The Art of Small Talk (with Casey Rose Wilson and Jessica St. Clair)

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Casey Rose Wilson and Jessica St. Clair return to discuss an ever-present and often menacing part of our lives: small talk. They share some of the wisdom and insight from their new audio book, “The Art of Small Talk,” and try to convince SuChin to find the joy and playfulness in these everyday interactions. Learn how these two queens master the social chess match — and why “medium talk” might be the real enemy. Plus, their carts are full of rose-scented home goods and glowing skin.

Lemonada has teamed up with Apple Books to bring you the Lemonada Book Club. “The Art of Small Talk” by Casey Wilson and Jessica St. Clair is our audiobook of the month for the month of June! Listen here.

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Casey, SuChin Pak, Jessica St. Clair, Kulap Vilaysack

Kulap Vilaysack  00:10

Welcome back to Add To Cart I’m your host and your auntie Kuku Vilaysack.


SuChin Pak  02:15

And I’m your other host and auntie, SuChin Pak.


Kulap Vilaysack  02:22

Now Su, you and I get on this mic each week and we gab about basically, whatever is happening in our lives and in our carts. It’s cathartic, it’s unhinged.


SuChin Pak  02:32

We shouldn’t be recorded.


Kulap Vilaysack  02:34

It shouldn’t be and yet it is without apologies. But I recognize that you don’t want to be that fiery right out of the gate with someone new.


SuChin Pak  02:44

That’s right.


Kulap Vilaysack  02:46

You don’t want to do it, but you find yourself having to do a little bit of small talk.


SuChin Pak  02:53

That’s right, and Ku, I can think of very few things, no shock to anyone that I dread more than small talk. I am the person on the couch, sitting with the first stranger that I say hello to, diving deep into family, trauma bonding for life, and never, ever, ever speaking to that person again. Small talk is it’s, it’s an enigma and and it’s a it for me. It’s an anxiety for me.


Kulap Vilaysack  03:20

Well, guess what we got? We got good, good and bad news for you.


Jessica St. Clair  03:24

You’re doing it bitch.


Casey  03:28

Yeah, not juiced yet. Jessica.


Jessica St. Clair  03:30

People think small talk is small, but actually we go shallow to go deep.


Casey  03:36

Wait for our introduction.


Kulap Vilaysack  03:38

You’re already hearing the dulcet tones of besties of the show. They’re here to help us out. We have double trouble here today. They’re our sisters in podcasting. They have a new audiobook that they wrote the art of small talk is the Lemonada book club pick of the month. Please add to cart Casey Wilson and Jessica St.Clair.


Casey  04:06

See Jess, it was so worth it to hear that intro.


Jessica St. Clair  04:08

I didn’t need it, I didn’t need that validation, I’m already pretty self satisfied.


SuChin Pak  04:14

Wait, is this small talk? Are we in small talk?


Jessica St. Clair  04:18

No, it’s so interesting. And not to jump right into the research is that people who are going around maligning small talk, I hate small talk. I like to just do deep talk. I’m like, there is you are already in order to deep talk, you have had to small talk […]


Casey  04:35

Some people, what you just described, SuChin as like the seventh circle of hell, because they’re afraid that things will go there where you are. So I really just argue, I’m with youm, Jess, you great at it.


Jessica St. Clair  04:48

You’re already doing it. And here’s the other thing, people think that they hate it. A lot of it, we think most of it, is that they feel they can’t do it, and that people are either born good small talkers or. They just don’t have the skill, like, like, I don’t know, competitive diving, but that’s not true. They can be taught. It’s very easily. Unfortunately, there’s only five or six rules. We don’t know we have ADHD. We forget how many, I think there might be six, but they’re very simple.


Casey  05:15

Well, and I think a lot of people let their fear of it take over, and it just keeps mounting more and more fear, you know, yeah, I even see you bundling up, SuChin, a bit.


Kulap Vilaysack  05:25

She’s so closed off right now. My goodness, she’s crossing her arms.


Jessica St. Clair  05:31

She thinks she doesn’t like it, but she’s one of the best I feel. I am such good hands when I’m with you at a party.


