I’ll try being nicer if you try being smarter!

So I was looking at my stats this morning and saw that someone read a post that I wrote back in September titled, ‘The Art of the “You’re Invisible to Me” Act’. I had forgotten I’d even written it, but I remembered it was a favorite of mine.
Since nobody even read my blog all the way back in September, I thought I’d be super fucking lame and repost it.
Personally, I find it to be comedic gold. You may differ in your opinion, but you’d be wrong.
This isn’t something I’m going to do all the time, don’t fret, I won’t just repost old crap……..but as I read this, I realized I was seriously on my game that day and this needed to be shared, now that people actually read this thing.
I present to you…….”The Art of the ‘You’re Invisible To Me’ Act”


Yes, we’ve all done it. More than once. I did it twice in just 24 hours, prompting me to write about it. Where you see that person, but go to extreme lengths to pretend they aren’t there.

Last night at 11, and this morning around 8ish, I saw people I knew on the subway. Now, I use the term ‘knew’ quite loosely, cuz that’s pretty much as far as the relationship goes. Two of them, I probably can’t even name (maybe it has something to do with their names being 18 letters long, while only containing one vowel, but that’s beside the point), and the other I simply don’t care about either way.

Now, it seems that most people I know fall into this category. The ‘I know you, but really couldn’t care less about your existence, let alone your thoughts on the latest happenings with the local sports team, or what grade your niece/nephew is in’ category.

I have a serious contempt towards small talk. It’s actually gotten me in trouble more times than I can count. I’ve been informed that my attitude is not welcome in a certain establishment, I’ve been told I make terrible first impressions, I’ve been told I wasn’t the first choice for hiring because I come off as cold, the boyfriend’s dad actually refused to let me into his house for a short while, because I refused to play the ‘Hiiiiiiiiiii!’ game every time I saw him, no matter if this was 63 times in an hour. This would be easy enough to change all of this, no? Just say hello, Talea; comment on the weather; pretend to smile when people talk about the new kind of trail mix they found at the grocery store this weekend, how hard is that?? It’s TOO HARD. I simply CANNOT do it. It makes me want to punch people in the face, or inflict violence upon myself with rusty implements. I seem to have been overlooked when they were handing out the ‘care about others mundane lives’ gene. Ha, the irony is, I write a blog about my own mundane life and expect others to read it with religious regularity. Oh well. I’ve never claimed I wasn’t a hypocrite.

What the hell was I talking about? Sorry, it’s just that my blind hatred for small talk runs so very deep I just get worked up a bit.

So anywho…..the art of pretending to not see somebody that you know is there is actually fairly tricky. There are several things to consider when trying to make yourself appear invisible to the other person, so that they don’t come up and bore you to tears with their stupid conversations.

1) To pull off this tricky social anti-interaction, try to always leave the house with some sort of emergy diversion feature. This could be a book, your iPod, your dayplanner, a bottle of nail polish, a snack, unfinished knitting, a stack of envelopes that need to be paired up with a stack of stamps……..the possibilities are truly endless. Try to always have ‘busy work’ on your person. This will make it much easier to fool the other person into thinking that you don’t see them. Once you see them, immediately launch into full blown occupied mode. Read your book, close your eyes and sway to your iPod a la Ray Charles, throw yourself in eating, whatever. You will be so damned engrossed in whatever it is you’re doing, you’ll appear to be simply too ‘in the zone’ to notice them. You cannot be blamed for being focused. It’s a highly admirable trait.

2) Okay, so you’ve failed to follow rule number one. Here’s where it gets a little sticky. Now, presumably you’ve noticed this person out of the corner of your eye, very quickly. You probably then snapped your head back to facing forward, to avoid them seeing YOU, but by doing this, you’ve lost the chance to find out where they’ve wound up. For example, if you’re on the subway, did they go to the back of the car? Are they sitting facing you? Are they pretending to be busy also? YOU DON’T KNOW. So, your best bet is to become enamored with somebody else. There’s almost always some kind of freak nearby. Locate them and start staring.

