I was invited to a Holiday open house, where I knew no one but the host. When I arrived, I was greeted by my friend, and led to the buffet table. I nibbled for a while, hoping that someone would come up to me and we could talk.
After I had eaten my fill in solitude, I ventured out to initiate contact. I introduced myself to several people, and had some polite conversations.. However, no one ever asked me anything about myself. Where do you live? Who do you know here? What kind of work do you do? Nothing! Plus, when someone they knew approached, they turned away, and I was left looking at the back of a head.
I realized that this was like many other gatherings I have attended in recent years. People telling me about themselves, but not caring to find out anything about me.
I have gotten in the habit of inserting conversational carrots into the discourse, in the hopes that someone would bite. Some time ago, I was talking to an old friend, who was regaling me about the conversation she had had, with Magic Johnson, at a charity fundraiser I mentioned that I have met him, and he seemed like a nice man. However, I had never spoken with him when he was wearing clothes (part of another story). It did not register, and she didn’t miss a beat in her story.
When did we become such a society of self-involved individuals? What ever happened to reciprocal conversation?
I am really a pretty interesting guy, intelligent, witty, talented, modest, if anyone cares to find out. Unfortunately, most people seem only interested in themselves.
Maybe, in my next life I will be an ophthalmologist for egotists. Than way I can deal with all this I-strain.
With a full stomach and ringing ears, I drove home. When I opened the door, my cat ran up to me, purring, and said “MEow”!
Harris J. Levey.