Casey  05:37

I have to say something about you, SuChin, I’m sorry. I have to so to hear you say you don’t like small talk. And I’ve been pondering this because Kulap, gave me this headline, you know, and I sat with it. Well, don’t you know I saw you on a little show that over in my neck of the woods, over on sesh, we cover because I only cover garbage television. And it’s a little show called Searching For Sister Wife show where across this great nation, people bring thirds, fourths, fifths into their marriages is not all Mormons, okay? And aren’t I surprised after the first season when they show us the reunion, and they say, hosting the reunion, please welcome. You have to do this. I fell off my chair, I could, I couldn’t believe it. I feel you do with Billy Bob and and this one and that one, where you’re so easy with them, you’re like, now, did you want a fourth and you’re like, and how did you feel when Miriam came to live with you? How did you do that? Is what I want to know.


SuChin Pak  06:41

But to me, that’s not small talk. That’s the right, that’s the deep talk. I’m okay with the deep talk, and it’s the small talk is […]


Kulap Vilaysack  06:52

Into a shop and having chit chat with the sales associate, yeah?


SuChin Pak  06:57

Because I’m at Whole Food knowing nothing about someone, yeah, okay.


Casey  07:02

And being you might do, could I hear us just kind of give us what, what’s going on, and be honest? Okay, what?


SuChin Pak  07:10

Okay, I, I’m gonna be honest with you. And I was thinking about this, about small talk, how, over the years, I mean, of course, for someone to not like small talk, and then to be in this business, you have to, like, yeah, you got to get it up. You got to you got to exercise it. And I think lately, and I wonder if what you guys think about this, I have become, and I’ve never been comfortable with silences, long, uncomfortable silences. And no one loves them, but I’m actually better now about letting those just sit whereas before, then I would fill it with small talk. And this is the trap that I’m in, because those long silences, I replay them after the encounter is done, and it keeps me from saying hello to new people, because I know after just the initial, hey, how are you? Oh, I think our dogs have met before, I’m I’m blank, I have nothing more to give.


Casey  08:13

Because first of all, we need to have a great amnesia with small talk. The minute one’s done, you never think of it again ever.


Jessica St. Clair  08:20

No, like, no, it’s like a hookup that you did on Ggrinder, and you don’t, they said, don’t speak, you turn the lights out. It happens. You move on, it happened in a Home Depot bathroom. And then you’re gone, you know, you’re done. You’re gone.


Casey  08:35

I hear what you’re saying, which is, like, you’re afraid of the like, after the one two, obligatory, yeah, that where do we go from there? And the dogs are still sniffing, but yeah, like, what do we do here?


Jessica St. Clair  08:44

Yeah,  first of all, something about silence is very interesting, because we did interview a woman, Jenn Granneman, who’s like, the head of this very vibrant online community of introverts supporting one another. And when in during her interview, we had in another incredibly embarrassing moment where we asked her a question and she paused for maybe 30 seconds.


Casey  09:07

But that’s a long pause, if you think about it, guys.


Jessica St. Clair  09:10

We panicked.


Casey  09:10

I almost jumped out of my window to my death. Jessica was like, shaking and sweating like Kristen Wiig and bridesmaids when she.


Jessica St. Clair  09:18



Casey  09:19

Like seeing Jessica is in as an actress, as the brand shop owner.


Jessica St. Clair  09:24

And we asked her. We were like, we have to stop you, what was going on? She was like, I was thinking of my response. Introverts think before they speak.


Casey  09:32

She goes, what was going on for you guys? And I said, well, I thought you hated us. You thought I was stupid. You thought this. She’s like, guys, I was thinking of an answer, and that was hard to hear.


Jessica St. Clair  09:42

And then she said something really fascinating, which is she’s because we said, well, as extroverts, we want to fill every space, because if we think that you’re uncomfortable, we think we’re doing you a favor by talking, talking, talking. She said, actually, as introverts, we need to be asked a question to be brought out you. Need to give us a pause, or else we won’t join because we don’t think we’re wanted. So it’s like cats and dogs. We’ve been sending different messages to each other. So since then, I’d love to say that Casey and I have been practicing this more, probably we forgot about it because we have ADHD and we’ve just continued to fill the silence. But I would say a little bit of silence is okay, because you may be with somebody who needs that, and you can always ask a question one of our rules, and it’s a three for it’s a three for one, and that’s compliments, questions and commiserations. These are your three.