3.) Okay, so there’s no freak. Don’t panic. For the moment, pretend that you have just discovered your fingernails for the first time. Use this temporary diversion to think things through. Note your surroundings. Are there ads that you can pretend are amazing? Can you pretend to eavesdrop on other people’s conversations? Is there a discarded newspaper nearby that you can grab? A window you can gaze out of? You must be discreet about looking for these things. It is vital. Whipping your head around will only draw attention to you. Remember, mammals are attracted to movement. Make small movements and utilize your eyeball movement range as much as you can, to remain undetected.

4.) Okay, you’re shit out of luck. There’s nothing around. Don’t worry. Launch into depression mode. Here’s how: Pick a spot on the floor just ahead of you, and slightly away from the person you’re trying to avoid. Now, stare. Get lost in your terribly dark thoughts. Be sure to display a full, but not overblown, range of sad/upset/preoccupied emotions. Furrow your brow, bite your lip, sigh, rest your head on your hand. You might be being watched. You’re not sure, and you can’t check, cuz checking might lead to eye contact, which might encourage them to come over. Reminder: This Is Bad. Don’t flip through the emotions too quickly, then you’ll blow your cover. But if you do this right, they’ll leave you be. Nobody wants to disturb a potentially suicidal person. It’s like waking up a sleepwalker. It’s a stupid bet.

5.) Above all else, do NOT turn to face them. This is the stupidest thing you can do. Breaking out into song would be wiser, as it would intimidate them. Obviously it’s unnatural to only turn your head one way, so you have to be sure to look their way at least once or twice. Only a bit though! If you’re feeling brave and in control, then you can turn your head completely…..but overshoot a bit. And look beyond them. This will give you an out if they call you on the ‘you’re not there’ act. ‘Oh! I must have looked RIGHT at you and not even SEEN you! I don’t know where my head is some days! Tsk tsk tsk!’ Laugh on the inside a bit at this point.

6.) Despite my guidance, they might be super eager and not take the hint that you are clearly trying to ignore them. They might come over to see you. If they do, don’t jump up or turn around as soon as they say the first syllable of your name. This will give you away. Wait until they say it completely, then casually turn around, give it a millisecond and put on that fake surprised humbleness!  ‘Oh, Joan! Heeeeey! How ARE you? I didn’t even see you, were you there that whole time?’

Obviously, I don’t have to follow any of these. At least, not consciously. I’m a fucking superstar at ignoring people. Plus, I look angry a lot, so they tend to not be inclined to bug me. This morning I stood right in front of two of them on the way to work and totally didn’t get roped into even a stilted hello. Don’t attempt this yet. That’s just brazen rudeness and it probably isn’t what you’re going for.

Feel free to print out the instructions. And remember, ignoring somebody isn’t rude. Not ignoring them, getting into a useless conversation and screaming at them while threatening bodily harm is rude. Really, you have the good of humankind in mind while doing it. If only they’d understand….


Comments on: "Regurgitation……but it’s funny!" (12)

  1. Hey…thanks for reposting, otherwise I never would have read this. For some reason, maybe it’s just my inherent bitchiness, I am able to pretend people aren’t there.

    Lately, I’ve had amazing success with ignoring the ex – which seems to be an ever-increasing occurrence. Damn…if I had ghost-like powers I could totally walk right through him. I can be heading straight toward him and somehow manage to not even cringe, bat an eye or look his way. It’s really as if he didn’t exist. No props needed here…but, I’m keeping your instructions on hand in case I need ideas. Thanks, Talea!!

    You just never know when you’ll need them. I recommend laminating them. You don’t want to reach into your purse and pull out ripped up, faded instructions at your time of need.
    Yep……..always looking out for ya!

  2. omg! I just LMAO, especially, “close your eyes and sway to your iPod a la Ray Charles”…..

    I rarely take the train, subway, or public transit but I can SOOOOOOOoooooo see how this would come in handy for those who do. For me, I’d probably institute your ideas if I had a “run-in” at the grocery store….

