When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for me to dip from this conversation once I realized that small talk with you sucks.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all conversations are not created equal; that some are boring as hell and a complete waste of time. Yes, it’s unusually warm for October. Please stop talking to me.

With a long train of abuses and usurpations, it is my right, it is my duty, to bring this to your attention. The history of our interactions has been unnecessary, uninteresting, and, to be frank, pretty fucking dull. To prove this, here are some examples:

Once, you asked me how my day was. When I responded, “Good, yours?” you spent the next several minutes describing how long your commute was because the train was delayed, and that somehow turned into another 20 minutes of you describing the time you went to Chili’s and your food came out cold.

A few days later, you complained that the vending machine was broken. You then named every snack you’ve ever had from the machine, and how the bags of Doritos always get stuck, which is, “so crazy, right? Like, how can it be Doritos every time?” I had five minutes left of my lunch break, and I had to spend it hearing about long-lost chips.

And we cannot forget the time you trapped me in the bathroom for 15 minutes to discuss the difference between sweet potatoes and yams. I found it extremely rude that on Veterans Day, all you could concern yourself with were yams.

Illustration by Andrew Haener

Illustration by Andrew Haener

I, therefore, do solemnly publish and declare, that I be absolved from all future conversations I deem intolerable. I have to the authority to decline any and all conversations taking place in the break room, the elevator, or any place where you feel the silence must be filled.

Furthermore, I present the conditions to which both parties must adhere during our future interactions, which I request you memorize as soon as possible.

I will refuse to pass you in the hallway and give anything more than a head nod or a simple, “Hi.”

I refuse refuse to talk about the weather, hot or cold. I know you can’t believe we’re wearing our winter coats after how hot it was yesterday, but it’s called “climate change.” Get on board.

I insist that you refrain from discussing what you’re doing this weekend. Unless your plans include getting a face tattoo of Madonna, leave that conversation for Jill in sales.

I will, and have refused, to refrain from talking about your upcoming root canal. I thought we went over this already, so I don’t know why we’re having this conversation again.

Finally, I willfully decline any discussion regarding the breakup of One Direction, including but not limited to, Niall Horan’s solo album, Harry Styles’ solo album, Zayn Malik’s solo album, and whatever the other two are doing. You are 32 years old. I’ve had enough.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of my best friend, Karen, who agreed to call me and fake a family emergency when you start discussing elephants, I pledge to you my pleasantries, my fake laughs, and my one-word responses until I ultimately peace out.

And I swear to God, if you bring up your Beanie Baby collection one more time, you will be uninvited to my birthday party at the spa.

Illustrations by Andrew Haener. View full-size cover art.