Casey  10:37

Okay, guy media go to’s.


SuChin Pak  10:39



Jessica St. Clair  10:41

Questions and commiseration. So you can always ask a question. You can always say, oh, and what kind of dog is this? Okay? Oh, and, you know, do you guys do this normal walk? I haven’t seen you here before. Question, question, question people love to talk about themselves a compliment is, oh my gosh. I’ve never seen a dog so cute in my life. Oh, I love their markings.


Casey  11:02

Now, Jess, let me introduce another rule that SuChin might not be extracting. A big rule for us is lie.


SuChin Pak  11:09

That lie.


Casey  11:12

Good old fashioned lie, and it doesn’t stand for anything. We mean that as in lie, literal, yeah, if you don’t have anything to offer, that’s just when you should offer a little lie. You go, I think that is truly the cutest dog I’ve ever seen.


Jessica St. Clair  11:25

Even it’s got like, one eyeball, one retina detached. You’re like, Oh my God. Oh, this dog’s got ribs, this dog got personality. And she said, oh my God, thank you so much or you look on their body, look on their person. Oh my god. Uggs. I love our uggs back and.


Casey  11:41

Hardly wearing them anymore. I know we thought they went out in the days with the juicy sweatpants. What’s going on?


Jessica St. Clair  11:46

Right, or even in here? God, I gotta tell you, your hair looks great. Oh, God, I just woke up oh, thanks.


Casey  11:51

People would kill for those highlights in Beverly Hills.


SuChin Pak  11:54

Yeah, I saw Four Weddings and a Funeral, that is a beautiful haircut.


Jessica St. Clair  11:58

Exactly on a woman, that’s a handsome looking haircut, yeah then.


Kulap Vilaysack  12:03

I think you make this SuChin, because I think it for SuChin specifically, get off to the dogs. She has a dog, she doesn’t necessarily like them, so Su, go off the dog right there with us, about clothes, you like clothes.


Jessica St. Clair  12:16

You like clothes, exactly. And then commiserations is a really good one, because never can you not find something to complain about that might be the weather early enough for you. I can’t believe I’m out of my I’m in my pajamas so early Christmas lights going up early and earlier, right? Here’s something they don’t tell you when you adopt a dog that you have to get up at 6am right on your way. People love to bond about complaints.


Casey  12:42

It’s you and the stranger against the world.


Jessica St. Clair  12:44

It really is, it really is.


Casey  12:46

My kids told me they’d walk this dog. I see yours did as well.


Jessica St. Clair  12:49

Yeah, we all have or how about this one, which is a great one for parties, which now we just said, lie. Now I’m gonna say, be authentic.


Casey  12:59

I think you can do both, but that’s high level stuff.


Jessica St. Clair  13:01

That’s high level stuff. But here we are. Dogs are sniffing each other. We’re awkward we go, isn’t it just the most awkward thing when they’re sniffing each other and we’re staring at each other, right? What do you do? Come out and say it.


SuChin Pak  13:14



Jessica St. Clair  13:14

And they go, oh my God, I know. And you’re like, well, thank you for enduring this awkwardness with me. Have a great day.


Casey  13:20

Now the awkwardness is what we’re commiserating against.


Jessica St. Clair  13:23

That’s right. Now what you guys are missing out, for those of you who are not engaging in small talk as much as you could, which could be 20 to 30 times a day, this is science, guys. It’s from Tiktok. This is science every time you small talk with someone, not only do you get dopamine, the other person gets dopamine. This is the easiest way to get a hit, a sweet hit, of that crack cocaine that is dopamine. And people who small talk live longer.


Casey  13:55

Everybody hear that. All we care about is our water and our this is and our strengths.


Jessica St. Clair  14:00

Don’t go to the gym, small talk, get your rest.


Casey  14:03

No, just say hello to another human being. Live more years.


Jessica St. Clair  14:08

It’s a gateway drug. It’s a gateway. Try it, get a taste you’re gonna want more. And on a more spiritual note, and I got, I’m cutting to the end of the interview, but Casey and I truly, truly believe that there are some people who are angels amongst us.


Casey  14:25

Who are walking not everybody’s ready for this chapter.


