There’s a certain amount of tact present when conversing with acquaintances. These aren’t your people that arrive with vodka and a burrito when something horrid has happened to you. They are the co-workers of your friends that have a homely, three-limbed dog, or perhaps your friend’s Craigslist roommate that masturbates loudly. Sometimes you get stuck in the backseat of their cars after a group-camping expedition and you spill ketchup on their seatbelt buckle and don’t tell them. Whoever they are, you have certainly never connected with them on a personal level over subject matters reserved for visits with grandma. This is what I imagine my answers would sound like at birthday parties and wedding showers if I was honest in my responses to the routine questions acquaintances ask over petite entrees that we are all supposed to share.
How are you doing?
“Well, I’m experiencing anxiety pretty intensely right now at the prospect of carrying on a conversation with you for the next fifteen minutes and running out of subjects to discuss. I wish I had a Xanax and a few pieces of bacon because I am hungry and the crostinis you made are not cutting it.”
Are you dating anyone?
“Yes. Yes, I am, and I might be pregnant with his child because we had unprotected sex. I took the morning after pill (did you know you can Google Express that?) and only time will tell if there is an embryo the size of a pollywog in my slightly-tilted-towards-my-back uterus.”
Oh my gosh, your hair! When did you get it cut?
(This requires some translation, as the acquaintance isn’t issuing a compliment. They are bewildered at why you would cut your already short hair to resemble Hannah’s eleven-year-old boy coif in Girls after she gets scissor cheery).
“I was drunk on Thursday night before my haircut appointment and in the chair of Willow, and his pirate-themed salon, I told him to make me look like a babe. In retrospect, he did have a forehead tattoo of an upside down horseshoe so our definitions of “babe” may have not been different, as my appearance now holds more of a soccer-mom-with-lesbian-undertones vibe than anything else.”
How is work? What is it that you do there?
“Since the honeymoon phase of my new job has officially worn off I am in a slight panic because I think I’m meant to live on a farm and write books and not exist in a city full of tech companies, but it’s difficult to say no to free snacks, you know? I mostly slog away on spreadsheets and throw almonds in my co-workers mouths from afar because the almonds are free and there is an open floor plan.”
“I shaved my vagina this morning.”