The dinner-party question that most people have no problem with is always a real trauma for me:
“So, what do you do?”
Inevitably, a difficult negotiation process follows. Most people who ask that question want a nice, simple answer. That is why most careers have handy names like “architect,” “corporate vice president,” or “Supreme Overlord of the Xynok Nebula.” But mine doesn’t.
So I hedge my bets, trying to feel out the interest level of my inquisitor… “Uh, lots of things, um, you know, acting, writing, sort of…” I always feel really lame at this point. If they nod and smile and change the subject, I want to yell, “How can you leave it at that? You don’t have the foggiest idea of what I do, you smug, self-important architect/vice president/Overlord!”
But if they’re actually interested, it’s even worse. I have to try to tell them…