Jessica St. Clair  14:27

But we wait till the hour eight of the book to say this, but and again, yes, yes, Casey’s consulted a baby psychic who she thought was an actual baby who was a psychic. She’s got a gift certificate to see a wizard. She had a kitchen healer, etc, she just had a Ghostbuster, clear house of bogeys, including. Nodding like yes, yes, yes, I included all those same people, yeah.


Casey  14:38

That’s happening on Monday, but continue on.


Jessica St. Clair  14:45



SuChin Pak  14:50

You want me to put all those aside or put that on the plate before you say what they’re gonna say? Great question. I just was trying.


Casey  15:03

It’s so hard to go, where to put them?


SuChin Pak  15:04

Yeah, so tell me, what do I do with all that?


Jessica St. Clair  15:09

But my point is, when you’re going about your day, we’ve all had at least one moment in our lives where something a stranger says to us changes the course, honestly, of our life.


SuChin Pak  15:21

Never, literally, literally never has happened in my life.


Jessica St. Clair  15:28

Or you could say something that could change somebody’s life.


Casey  15:32

One more thing, if you hate small talk, I want to offer this. It’s a spiritual element, but you make life a game for yourself. We all hate the transitionary moments between life, the waiting in line, the getting in the car, and seeing the neighbor, those are all not the moments we remember and love. Think of yourself, say whoever I see today was meant to be put in my path. There’s a reason I’m seeing them. I’m not saying you have to believe in anything. Just think of it as a game. Okay, whoever’s here, we are meant to exchange some form of energy, and I don’t know what that’ll be. And when you start to think of it that way, you start seeing patterns, connections, synchronicities, and suddenly these boring, quote, unquote, moments of our lives, they feel a little more alive.


Jessica St. Clair  16:11



Kulap Vilaysack  16:12

Yeah, okay. And even circling that, sorry to interrupt, just give a little context. SuChin is living in Santa Barbara, she’s essentially retired.


Casey  16:22

Yeah, she moved there, I’m curious.


SuChin Pak  16:24

Yeah, to avoid, to escape, small talk.


Kulap Vilaysack  16:27

In many ways, yes. And what is she retired from a life where she is talking. She is a professional journalist. We’ve all gotten to the podcast game. Holly come lately, so you know what I mean.


SuChin Pak  16:39



Kulap Vilaysack  16:39

This girl’s been doing it since she was in college. And she is a husk, she simply.


Jessica St. Clair  16:46

I understand that, and listen, you’re behind your privet hedges. I was just in Santa Barbara for for Mother’s Day, peering over those hedges and wondering what special things were going on behind there, the baking of bread and the, you know, the aina garden experiences. But I will say too, Santa, Barbara is a bit of a village. It has a really, kind of, like a Cotswold village aspect to me. I saw a lot of nice small talk happening over oh, is this lemon tea bread good? You gotta try it, you know. And there’s John Cena, you know what I mean? Passing by, okay, like so I would argue, stand.


Casey  17:24

John again, he’s here. Make that one, I mean […]


Jessica St. Clair  17:27

You go, God, his head is big, how does it stay on that body of his? That’s what I said to the cashier that says the biggest head I’ve ever seen in my life. What I’m saying is you are in an environment that’s because she doesn’t know how good it is.


Kulap Vilaysack  17:42

We should, we should let her talk. We haven’t let her talk in 15.


Casey  17:45

No, I tried to […] to her several times, but my partner didn’t pick up on that.


SuChin Pak  17:51

No, I love this. I love this. I mean, this is but see, the thing about it is for someone who doesn’t like small talk and doesn’t value it, and I realize that you guys have written an entire book about it, and I love you both and all of the research that you’ve done on Tiktok, it is valuable. Let me not invalidate that.


Casey  18:12

Oh, we don’t you speak clearly, please don’t.


SuChin Pak  18:16

Is that nothing is more of a relief to me. Then when I go into a situation and I meet one of you, and by you I mean a small talker, an extrovert, someone who loves to fill space, because then I get to be comfortable in my silence, right? The problem is, is, when you get two of me together, and then it’s just like, it’s such a struggle. And so that’s kind of how I try to assess who I’m gonna talk to at a party is, I’m right now. I’m not going for the wallflower.


Jessica St. Clair  18:59

In the corner, I’m going for the big energy.


