Seinfeld-ian Socializations

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By: Jenn Kovalski

About once a month I am overcome with anxiety. It’s not about a re-occurring credit card bill, it’s triggered because it’s my turn to write a personal article for the Newsletter. I do not procrastinate, my internal debate begins about 10-14 days prior to ‘Newsletter Day’ regarding topics. In a sheer panic I ask “what do I write about” to just about anyone. The whole point of the Newsletter article is Seinfeld-ian in nature- it’s to write about anything and nothing. So the fact I struggle so much to come up with something to discuss seems ridiculous, because if you know me even a little bit, I enjoy talking to anyone about anything.

The irony of being able to talk about anything and write about nothing isn’t lost on me. I think it’s the elaboration part when writing that is my plight. Ever since COVID, I think many of us shutdown anything more than small talk. One reason for this (and a fair one in my opinion), was that for about 15 months, if you were in a mask, no one really recognized you enough to say hello, especially if you had on sunglasses or a hat!

The other, obvious, reason was people were afraid to linger in stores, as everyone’s goal in the height of the pandemic was to generally get in and out of enclosed spaces ASAP. If I saw someone I knew, it was hard to understand or hear what the other person was saying. Masks and social distancing did not help matters. The end result was a quick hi, good to see you, stay healthy!

For us chit-chatters, COVID brought about a weird transition. In contrast, as things revert back to normal, those who shy away from small-talk are up to chat! Our neighbor down the street often seeks my husband and I out to talk. Every time we see him it is a guaranteed verbal headlock lasting at least 40 minutes. Before, we used to somewhat avoid seeing them, as it is a rollercoaster ride back to 1979, that you could not get off. But as of yesterday’s lengthy interaction, my husband admitted he kind of missed the banter, and he “learned a few new things”.

If someone makes small talk with you, humor them; It’s a great way to get back to normal, even if it’s about absolutely nothing.