When I am sitting at a table by myself reading a book, I am not attempting to use it as a prop or conversation started. I understand not everyone knows this, but when you ask me what I am reading and I reply “a book,” this should be the first indication that I am not feeling particularly chatty.
I can’t not be nice, so even my short responses come with a friendly smile, and I am beginning to think this may confuse people.
Maybe I should start carrying a sign, but then I would probably get questions about the sign, defeating its purpose. “No sir, I am not picketing, I would simply like to be left alone.”
I think the worst is when they continue talking, but haven’t the slightest clue what they are talking about. No, Prometheus Unbound is not the newest John Grisham bestseller. Uh huh, yes, I am sure he is fascinating.
My favorite is “you must be really smart.” Obviously not smart enough to eat my lunch at home.