a blue circle and a grey circle but that tells me nothing.

Oh, what? The waitress? She’s here now.  She can hear me saying this?

Ah, yes, hello, I’ll have the tuna sandwich but can you make it with breadsticks instead of bread?  And I’ll have half fries and half salad, yes–the unlimited option that combines both choices.  They’ve made it for me before.  Don’t worry.  Yes, I will have another raspberry iced tea but can you also order me a glass of house pinot grigio and then check back here and when I’m about 1/4 done with this glass of wine, immediately place an order for another glass, but make it a pink zin and then follow that by a glass of cold milk?  And is your name pronounced “Dahria” or “Dare-ia?”  I’m going to need to know for the comment card which I intend to fill out.  And, I require a senior discount.  I know I appear young, but I swear to you that I’m 65 years of age. Please don’t make this embarrassing for both of us Doraya.

So anyway, we didn’t win the final.  The other team was really good.  They were beat poets and experimental fiction writers.  They had moves I’ve never seen.  To give you an idea, they entered the court by snapping.  That’s pretty much all I need to say.  I got a bloody nose immediately.  It was stressful.  I don’t want to talk about it.  But, I will, if you insist.

Oh you have to leave?  I was going to order you the free double chocolate caramel brownie as a celebration, but if you have to go then I’ll just “like” your update on LinkedIn.

Okay, that’s fine.  If that’s what you you want.  I’ll just be here with my milk clicking the generic “Congratulations on your new position” pre-written words.