I had an appointment for lunch with my father, so I biked to his office. I arrived early and my sister, who is an employee of the company, was there.
--"How are your projects going, Mark?" she asked.
--"Good, the course is flowing great, without effort".
--"I think I've told you about it like three times by now"
--"Oh I'm sorry, I do not remember"
--"You do not remember because you are not interested. That is fine, we do not have to make small talk about it. It is not a good topic for small talk anyways."
She made several faces in succession, like not knowing what to answer. Finally she said:
--"Fine then, I wont make an effort towards making conversation. It's your turn".
--"You're right, sorry for being so harsh, but I don't like speaking about my projects with people who have no interest in them. So how was [your son's] recital at school?
--"It was good"
--"What did [your son] do? Did he sing, did he dance, did he act?"
--"Oh, it was..."
And so the small talk centered around the event of her son. We had a longish conversation about it. After lunch with my father I biked home, I thought: will I forget about the conversation with my sister in two weeks? Yes, absolutely. Is her son the most important thing to her in the world? Yes, absolutely. Then, perhaps, I give too much importance to my projects. Or perhaps, better stated, I give myself too much importance. Projects as small talk is fine, but silence remains golden.