SuChin Pak  19:02

Yeah, the little she’s a little drunk. A few people have already left her. A few people have […] Yeah, her, her shiny on, you know that she started with is now a little askew. I’m like, that’s my gal.


Jessica St. Clair  19:18

If it’s […] SuChin, I’m on Casey’s Shay’s lounge, like in the hallway, but, like, it’s just the beginning of the party, and you’re and you’re aiming at people.


SuChin Pak  19:29

Yeah, your mascara is slightly smudged, and it’s hour one, I’m like, here’s my gal, you know, here’s my treasure. And that person loves when I come in and sit next to her on the chaise lounge.


Kulap Vilaysack  19:45

And all SuChin has to say, Billy Bob, did you want […] ?


Casey  19:50

Yeah, did you want Miriam to join your family?


SuChin Pak  19:53

And that’s it, off to the races. It’s three hours of bliss.


Jessica St. Clair  19:58

Yeah, one of our rules is to all. Always be scanning the room for a mark abs, which sounds like like a bowel disorder, but it really is. A good small talker is always scanning the room or the street for a mark for somebody who is down to clown and.


Casey  20:18

And I liked about you. I think you’ve, you’ve mastered that rule. Sounds like, you know, who’s good for you? And that is someone who bulldozes people, and no one else wants to be with.


SuChin Pak  20:30

Yeah, no it’s not even that. She’s not even that no one wants. It’s that a few people have had, have, yes, yeah, and enjoyed too, but had to move on. They have to move along. See, I don’t have to move along. I am a barnacle, you know? I latch on until it’s embarrassing for everyone, and then it’s time to go. And I’m grateful, and I never look back like to me, those are the best interactions out of our.


Kulap Vilaysack  20:59

SuChin, you I know, talking about number four.


Jessica St. Clair  21:02

Placing your mark. Number four, you’re placing your mark in a position of power, which is that you are allowing the small talk expert to be what they are, which is an expert at small talk. But what I want to what I actually want to challenge us, Casey, the doctors, the experts.


SuChin Pak  21:19

Doctors? Now you guys were saying experts, but now we’re doctors?


Casey  21:24

DDS is me.


SuChin Pak  21:27

Is this a small talk?


Jessica St. Clair  21:28

Yeah, pending.


Casey  21:30

They’re talking their brains out, you’re dead wrong, okay.


Jessica St. Clair  21:33

Yeah exactly but what I’d like to challenge us, Casey, is there really is no such thing as a boring person, and that’s very hard for me to say, because I’ve been very aggressive about how much I hate boring people, but we were told by our boss, Malcolm Gladwell, if you think somebody is boring, it’s because you’re boring and you haven’t asked the right questions.


Casey  21:53

You haven’t gotten to something with them.


Jessica St. Clair  21:55

You haven’t got so I would argue that you are question, you are three questions away from finding out somebody has a third wife or an erotic obsession with something that’s going to get you, like at least 45 minutes, you are you? Are you ask questions for a living. Start asking because I’m telling you, people are freaks, and you’re three questions away from some gold, we had a guy.


Casey  22:19

Who was that you can tell the next person talk about conversation like you’re not gonna believe what this guy told me over here. Now we’re rolling with the next person. And then they go, that’s my husband.


Kulap Vilaysack  22:28

Rolling small talk.


Jessica St. Clair  22:30

There was a mom at school who was a total energy vampire. This is during covid. I said, what do you do for a living? She said her job is to make sure the baby ducks get killed by the Falcons like in an office park, and then she told me she was having an affair with the falconer that I can do 45 minutes at a park with that.


Kulap Vilaysack  22:48

Whoa, wait a minute, what if that’s Adam from Hawk on hand. Recently did a private session with he is good looking. I told you that SuChin.


SuChin Pak  22:55

You did tell me that you did.


Casey  22:58

Got us, it made a connection a gorgeous connection.


Jessica St. Clair  23:01

Kulap, what’s up with can I just veer for one second?


Kulap Vilaysack  23:04

Of course.


Jessica St. Clair  23:05

Up with all of these interactions with wild animals too. Lately, I’ve been literally every time I figure out hawkinry, I’m communing with wolves. That was honestly a step too far for me. She’s a mother, I yelled out to Dan, I go, she’s mother, what is she doing with these wild animals?


