One thing I will take away from this experience is the ability to end conversations without (seemingly) meaning to. Observe:
Act I, scene 1. Interior.
person: Did you hear, another one of those big shots - a news anchor or something - has come out and said that he's gay?
me: I know, isn't it ridiculous? As though I should somehow care about his sexuality, like it made some kind of difference to what kind of news reporter he is or something.
person: (no response)
Act II, scene 1. Interior.
person: Oh man, school today was SO GAY.
me: That's kind of weird, cuz I thought your (private conservative Christian) school would, like, discourage homosexuality, not encourage it.
person: (blank stare)
Act III, scene 1. Interior.
person: And all these blacks came over from Africa, and now they're all 'woe is me' about everything.
me: I don't think very many blacks "came" over. (pause) There were a lot who were brought over, though.
So yeah, apparently I'm now a conversation killer. Mea culpa. (And I swear, all three of those conversations actually happened like that - and all within one weekend, too.)