I am not naturally a social person. When thrust into a group setting, my natural inclination is to hide behind a large potted plant, muttering to myself.
However, over the years, I have mastered some social skills. I thought I had gotten to the point where I could socialize with other writers. Especially if there was alcohol involved.
But apparently I'm not doing it right (according to The New Yorker).
Reporting on a dinner that included British authors Salman Rushdie and Christopher Hitchins, writer Lauren Collins revealed that the guests started off with various word games. They couldn't even begin to talk about Iraq and Nicaragua and Tiananmen Square until they proved how witty they were.
When I get together with my writer friends, we do little but complain about how bad newspapers have become. (This may have something to do with the fact that most of my writer friends are ex-newspapermen.) We do not play word games. We do not talk about Iraq or Nicaragua or Tiananmen Square (although I do recall a conversation about New Guinea).
But, so I'm prepared for dinner with Rushdie or Hitchins, I'm practicing my palindromes and Botticelli. Just in case.