Kulap Vilaysack  23:24

I am modeling for emerald birdie to commune with nature. Perhaps it has something to do with me turning 41 and, you know, it’s like, it’s just a, I’m just, I’m just a wild one. You know, that’s what you guys need to remember, I’m a wild one.


SuChin Pak  23:44

And imagine if at small talk, just three questions in this this mother you find out, has been communing with wolves. You know, over the weekend, bye, you’re gone.


Casey  23:55

That’s 45 another rule, pull the rip cord. We know no, she’s great, but.


Jessica St. Clair  24:03

Yeah, you might want to exit. If someone’s just like, I just really love the feeling of when a wolf licks my face. It’s like, okay, even stay, if you’re a master. But maybe if you’re just starting out, you might want to go to the buffet. Oh, I don’t know where that’s.


Kulap Vilaysack  24:15

Don’t leave, I want to tell you how, at the end of it, I howled.


Casey  24:18

With the wolves as a human, I remember when my daughter needs to be picked up, excuse me.


Jessica St. Clair  27:37

Here’s another question at a party that can and I would love to say this is a safe one, but a lot of people go to how do you know the host? And that’s a wonderful thing but we just had two instances. Jake Cornell, who came on our New York show, he went to a party in like Brooklyn that his friend invited him to, and it was an awful vibe at this bar. And he sidled up next to a woman, he goes, oh, this party sucks. And she goes, it’s my birthday.


Casey  28:08

It’s not always gonna hit and that’s the thing I think people who hate small talk are looking for like a perfect record. It’s gonna go so wrong. Release yourself of that.


SuChin Pak  28:17

Let’s pause frame, if you will, doctors and let’s look at the tape. Okay, here we are fix it, small talk, PhD, doctors.


Casey  28:25

What here? And he is a master, and I’ll say why in a second, here’s what he did, and I he is going to do it even better than I do, but he just goes. I am so sorry, I have had such a terrible day myself that I am just in the worst mood. Everything feels chaotic and horrible to me. This party is actually, I’m just awful. I’m an awful human. He called it out, he apologized […]


Jessica St. Clair  28:48

Yes, and he got away with it.


Casey  28:52

Now here’s another technique, if I could share this one, is master level stuff, but it’s really good, and I like to think I dabble in this one. So if he’s in line, let’s say you’re in line, you know, with the post office, it’s taking forever. A woman next to you is you know. And she’s like, really got an edge, and you’re just annoyed, but you’re there with her, you know. What are you gonna do? So he’ll be like, oh, it’s taking forever, I know. And he’s giving her eyes, like, I’m with you, right? And he’s like, what is going on there? And she’s going off, and he’s going off, and he’s going off. And then the minute he gets to the front to the woman that’s, you know, selling him stamps, he goes, I don’t like other people behind are treating you. Now he’s playing both sides, and it’s gorgeous.


Jessica St. Clair  29:31

Yeah, like this, this woman comes up, and now Jake’s gotten her so enlivened that she goes up and complains to the post office worker.


Casey  29:39

Whistleblower, he’s the vigilante.


Jessica St. Clair  29:41

Yeah, and then he goes up and he goes, God, the behavior on that one right, where are manners these days? Thank you so much, have a great day.


Casey  29:48

And then on the way out, and I roll to her, like, finally, I’m out of here. Stuff you can do, that’s chess, yeah.


Jessica St. Clair  29:58

That, yes, that is Jumanji.


SuChin Pak  30:02

The level of deceit, both self and for others, the only thing that comes to mind is just how alive and awake you both are to the world. You know to be in that moment and to be able to see the chessboard like for me, I am so like this. The viewfinder is this big.


Casey  30:28

Energy vessel, intact, SuChin and you probably don’t need a seven hour nap every day like I do.


SuChin Pak  30:34

That’s what I’m wondering is, how does it how do you get that awake like that?


Jessica St. Clair  30:38

Well, first of all, we’re getting. You have to understand, I keep making this point, you are getting energy from these. You’re actually depriving yourself of an energy drink, which now you’re just.


Casey  30:40

Sitting there and you’re in a energy stock.


Jessica St. Clair  30:53

So I’m and I’m not, this isn’t like Tiktok, this is real. You’re getting a hit, you’re getting hit.


