It’s unusually cold this morning. The square edge around the trampoline is white with frost. It is 1 degree centigrade. A morning dove sits on a bleak black branch (how’s that for alliteration?). Even our budgies are quiet in their cage, dumb with cold. Of course it’s nothing compared to the winters of Wisconsin where my sister and nieces and nephew live and where blizzards pounce like 10 ton cats.
I can hear the whine of the electric car of the milk man. We get our milk delivered in bottles every other day. It saves lugging back heavy liters from the store. I see him out there, a cold finger stuck in the mouth of each bottle as he takes away our empties.
What does this have to do with conversation? I’m getting there. I promise.
Because I am also trying to damp down my panic. This morning we are a DS charger-less household. We lost our charger and my children have received two DS games for Christmas. I seem to be more freaked out about it than they are. But mainly, I’m in a terror because we are going to lunch at some friends’ house who don’t have children and I want my children occupied in the corner scowling their way through an electronic mindfield while we chat.
Now it seems I will have to include them in the conversation.
It’s an art, isn’t it, conversation? My 9-year old daughter used to bash her way in with stunning non sequiturs, ramble on with deliberateness that scattered all listeners to the four corners of the room and looked so deflated at the lack of response I wanted to cry.
So I’ve been trying to teach her way around an adult conversation. How to wait for a pause, say something vaguely relating to the subject at hand and then get out while they still want more.
It’s simple I tell her, just like white water rafting: enter where safe, keep your nerve and hold on tight, and exit while still alive.