Something to Talk About

Sebastien and I are going to a restaurant tonight to celebrate our anniversary. It’s great to know that he has yet to find my constant complaining about being bored or my baseless worries that strangers are going to murder me  grounds for divorce. And he doesn’t even mind spending time with me outside of the house. We spend weekends together going out to brunch or the movies or museums with friends. We have dinner together on most nights: sometimes one of us will cook and other times we’ll order in. And now that we are working close to one another, we can even have lunch together.

I get text messages from him at least once a week asking if I want to try out a new sandwich shop.

But the more often these text messages and dinner invitations come, the more I worry that we’re going to run out of things to talk about. We already discuss current events, talk about how great our cat is and complain about things that annoy us — one-ply toilet paper, money, people who walk around in flip-flops. So what more is there to say?

I try and bring good conversation-starters to the table, but my knowledge is limited. Sure I read the news, but I usually lose interest after  the first few paragraphs of an article. The last time we were out to dinner I asked him if he heard about how China put out a public service announcement about the benefits of smog… I had read a headline earlier that day.

“No,” he said. “What’s that about?” I wasn’t expecting this response.

“I don’t know,” I said. “Something they’re doing in China.” I started to worry that I misread the headline. “Maybe it’s in China, but it could be somewhere else.” Sebastien stared at me from across the table. I quickly shoveled a forkful of pasta into my mouth so I didn’t have to speak any more.

In preparation for tonight’s dinner I took the afternoon off so I could come up with topics of conversation. So far I’ve got a story on an ant that lets out a chemical so the other ants know they’re part of the same colony. But it turns out that ants from a different colony have learned to imitate the chemical so they can do a sneak attack. Isn’t that interesting? I think it’s old news but I just read about it today.

If all else fails I think I’ll pull the nearest fire alarm.


About JadedBride

Amy Kraft is a print and radio journalist based in New York. Her work has appeared in publications including Scientific American, Discover, Popular Science, The Week, Psychology Today, and Distillations, a podcast out of the Chemical Heritage Foundation. She is currently working on a book of humor essays. View all posts by JadedBride

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