Social Roles

Olga Wolstenholme's picture

Gender Specific Small Talk

I went to a party the other day where their happened to be one single person for each couple, all of which were straight and in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties. Topics of conversation were typical; ranging anywhere in between work and how do you open a beer bottle with a lighter. I was stone cold sober as per usual and although I was enjoying the company of others, I was in a quiet and observing mood.

At one point in the evening, I was leaning against the wall in the kitchen listening to a couple guys enjoying some small talk. The event that spurred on this specific little tidbit of conversation, which I’m going to tell you about in a minute, was some sort of superficial dispute between one of the guy’s and one of the girl’s present. The girl in question had just left the kitchen and the guys were doing their whole shtick where they express their exasperation at apologizing to a girl about something the have no idea about and still finding themselves in the dog house without a clue as to why they’re there in the first place.

The conversation turned to the general as opposed to the specific rather quickly, and could only be described as gendered posturing. I felt like I was in an American sitcom staring Jim Belushi and Courtney Thorne-Smith. I’m not a relationship expert having been in a rather minimal amount of them in my short twenty-eight year span and I just had to ask, “Is that really what it’s like?” The answer I got was, “No, it’s not.”

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