Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Microstory 72: Aglets of Conversation

The other day, my shoelace broke. I pulled it out and tried relacing it, but found myself doing it horrifyingly wrong. How I managed that, I will never know, but it reminded me of the concept of aglets of conversation. An aglet is a small piece of plastic that is fitted around the end of a shoelace to keep it from fraying. You’ve seen them. You know what I’m talking about. Much like a literal aglet, an aglet of conversation is something that is very important to one that owns it, but means very little to others else. It is a story, or a piece of information, or a musing that is only relevant to the person who expresses it. A certain microblogging social media service is full of these. We all have our own aglets, but the trick is to keep them to ourselves. Every time you try to bring other people into your aglet crisis, you will lose them. Let’s say you try to tell a story about how your shoelace broke. In the middle of it, you realize how disinterested the person you’re talking to is. That’s because it’s your shoelace, and it must remain yours alone. Don’t bring up your aglets in a conversation. Don’t talk about aglets of conversation, because aglets of conversation is an aglet of conversation. Can you imagine an entire paragraph that talks about nothing else but aglets? Why, it would be no better than a paragraph with only a few words, repeated over and over and over and over and over and over.

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