Emily Post’s Rules for Conversation (Part One)

Last year, when I was pregnant with Porcelain, I took my kids for a walk around our neighborhood and ran into another homeschooling mom. (I’m not sure what type she is.) She was outside with her kids — it was late spring or early summer — and we stopped to chat and play for a few minutes. I’d met her a few times but we’d never really connected.

Acceptable topics for conversation with a neighbor:

1. The weather: I remarked at what a beautiful day it was. She agreed.

2. The neighborhood: I commented that the cherry blossoms were in bloom and she had lovely flowers near her driveway.

3. Good health: She mentioned that she’s particularly enjoying the weather and flowers because she’s undergoing chemo for breast cancer.

Say what?!?!?!?

4. Follow her lead: Since she mentioned it, I nodded diplomatically and asked how she was doing. She mentioned that she is doing okay but losing a lot of weight because she’s having trouble eating.

At which point I abandoned Miss Manners completely and I said, “Oh, that’s terrible! Would you like me to try and get you some pot?”

Note: I do not have any pot. I do not know anyone locally who smokes pot. But I’m sure if I did some digging I could find some.

Why did I suggest pot? Because she was looking gaunt and said she was having trouble eating. Pot gives people munchies (and years ago, gave me paranoia), and I’ve heard that cancer patients can actually get a prescription for it to help them gain weight. It seemed like a NICE thing to say. Along the lines of, “Would you like me to bring over some of my size-four clothes, since I’m pregnant and will probably never see single-digit sizes again?” except not as tacky.

Looking highly offended, she curtly replied No, she did not want any pot. Then she stared at me.

I said, “I only suggested pot because you said you’re having trouble eating. Pot gives people munchies, and I’ve heard that cancer patients can actually get a prescription for it help them gain weight.”

She said, No. Thanks. Then she brought her kids inside from playtime and we went home.


10 Responses

  1. Maybe you could call it Cannabis next time? LOL!

  2. LMAO, choking on my own spit….call 9-1-1…sounds like you made a lifelong friend there!

  3. Literally just died laughing. I’m dead.

    • I am not even making it up! 😉

      • Really?! Awesome. Are you Emily Post? Because you don’t usually publish your name…
        Not that I’m a stalker, just curious. That neighbor of yours, HE’S the stalker!

        Have you read The Glass Castle by Jeanette Wells? This post reminds me of that book because it’s so unbelievable that it has to be true, ykwim? I’m usually a bigger fan of fiction than non, but that book grabbed me and didn’t let go. It also has the BEST opening line of any book I’ve ever read. I read a lot.

        p.s. I read Room after you posted about it; LOVED it. Thank you. I read it in under 24 hours.

        This is a novel of a comment, sorry…

      • I loved The Glass Castle! It was really unbelievable. And Room is the best!

  4. […] (Part One) we covered acceptable topics of conversation, which include the weather, flowers and NOT SMOKING POT. Now that we have conquered those rules, let’s move on to Part Two: How to Have a […]

  5. […] I was really at a loss. AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO CARES ABOUT THE RULES OF CONVERSATION?!?!?! Discussing Castor Oil is right up there with things NOT to say, along with offering pot to […]

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