Casey  30:57

But, I mean, I think no chin, you’re lingering too long, if I may, okay? I want you always moving, I don’t want you stopping too long with the dog. I don’t even want you to let the dogs get together.


SuChin Pak  31:09

I know.


Casey  31:09

You’re oh, I gotta run home, you’re just a joke and a go, like, why don’t I ever have dinner ready? And you’re off, you’re a mess, right? That’s what you’re writing with.


Jessica St. Clair  31:16

Oh, my God, cute dog, love her move on.


Casey  31:19

And huh, one of these days I’ll get it together, we’re gone. Yeah, people make a mistake. Oh, sorry, you go ahead.


Jessica St. Clair  31:28

Yeah, I was just gonna say, like a shark needs to keep swimming to survive. That’s how it breathes. And even when it’s sleeping, it’s swimming. And so you need to be thinking of yourself like a little baby […] shark. You’re making your way through the world, but you never stop sweating.


Casey  31:44

Because here’s the mistake people make, they stop be at cocktail party, be at street, be it you sitting down and posting up for four hours at a party. What happens is, is that now it’s so awkward to leave, you’re what you’re saying is basically like you could be hurting someone’s feelings. You basically have to look a human in the eye and be like, bye, like, I don’t want this anymore, but you have to break up, stop, like, at a cocktail party, if I see someone I want my body moving towards a bar, then I notice them. Now that’s a bit of theater you have to do. Okay, I’m scanning, where’s the bar? I’m looking, oh, hi, but I’ve already set my objective is to get to that bar. Okay, so that’s already been in play, so that when I go, oh, I have to get a drink. Now, I’m not lying, most people come up with that line halfway through. Now I’m going to get a drink, but you’ve already moving to the bar. They’re stopping you, from getting what you want. That’s then you go, if you’re at a contract party, you go, come with me, come with me. Let’s get a drink. Now, most people, you really bring them then, yeah, let them go.


Jessica St. Clair  32:43

Then you lose them. I, we were at a function last night, the three of us, and that was even tricky for me. Listen to me, I want to be very honest and open. I was had so much anxiety going there, and I and then my husband turned and said, the have you and Casey been bitchin about this book where you say all you want to do is small talk, and now all I’m hearing in the car is how much you dread it.


Casey  33:07

Because this was a lot of medium talk. Medium talk I find very hard. I’d rather go so deep with a stranger or stay shallow with people like a masseuse. But these are like people we’ve done productions with, we’ve spent a lot of time with, perhaps 10 years ago.


Jessica St. Clair  33:21

Cherished old friends […]


Casey  33:26

You don’t know where you’re sinking into. One woman, I said hi, and she was crying immediately, and I’d never got to the bottom of right.


Jessica St. Clair  33:32

And within this group, I also had my handful of actual best friends I wanted to touch down with. So I knew that it and by the way, Kulap, all I got was through a pane of glass.


Kulap Vilaysack  33:45

Yeah, I humped it at you.


Casey  33:48

That’s great little actions. We also talk our small talk. That’s a perfect what a great, big memory for tonight. That might be all Jessica remembers from that whole night.


Jessica St. Clair  33:56

Kulap, honestly did, like fried eggs, like with her against the glass, and that’s all I got with her. But so Casey and I had a couple interactions. Was hilarious, as we were doing our work, where we were always moving so I only ever saw a side of her face. She’d go, remember my friend from Palm Springs oh my god, how are you?


Casey  34:16



Jessica St. Clair  34:17

Okay, see, look at you like that’s because we knew that this wasn’t the night to get stuck.


Casey  34:24

But see to me, that’s not the night for small talk, okay? It’s not small talk is when you don’t need anyone. For me, I say we want to watch out for energy leakage, and we only have so much. If there’s best friends there, you’re actually going to prioritize them and your own mental well being and your own sense of fun and joy. We never leave our kids. Let’s go out and have fun. That’s when I actually really trim the fat. Kulap where are you in a small talk? In general?


Kulap Vilaysack  34:49

I think that I am masterful. I think I don’t know. I won’t say that I’m a dentist, or in any sort of health provider in that way, hygienist, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps […] 100% at least in alleys. And so I come from it on a very sort of security based I’m I never enter a room without completely scanning people, exits, moods, vibes, and I act from that place.


