Sunday, August 24, 2014

How to talk to anyone -

Pets, Sports, Fashion - these three topics are appropriate pretty much with anyone, anytime. 

Just to be clear this is not insincere.  I really like all three of these subjects, so I am genuinely interested in answers, and I have found that these subjects can bridge gaps as well.

Any of these topics transcend any new, awkward, or conversation-hungry moment.  Also, the good news is you don't have to know much of anything about of these subjects. You just have to ask a lot of questions and build from prior answers. 
I could talk about this beautiful soul forever.

Here are some samples - 

This is the easiest. If people have pets they love to talk about them.  I start one of two ways with this one - someone will mention their pet - and then I'm good to go.  OR I will come out and ask - "Do you have any pets?"

This adorable creature creates
conversations as well.  I like this photo
because he looks  like he is thinking
about being naughty.
If someone refers to a pet then I ask them lots of questions and ask to see photos from their phone.  Some questions are - pets name, demeanor, age, name, story of the name, does the pet sleep in the bed with the person, does the pet get along with other pets and people in the house, is the pet lazy or like to go to the dog park, and on and on. Any ONE of those subjects can go off into it's own. You can discuss the relationship Mitchell and Cupcake have with Twinkie all day long.  

If you ask the person if they have pets then there you go - what kind, name, how old, etc. If they say "No," they will often tell you why. I am allergic, I work too much, I don't want to take care of anything - and there is your topic to go from there.
I heart the SEC and Auburn specifically,
but I can chat it up about a lot of sports.

Same thing - Either you come out and ask or you somehow know who they root for.  

It is helpful if you know a little about the sport, but not imperative. If someone's sport is baseball for example I have a few little nuggets of knowledge I can work with and if I run out I can say "I am a big college football fan myself, I don't know much about baseball, have you always been a fan?" And then that conversation is started. 

"I love your purse, shoes, watch, etc." can do wonders to punch a whole in the proverbial wall of trying to talk to someone.  A tad harder with men - I would choose pets or sports first, but this is not impossible.  A compliment on someone's stuff is a great way to start. They are a) flattered, b) become a little more relaxed because they feel more liked, and c) usually start talking.

The Kennedy tote from Francesca's
I was recently with two women I just met and we were waiting for technology to load.  Bleh.  I looked over and saw someone's bag and said:
"Oooo, I love that bag - is that either of yours?"  
"Thanks - yes it's mine!"  
"I love it, I am always on the lookout for a pretty, black tote that I can use for work. I love how simple it is"
"Francesca's - about two weeks ago." (referring to where she got it and when).
"I have never had luck at Francesca's, but I often compliment people on things they find there."
"Oh, that's how I am with Anne Taylor Loft, never have luck there but like other people's find."
Then my co-worker says "What's Francesca's - I've never heard of that?"
And then we were off - describing it, they were giving directions, then we talked about local traffic, the local mall, etc. 

A few words of caution - don't give too many opinions in these situations.  An opinion of cat scratching post towers vs cat scratching boards is okay - but cats vs dog - "I'm not a dog person," anything like that is not a good idea.  No aggressiveness when it comes to sports teams, conferences, fashion trends, etc.  Just, no. 

Also I think children could be a good topic, but I still don't recommend it, for just so many reasons you can infer.  

It can be exhausting to make small talk, or work hard to fill the silences when needed. And for Tired Girls we are not into being exhausted. It can help a gamut of situations. Engaging people in conversation is both less tiring, less stressful and is ultimately quite lovely. 

Anyone have their "go-to" topics they want to share? 

Still talking about fashion here. I love this dress (and her toned legs).
I have worked to find out what brand it is and I can't. But I'm just sharing it anyway. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Being new -

After living in our previous town for almost eleven years we have moved to the big city. Things are different here. The lemonade is "sexy." People honk at me at least once a day because I don't gun my car in front of a Mack truck, and consequently we (me and the honker) miss the light and have to wait for 36,000 years until our turn comes again. Things are more expensive. The Wal-Mart is laid out all kinds of different. But we also see the storms roll in off Tampa Bay. We have tons of shopping and restaurants. We are closer to family. We have Bay News 9. 

Being new is tricky on the brain. I have lost three important things in the last three days. My house has been downsized and yet it still seems hard to keep clean. Who wants to clean after being honked at all day? I get lost pretty much everyday at some point while driving (I actually know where I am - it's just not where I want to be). 

I want to wear a sign that says "I'm New!" all the time.  I look at the people in Target and Wal-Mart and Publix and PetSupermarket and everywhere and:

1. Know that I won't know anyone.  
2. Never forget that I am someplace different.

It is both lonely and fun. 

We still sit outside and drink beer at pubs though.
The mirrors in our rental house make me look younger, but the light switches that don't belong to anything make me feel old. And in my opinion that perfectly sums up moving. Both wonderful and hard. So tonight this Tired Girl is both Tired and Thrilled.

What makes you feel this way?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Being Scared -

I had the idea of being a "Tired Girl" about two years ago. I had just seen Bethenny Frankel (from Housewives something or other) on TV, and she was talking about her product line called "Skinny Girl."  I thought to myself, "if I had a line of products they would be called "Tired Girl" and I would sell slippers, and sweatshirts, and foil."

Four months later I had about 50 blog posts written, an unprofessionally designed blog site and no slippers for sale.

And then I just sat on it all and didn't do anything with it. It felt embarrassing. Why did I think I had anything to say that anyone would care about?

And then I was cleaning out my office closet and found a quote I had scribbled down on paper at some point:  "Don't let fear of failure or criticism hold you back."  Which was exactly what I was doing. I was scared to quietly press "publish" or tell anyone about my silly blog.

I am a little bit scared of going to my new gym.
So I decided to not let fear of failure or criticism hold me back (Yeah! Fist in the air!). I decided that my silly blog didn't have to be anything more than that - just something fun - a hobby. Maybe I didn't have anything much to say, but I was going to say nothing anyway.

I have experienced a few things in the past few years that I thought I couldn't do, and as it turns out - I could do them.

I have given in to being tired most of the time. I have given in to being sub-par in a lot of ways and also working to improve my sub-parness, but I don't want to be scared in this life.
This lady is not scared of anything except the wrong vodka.

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