Going on autopilot: Conversation Starters

I get so lost in thought I sometimes go on autopilot. It’s amazing what I’m capable of doing without noticing, but also pretty funny when my mind messes up.

I’m sure we all have had brief mess ups like throwing away a plate and putting the pizza crust in the sink, or squirting out body wash and using it as shampoo. Those happen all the time, a strange short-circuit in the brain where it confuses your hands and pieces things together wrong.

Sometimes I’m five minutes into driving to work when I realize I had meant to drive to the supermarket. Sometimes I just mix objects up all together. I was reading a book and didn’t know the definition of a word, so I pressed it with my finger, waiting for the Kindle definition to pop up. I actually tapped it a few times before I remembered that books don’t do that.

Other times, I just get so in the zone that I don’t stop. I once cut the leaves off a whole carton of strawberries when I had only wanted a few for a snack, for example. Similarly, haven’t we all been so engrossed in a movie we ate the whole extra-large popcorn?

It’s not a bad thing, I don’t think. I usually end up laughing at myself—like when my phone buzzes because I got an email and I assume it’s my alarm. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been halfway through doing my makeup before realizing that it was 2 a.m.

I think the best is the time I was so engaged in a conversation with my friend and offered him something to drink. I was concentrating hard on what they were saying as I took out the glass from the cupboard. My body then automatically washed the glass with soap and water, and placed it on the drying rack. My friend gave me a strange look then laughed, asking me what the heck I was doing, taking clean cups out of the cupboard and washing them, and could he have his drink already?

These are fun conversation starters that allow everyone to relax and laugh a little bit at themselves. Were you ever a kid and accidentally called your teacher mom? Did you ever work as a receptionist and answer your home phone with your scripted greeting? Ever get angry when your dog won’t respond when you accidentally call it your daughter’s name? The stories are easy to tell and entertaining to hear. Share yours!