Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

Meaningful relationships

I had to go for a long stomp on the beach and thankfully, due to sunshine, I had company: the dog decided a six mile hike was just what she fancied today. There’s something decidedly naked and unnatural about going for a walk without a dog, if you are used to having one with you!

The reason for the stomp was down to simple irritation with someone. Not even someone very important to me, but it did get me thinking.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t bear small talk any more. You know the kind I mean. Not the sort that is the socially accepted preamble to a more meaningful conversation, nor yet the gentle pleasantries exchanged between people at bus stops and doctor’s surgeries. I mean the banal exchanges of nothingness that takes the place of real conversation between friends. Now, again, I don’t mean the banter and playfulness that close friends engage in, but this deadly, dull, shallow and pointless chatter that masquerades as conversation when you’ve said all you’ll ever need to say to each other and you can’t yet face the fact that you have nothing worth saying any more. It’s a horrible feeling when you realise you have been talking to someone and actually, you really would have been better just walking away. It can be the awakening to renew a relationship, to find something deeper but in the main, it’s a death knell. It’s a clanging bell that says, this friendship is going nowhere, never was going anywhere. It may not ever have been a real friendship anyway.

Before anyone worries, I don’t mean me and mine. After 21 years of marriage, we can still find enough to talk about to keep us up half the night sometimes. It was just someone I was friendly with . It just made me realise that I don’t have time to waste on that kind of relationship, where meaningless nothings are exchanged rather than deeper somethings. I’d rather be lonely than fill my life with that sort of empty rubbish.

by Viv


January 29, 2009 - Posted by | Cafe Literati, culture, life, love, personal, Viv's Short Stories, women, writing | , , , ,


  1. I imagine you don’t suffer fools gladly, Viv! I can also visibly wither if I get caught up in a discussion about Z-list celebrities or “I’m a nobody, get me out of here before I have to eat a salamander” – but by the same token, I have also been known to pale when a conversationalist endlessly seeks importance and meaning in everything. some things are just there to be enjoyed. It’s like movies, I’ll happily sit and veg out watching Spiderman, it gives me just as much satisfaction as a deeper, well-written psychological mystery, but in a different way. As The Moody Blues were wont to say: “It’s a question of balance”

    Comment by kevmoore | January 29, 2009

  2. I really hear what you are saying. After years of ridiculous people pleasing behaviour, and poite conversation with people I had nothing in common with, I finally saw the light. My energy is important to me, and people need to be responsible for the energy they give to me. I need meaningful conversations and relationships in my life and I now go after them much more, and my life is richer as a result.

    Thanks alot, this was a wonderful read!


    Comment by Sophie | January 30, 2009

  3. When I am in this mood I write literature. Really. Or I run.
    But when I do write in this mood what beauty__what sweetness. Byron, Yeats, Proust, Me__ we all suffer to bring into this world creative originality.

    Comment by Michael | January 30, 2009

  4. Thank you, all,
    Kev, I hear what you are saying! I enjoy simple uncomplicated things too, sometimes. I’d just got to my limit with a particular friend from work who had messaged me because he cannot bear to do anything (even college assigments) alone and without an audience to distract him. He had nothing to say, I had nothing to say but he had said previously, on Facebook, that he was having trouble getting things done for work etc and wasn’t finding time to relax etc. I tried several time to point out that he was wasting time better spent getting on with things that had higher priority, but he wouldn’t see what I meant. If you waste time on meaningless inanities on MSN, you can’t expect to get your work done and be able to go out and have fun!
    Sophie, again, thank you.
    Michael, I too tend to write when this sort of mood strikes. Or go for long walks with the dog. If I run, I tend to do myself injuries from tenseness!

    Comment by viv66 | January 30, 2009

  5. The same for me Viv… except that I never lost much time which people who have nothing in common with me. I can feel that at once, within some seconds, and this really saves me a lot of time and all these negative feelings attached to waste of time and energy.
    But to be honest, I don’t believe that there is much “empty rubbish” among us human. When we don’t fit to each other, we simply can’t look inside each other and might look empty to each other.
    In each of us is the essence of life, and this is SO MUCH!

    But I totally agree that we should not waste time and energy with people to whom we don’t connect….

    Hi Sophie!

    Comment by Miki | January 30, 2009

  6. Good morning Viv, just saw that you are here too, for a morning coffee cup with me! this is nice! I had already one with Michael..

    Comment by Miki | January 30, 2009

  7. Just had my second and sadly as the bathroom is now occupied by daughter having a shower, I need to cross my legs!!
    I think I’d just felt annoyed at being messaged by someone who I have given up on, who was clearly “after something” but wouldn’t actually say what he wanted. I have mixed feelings about this friend, because he’s someone capable of much more in life but prefers to live in as shallow and superficial a manner as he can, skimming the surface all the time.

    Comment by viv66 | January 30, 2009

  8. I understand your mixed feelings, Viv. But you will have to accept his choice, I guess. I have gone through many different ways of life, in the deepest depths and on the surfaces, and I can honestly say that it is not always living according our capacities which makes us the happiest!

    But if this person is moaning about his life, than yes, he should change it and not make other people wasting their precious time at listening to his self-pity.
    But even then: easily said all that. It always demands a lot of energy to change our lives and we don’t have it, weakened in our will by the life we are currently living. The classical negative devil’s circle.
    If you are not sure if you should give up on him, find a way to help him changing his sense of rotation on the circle…

    Comment by Miki | January 30, 2009

  9. I was here when this was posted and there were comments up to 6.__but I was too tired to comment and did not have any coffee.

    It’s Saturday morning here__11:30am to be exact and with coffee__wishing for a Miki Mug; man I love them, and I am having so much fun reading, commenting and am amazed that I have this energy to write as much as I did and so spot on__in the sense that what my mind is giving me are a stream of words that accurately express what I want to say without thinking__Must be the coffee! Actually I know I love to be here and so I am having fun.

    Just to let you know people in case you’re wondering what I am on.

    Comment by Michael | January 31, 2009

  10. Yep, the cybercoffee’s good here!

    Comment by kevmoore | January 31, 2009

  11. Michael, I want to make you a gift today, so your wish should be fulfilled… please go to my bullfight site and chose in one of the galleries the bullfight painting (better, tell me 3 different, in preference order because the formats don’t all allow to make mugs) you would love to have on YOUR mug…

    Comment by Miki | January 31, 2009

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