I hate small talk.

In fact, I despise it. I have often been misjudged as everything from shy to aloof because of my desire to stay away from talking about my day and the weather.

I have absolutely no qualms about asking someone about their relationship with their father or what they really feel about their childhood while I’m still shaking their hand for the first time. I understand that doing that is off-putting and makes most people clam up, so I can’t. But I don’t understand why it takes so long to find out what someone does for a living (although this topic is ripe with small talk, navigating it can be tricky), where they grew up, if their parents are still married, what clique were they in while attending high school, favorite thing to cook, favorite movie to watch when feeling sick, closest they’ve ever gotten to hitting their child.