There are things we like and things we don’t like. Some of us have a longer list of things we don’t like than others. A major dislike that falls on to my list of unpleasurable conversation topics is children.
My friend and former roomie, Lacee, was in town this past week. We had a great time sitting on my sofa, watching bad movies and drinking wine for most of her trip. We saw each other for about an hour in November during my trip to Utah, but this was the first prolonged period together in nearly a year. There were a few brief moments when we broke free of the sofa cushions and ventured out, hitting up Studio Square for beer and terrible sangria, even a handful of trips to Starbucks were had. Yes, a successful trip, even if we couldn’t continue our tradition of tattooing.
There was one area of the trip that I was mute to, and that was the topic of children. Lacee has two kids that she obviously loves and like any parent with small children, she wants to show you photos, videos and talk about them. But when you show me photos of your kids there’s nothing for me to say. I don’t think any child is cute. I see mess makers, screaming sirens and a pest that should be shipped off to boarding school and brought back at age eighteen.
This is just one example, I’m sure certain topics I love to obsess over [dating] annoy the hell out of my friends. This is why we need a conversation opt out. The same way you check a button when you’re sick of receiving emails for Viagra every morning. A point where you hold up your hand, halt the conversation and opt out. Forcing the talker to either move to the next topic or relinquish control of the conversation to the party putting the opt out into action.
The caveat would be that we all need to buy in to the idea. This way no one is offended and we’re able to sidestep the awkward admission that you really don’t give a shit and can’t take hearing about something any longer. If you’re like me, you’ll let your friend go on about the subject until you rudely cut him or her off, or just walk into another room so you can drown out the joyous inflection of his or her voice.
So, next time you hit a bumpy topic, just cut it off at the knees by opting out. Eventually it will catch on or you’ll see a lot of disgruntled guys getting smacked as they hold a hand up to their girlfriend’s face while asking her to stop speaking…which I’d enjoy watching.