    I’m still laughing….. I can just see you with your “furrowed brow”

    yeah, I’m super good at pulling off that particular emotion.
    I used the train as my example, but really, it works anywhere.

  3. Oh, btw, I think if we got together, I could get you to make small talk…… and love it!

    Oh javaqueen, your idealism touches my heart but also makes me laugh. You are wrong. You are so wrong. You are wrong on a level akin to when people tell me, “If you come out with me, you’d LOVE dancing!”. No. I’m sorry. No.

  4. Hey Talea, just ignore JavaQueen and she’ll go away. 😉 Just kidding, just kidding. You don’t even have to ignore me. I’m out of here. 😛

    Haha, good, go! Your presence was getting irritating and I was wondering how I’d ignore your comment….;)

  5. I had to go back to the original post on Sept. 10th to see if I had commented on this one, but alas, it must’ve been slightly before I had discovered the goodness of “No Really, It’s Just My Face”…

    …and so, knowing that this was “new to me”, I read it much like a child unwrapping a brand new train-set, and:


    I can see how you got re-enchanted with this post, you jam-packed SO much Talea gold into this one 🙂 …a few that made me seriously laugh-out-loud:

    “Try to always have ‘busy work’ on your person”
    (I fucking love the term “on your person” whenever it gets used to its fullest potential 😉 )

    “Read your book, close your eyes and sway to your iPod a la Ray Charles, throw yourself in eating, whatever” (HAHAHA…)

    “There’s almost always some kind of freak nearby. Locate them and start staring.

    3.) Okay, so there’s no freak. Don’t panic. For the moment, pretend that you have just discovered your fingernails for the first time”
    (I don’t even know what to say to that…the fingernails-tip is A-1…)

    “Nobody wants to disturb a potentially suicidal person.” (LMAO…you got that fucking right!!!)

    And overall, I love how you were cautious in your instructions, i.e. making sure we don’t race to the finish-line “bold-Talea-style” because we’re only just learning…you’d make a good driving-instructor 😉

    Yep kids, gotta learn to crawl before you can run, or whatever that dumb saying is.
    Dude, I LOVED this post of mine. It was totally one of my faves. My other fave that nobody read is my first trip to Honest Ed’s……..I might have to repost that one.
    I love the term ‘on your person’! It’s so weird….
    Glad you enjoyed it!! That’s why I reposted the damn thing!

  6. I’m too lazy to go back and see if I commented, so I’ll just comment again anyways (since I’m sure I commented back then since I did read your blog since you told me about it every day :P)

    I totally sat right next to the old chiropractor dude all the way up from Yonge to Finch once and not once did he see me. Awesome.

    That was probably the same comment as back in September. Go me.

    Exact same comment Em. Ha.

  7. oh it totally was! go me!

  8. Busy work, a paperback or magazine, dark sunglasses and a hat or baseball cap. Great post talea 😀 Thanks for “re-gifting” us this post. As Romi says, when you find a blogger you really like, it’s just like xmas to go back through all their posts, IF ONLY THERE WAS TIME to do that. I have some time off coming up soon, and if there’s rainy weather on those days I won’t feel the least bit guilty getting sucked into my blogosphere! If it’s nice out I’ll have to ride my bicycle or some other outdoorsy shit.

    Hey, I do it for the fans! Hahaha, no prob, I just loved it too much not to repost it now that it stands a chance of being read by more than 2 people.
    Blogs are so damned addictive, aren’t they?

  9. Wow I hate having to make small talk with people I barely know. I’m pretty excelent at texting like there’s no tomorrow and just ignoring the crap out of people. In fact I’m so good I don’t even realise I’m doing it sometimes.

    Haha, here in Canada we call that ‘aloof’

  10. joebecca said:


    i just wanted to let you know i’m alive and well, and have every intention of trying to catch up on your blog. i just need a little time!! 😀

    Where the hell have you been?? Dude!!!!

  11. Printing this now! I love it…did I read this before and have forgot, I do that alot.

  12. Dude, don’t repost Honest Eds! Revisit! We’ll go again and bring a camera this time! I’ll make out with the Elvis busts.

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