Small talk

It’s really hard to know what to say when the shop assistant asks ‘Got much on for the rest of the day?’ and you’re heading to your radiotherapy treatment. That happened yesterday when I was indulging in a little retail therapy with my Dad. We both sort of froze when she asked and looked at each other. I never know what to say in this situation. Do I lie, which I’m really bad at, or do I tell the truth and make the poor girl really uncomfortable and sad? I just go mute and Dad says simply, ‘Yes’ and laughs nervously. She must think we’re weirdos.

It happens a lot. At supermarkets, in an Uber, in restaurants: ‘Had a busy day?’ ‘Heading home from work?’ ‘Having a day off work?’. Who knew that answering such innocuous questions could prove so difficult!

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