I don’t know about you, but in the moments when strangers have approached me during the pandemic, I’ve always been a little surprised—in a good way. Health restrictions forced us away from public spaces and small talk that happens in them. I never really thought about small talk—the courteous hellos, asking what my dog’s name is. I never really nailed it down to an art form like some people can, and I call myself an introvert.
So it was surprising to me when I realized I missed small talk. But the other day I ran into my editor in person during a midday coffee break. A stranger approached us mid-conversation to ask about the bike I was riding and quickly our conversation also came to include his divorce, and his life past that, plus his opinion (favorable) on Italian bike frames.
After a year-plus apart, we’ve thought a lot about being separate from those we love, but it’s also strangers. The Italian bike fan had a good sense of humor but, as small talk goes, of course I never learned his name.
In the past, I didn’t always realize small talk was there. As California begins opening up, there’s a lot I’m looking forward to—maybe even small talk. This week in HotPicks we’ve got some other things you might want to look forward to—including fancy cocktails out and live theater.