Good Narrative Principles

Conversation As Sport


The talk circles like a vicious whirlpool around two topics: the kids and the grandkids. Where they live, what they do for a living and in the case of the grandchildren; which college they are applying to or graduating from. A sentence, a thought is barely finished before the next person jumps in, feet first (verbally speaking) to add to or outdo the other. In this living room, conversation is a competitive sport, much like a karate championship. Instead of sharp jabs and forceful kicks there is the crowing about my son the ––––––– (fill in the blank with something “fabulous”) and my grandchild, the next Nobel Laureate. Surely, no one leaves this adventure in social preening feeling good or loved. Instead they listen for the sound of victory — silence then a shift to a fresh topic. Now, that’s money in the bank.

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