I met a girl yesterday who didn’t laugh. She didn’t smile either, not once.
So I made some jokes and inserted some funny bits into conversation, but they seemed to go right over her head.
Well, thought I, I must be an exhaustively un-interesting person. I didn’t retreat into my shell, though, I persisted in trying to engage her, since we were travelling together.
I offered her some mango pieces. Who can say no to mango pieces? She declined, and carried on munching her pasta. I told her a funny anecdote that always makes people laugh, but she just stared at me, solemn, and said,
‘Oh, that’s funny.’
Then she proceeded to talk about her uncle’s wife’s marital problems and how her uncle is an awful person.
Huh. Okay. I am not interested in any of this, and I do not see the necessity of this conversation because it adds no value to my mind, in fact it just pollutes it and makes me feel depressed.
So I tried to steer the topic away and towards something we had in common, i.e. our university course. Hallo. Maybe she has some interesting insight on Dubliners. I for one, while recognising its significant political and literary value, thought it was boring at first. It still wouldn’t be a book I would pick up on a fanciful whim. I was also having troubles analysing it properly in a fashion that my examiner would find scintillating. She just said,
‘Yeah, it was okay.’
‘So which stories would you chose to compare with Langston Hughes’ New York poems?’
‘Oh, I don’t know.’
So our conversation petered out because she didn’t have opinions on things I found interesting, and I wasn’t interested in gossiping about her adulterous family members. And she did not laugh.
In fact, the whole debacle depressed me immensely and I greatly regretted agreeing to travel home with her just because we live in the same city. That, and the fact that we are on the same course, is the only thing we have in common with each other.
Who are these people, that do not laugh, folks? That like to gossip and not much else? Who shun conversation unless it is about other people? Where did they learn such behaviour?