It’s no secret that this is a tense time in our world. Between the daily roller coaster of current events and the constant state of unrest, it’s easy to feel weighed down by all that’s happened this year. While it is essential to acknowledge and work through these issues, the constant inundation of information and (usually frustrating) news can be exhausting and unhealthy if it becomes our sole focus. And so, in the hopes of lightening my own mood and yours, below are some relevant conversation topics for when you can no longer bring yourself to talk about COVID tests and politics.
Carole Baskin: I somehow managed to swerve the Tiger King train, but I did overhear quite a few conversations about this wild ride of a show. Not only are we collectively unsure whether or not Carole Baskin killed her husband—the debate of the century—but we’ll also get to watch her return to television on Dancing with the Stars this September. Let the debate continue!
TikTok: I still can’t believe I downloaded this app, but here we are, several months deep. I have spent an embarrassing number of hours scrolling through my ‘for you page’ (the main feed on the app, for those stronger than I), laughing and sending videos to friends. Most of my internal dialogue now occurs in TikTok audio that is incomprehensible to those not sucked into the addictive content. I will probably (definitely) have to delete this when I eventually have a normal social calendar again, but for now, the question “Do you have a TikTok?” definitely sparks an interesting conversation.
Shopping Hauls: This topic is a favorite amongst my friends and me—possibly because we have no self-control. Online shopping was a necessity at the beginning of the pandemic and has subsequently turned into a lifestyle. Is the arrival of the FedEx truck the highlight of my day? Yes. Is that a bad thing? Jury’s still out. My office even played a game during a virtual staff meeting: the person with the most Amazon purchases since March 2020 won. It was very telling of what we’ve all been up to during quarantine.
Hobbies & Recipes: Banana bread, anyone? With all this extra time, inspiration has struck many both inside and outside of the kitchen. We’ve finally had the time to practice playing musical instruments, start small businesses, and learn to cook. Creativity has become an outlet for many, and people love to talk about their passion projects!
The Bachelor/Bachelorette Reruns: Turns out when you’re starved for content, the drama feels just as fresh as it was 5 years ago. The franchise has even coupled the reruns with current contestant interviews (so we can get a glimpse into their influencer lifestyles, of course). And while I already know the contestants’ “where are they now?” details, the updates are much more exciting to discuss with friends than with my dogs.
Pumpkin Products at Trader Joe’s: It’s the second most wonderful time of the year: pumpkin season at Trader Joe’s. Every fall, TJ’s releases a series of epic autumn-inspired products, and they never disappoint. This year’s must-try list: the ginger turmeric granola, the pumpkin cinnamon rolls, and the maple leaf cookies.
While there are many issues in 2020 that are undoubtedly more important than the above, I’ve found that every once and a while, my friends and I desperately need to talk about golden retriever videos while sipping pumpkin coffee. And it’s that balance which gives us the energy and hope we need to tackle the things that really do matter.
Olivia graduated from Calvin in May 2018 with a double major in business and writing. She now works as an editor in Nashville, Tennessee and is eating her way through the restaurants of her new town. She enjoys weekend trips with friends, petting other people’s dogs, and drinking coffee like a Gilmore Girl.