Are you tired of entertaining long conversations? Looking for a quick way to get off the phone? Is your landlord in your face and asking too many questions? At times like this, I try to imagine what my mom would do. And in her infinite wisdom, I know she would reach for a bag of chips. Chips—potato, tortilla, corn—may be loud and overpoweringly crunchy, but as my mom says, there’s a time and a place for everything. In the hopes of passing on my mother’s knowledge, I am here to assert that perhaps we need look no further than our own pantry for the solutions to some of life’s greatest nuisances.
Everyone has received a call before and thought, “Wow, this could’ve been a text”, but the irritation can so often evolve into the seven stages of the grief as you mourn the loss of your valued time when a call drags on and on and on. When used correctly, chips can jump you all the way from the initial shock and denial that this person has been burglarizing your time, past the bargaining stage of hoping that maybe they’ll hang up soon, and straight to accepting whatever excuse they desperately make up to escape the sound of your crunching into the receiver.
I know what you’re thinking: “But Naajia, how do I get people to shut up talkin’ to me IRL?” Worry not, my introverted friend. My mom has already field tested this one and she has you covered. Those who are not discouraged by the loud, possibly even open-mouthed crunching of your chips or the crinkling of their bag can and will be drowned out in your head since it’s nearly impossible to hear anything over the sound of a kettle chip, for example. For added effect, tell the speaker that you cannot hear them, without—and this is key—ceasing to eat the chips. This is the classier, more socially acceptable version of plugging your ears and singing “la la la,” and frankly, we should all be doing this more as adults.
Now, say you’re at a gathering of sorts. You want a conversation to end, you’ve tried plans A and B, and they have somehow failed you. Plan C, before now only spoken of in legends, is not for the faint of heart and will require some calculated movement on the user’s part. This move, that I am now dubbing “the Dust Cloud,” requires you to take your hopefully flavor-dusted digits and fervently dust them off in the direction of the unwanted conversation. This is 10/10 for stopping conversation but will also invariably result in you being asked to leave, so proceed with caution.
Chips are more than a snack. They are the anti-conversationalist’s best tool when used correctly. It’s time we look past their deliciousness and see their passive aggressive potential for what it truly is. Good luck, my fellow introverts, and though I may not be able to hear your success over my own bag of chips, know that my mom and I crunch with you in solidarity.