Thursday, August 23, 2012

Zombies Not Invited!

"Conversation Starters"  Defined per the online Urban Dictionary as:

1. Conversation Killer:

Words or phrases that one would use to "kill" a conversation. Usually with someone you really wouldn't rather be talking to. These words or phrases usually consists of one-worded answers and are usually in the most simplistic form.

If one needs a "Conversation Starter" it's awkward; however, I understand what it feels like to be out of place at parties.  There have been many times I've preferred to hide out with the kids or ditch the soiree after ten minutes for a cheeseburger at In-n-Out.  Believe me, I understand. 

People automatically assume that I'm an extrovert.  Not true.  It's taken me years to walk into a room and feel comfortable enough to make a jackass out of myself.  A lot of it also has to do with the people I surround myself with.  I've become a relaxed, down-to-earth, and say-it-like-it-is sort of gal.  I have no patience for up-tight, phony, or pretentious people.  I enjoy folks who are open minded, have an amazing sense of humor, and don't judge others based on the color of their skin, content of their pocketbook, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ethnicity, or political views.  My only concern is if you're a zombie.  If so, I'll feel compelled to destroy you and that might make a mess.  Needless to say, when Eric and I throw parties (sans zombies), we have an interesting group of friends gathered and we wouldn't want it any other way.

There was also a time - God forgive me - when I wouldn't have anyone in my home unless everything was perfect.  This theory went totally against my current relaxed, down-to-earth grain.  I was way too uptight for my own good.  I needed to kick that ugly monster in the butt.  Sure, I still check out the guest bathroom before people come over.  After all, I live in a house with guys who believe that aiming towards the toilet bowl is simply good enough.  I may also run a vacuum over the family room depending on how long it's been between cleanings.  You see, I have a monkey - oops, son who feels that it's perfectly acceptable to bite off toe nails and spit them onto the rug while watching cartoons (I've cut my foot many times on horrifying petrified splinters.)  But yes, I'm much more relaxed now.  My oven doesn't have to be cleaned, shutters washed, or clothes folded before friends can sit around the fire pit.  Life is too short to be worried about the insignificant stuff.

Back to "Conversation Starters" - which I believe to be insignificant - if you want to get to know someone, listen to them for a few minutes.  If they seem to be shy or not talking, look for something that you like and compliment them on it.  If they turn out to be up-tight, phony, or pretentious - RUN!  Toxic people are almost as bad as zombies and sadly we can't get away with destroying them without incurring a bit of jail time.  The great people, the ones we want to make jackasses in front of, will light up when we sit beside them and kick off our shoes.  These folks don't need or want a starter line.  Eventually someone is bound to say, "Hey, see that zombie over there?  You wanna take 'em out?"