Get ready for it. This is the time of year when we’re all out merrily skipping down the department store aisles, full of the holiday spirit,  when, OOPS! Oh no, someone approaches that you haven’t seen since K.C. & the Sunshine Band were on the charts. Is it Jill or is it Jane? You can’t remember but one thing’s for sure, you’re in no mood to engage in meaningless conversation. While you’re racking your brain for her name, she’s rapidly ascending. Quick, hide behind that 8-foot fully decorated, anatomically correct Santa Claus. Crap, too late:  BAM:

Jill:  Barbara. Is that you?  My goodness. How’ve you been? It’s been so long.

Barbara: Yes, it’s been a long time. Well, goodbye.

Jill: You know, Billy is now in community college and has a part-time job at Dynamo Lanes working the counter disinfecting bowling shoes.

Barbara: Wow. That’s great. Well, goodbye…again. 

Jill: My husband’s retiring this year. We bought a Winnebago and are making plans to travel across the country.

Barbara: You’re leaving soon, I hope.

Jill: Our little Jimmy’s not so little anymore. He’s the assistant captain of his pickleball team. They grow up so fast, don’t they?

Barbara: Do you know if they sell nunchucks here?

Jill: Oh, you look so good. Did you have work done? Oh, can I show you a picture of our new patio/

Barbara: No. Hey, let’s get together…right after the holidays. Well goodbye…for the 3rd time.

That was a very smart move on Barbara’s part, not necessarily the mention of the deadly weapon, but the part where she mentioned getting together right after the holidays. With that one sentence, she let the other party in the conversation, in this case, Jill, think that she was glad to have run into her without actually having to tell her that she was sucking the life right out of her. Brilliant move, Barbara!

Of course,  this tactic will work any time of the year but it’s more prevalent around the holidays because we’re all out buying presents for people we actually know the names of. Oh sure, there’s always that very slim possibility that they may actually contact you ‘after the holidays,’ but, in that case, your response should simply be, “still celebrating.”

Making conversation today is different than before the pandemic. Remember when we were able to muddle our way through a conversation without much effort? That seems to have all changed after having been couped up for close to twenty-four months. Apparently, we’ve lost our edge. That presents a huge problem around the holidays. We all need to protect ourselves as much as possible and that’s why it’s comforting to have that extra  bullet in your gun belt and that bullet is “Let’s get together…right after the holidays.”

I do speak highly of this method because I’ve used it and have personally seen it work. But lest you think it’s only effective around Christmas, with a little creativity on your part, it can be useful any time of the year. I remember being in the mall one late January afternoon when I ran into an old co-worker who now holds down the corner chair at Billy’s Beer Garden. When he was regaling me with his ability to consume those gin-soaked pickles, my head was ready to explode so I instinctively blurted out, “Let’s get together right after…Groundhog Day!”  It worked. He bought it. We shook hands and I was on my way.  e was regaling H

Happy Holidays to all and I hope I’ve been of some assistance. Remember now,  uttering that one little sentence is a lot safer and much more within the confines of the law than actually clobbering someone with a set of nunchucks.


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