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The Book of Na'Lon

or rather, Inane Ramblings of an Expatriot

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Of Talking to People
A friend posted something on her lj that made me think.

I think most people that know me in real life would consider me to be fairly sociable and good at talking to people. I suppose I am - I can talk to pretty much anyone (as long as we speak roughly the same language) - but, like most of the people I know - I do not find it easy to talk to people. It costs me a lot of effort and I do get peopled out. Even if the people are friends.

Over the years I have learnt a few things about talking to people. There are ways of cutting a conversation short (politely) if it's not going to go anywhere or indeed of making it worthwhile. So my remedy against having to make smalltalk is two-fold: I bore people rigid by talking about my research or history, or I admit to being a role-player, costumer, Tolkien fan and scare them off. As a result I have had some interesting conversations.

But there are times when there is a good reason to make smalltalk, and I do so on those occasions. Or I find ways of telling people I am a geek in muggle terms. E.g. I am involved with an improvisation drama group and I am a member of an educational charity. ;-)

The most interesting outcome of this strategy is, however, that I now actually have a couple of muggle friends who do know about my geekdom and don't sneer, but meet me on a Monday with greetings such as: "How was the role-playing?" or "How is your writing going?" Nix is one of these. She may never want to join an RPG or want to read what I write, but she respects that this stuff is real and important to me.

As for those people that give me funny looks in response to my topics of conversation... do I really want to prolong my encounters with them?


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(Deleted comment)
Pellinor could speak with more authority than I can, since he's spent years making mail on public transport, but from what I've observed, conversations of the "what on earth are you doing?" variety tend to very quickly end up either talking about knitting and dropped stitches, or involving the words "chainmail jock strap", "chainmail bikini", or "chainmail thong."

"Knit one, purl one" is another common phrase.

I think the chain of thought is something like mail -> chains -> bikers/punks -> leather -> fetish wear.

Certainly there are people making mail fetish/bondage stuff. I suppose if you like having chains around in sex you might as well have pretty ones :-)

I have to admit that while I don't have any particular desire to make such articles for myself, I have wondered whether branching out into making mail fetish/bondage gear to sell on-line, might not provide an opportunity to make some extra cash.

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