Casey  35:19

A place of safety Interesting.


Jessica St. Clair  35:21

Well, yeah, Harbor, Kulap is a safe harbor. She is the one who, if I am, you know, I’ve had a couple times at parties where I’ve needed to offload within seconds that I am deeply into the underworld. It is Kulap, that I will unload that on within seconds. She doesn’t even have a drink in her hand. No, and I’m like, Kulap, I’m struggling. And she’s like, great, down, but you don’t it doesn’t seem Kulap, that you get overwhelmed or drained by everyone’s energy. And maybe that’s just your vibe, and you are being drained by us, but like, you’re a safe bosom in the harbor of small talk. For a lot of people, I would think.


Kulap Vilaysack  36:00

My refueling and recharging happens in between social gatherings, so I fill my battery up, and then I go out.


SuChin Pak  36:10

Oh, that’s sharks, but.


Kulap Vilaysack  36:14

It’s a lot of doing nothing I am so active until I’m not, and I have to.


Casey  36:20

Can we share that? That’s not what I get. Who loves pointing out, though Jess is something different, which we do have a chapter, which is just safety, obviously, you know, some people Jess, and I you know, it’s one thing to say, oh, talk to everybody, but that’s not the way of the world always, you know. And you do have to be careful who you’re talking with, and if your instinct tells you no truly listen to that, because there’s research right surrounding that with crime and things like that, that typically, when something happens, this is no way to ever blame a victim. It’s more just to say that as women, we often ignore that first instinct, and most women, in hindsight, go, oh, I had it. And so we always want to be nice and we want a small talk. But of course, safety first, I just have to say that. And, yeah, I think that’s great.


Jessica St. Clair  37:02

Coming from a woman who literally got $1,200 stolen from her because she let a man in a CVS parking lot convince her that he could buff out, uh, any scratches.


Kulap Vilaysack  37:16

To be fair, it was men, it was men. It was it was many men, yeah, so and so it’s assessing, and I’m also, like, last night, the event we were at, I’m also assessing for not just physical threats. I’m assessing for emotional threats, psychic vampires. They’re the scanners, and we’re getting data. They were out there. There were some, there were some, I’m not many sorts of data, but a couple, yeah, and I’m acting upon that data, and most of the time I’m right, sometimes I’m wrong, and then you Skedaddle if you’re wrong.


Jessica St. Clair  37:51

Yeah, you’re gonna, you’re gonna fall into some potholes, and that’s okay. And I think that something that might make people the reason why I do think our book is a wonderful contribution, if not one of the most important in the last decade to society is that I’m being serious.


Casey  38:11

Because it’s up there with AA there. So there’s some books that have been written only separate Bible, that’s right, oh, of course, obviously, it’s sandwiched right there between those.


Jessica St. Clair  38:22

But is that if you have a tool in your toolkit, exit strategies, you know you have a little satchel. You know that you bring with you that you can feel safe at any point, that you can exit. You can begin. You can know what the middle of it is, then you feel comfortable starting it, because you don’t feel like you’d be trapped. Pull the rip cord. You know, having an empty glass on you, you know, that gets you to the bar, having a prop. Amy Poehler told us about headphones, where, if you have visible headphones, let’s say, on a plane.


Casey  38:54

Again, let someone see them first, so you’re not pulling them out of the bag, which is rude, right? Like what? Pulling them out of the bag, make conversation, start the story first. You’ve got them very visible, and it’s almost like you’re lucky I’m giving you something because I’ve got these so you see my objective, now we chat.


Jessica St. Clair  39:10

And you’re making a little like, uh, mommy time, mommy podcast time. Enjoy your flight. You know, you always just want to let, not just yourself, know that there’s an exit and an end, but they’re your partner as well. Nobody wants to have sex 40 hours. We’re not sting, you know, Sting and Trudy are the only ones who could do that. We want to know at a certain point this is going to be over, and I’m going to get to go to sleep.


Kulap Vilaysack  39:36

Even with my best friends. I do not want tangent conversation […]


Kulap Vilaysack  40:43

Okay, everybody get this audiobook. It’s so good, it’s amazing. Add that to cart. But let’s talk about what is in your carts, ladies Casey, let’s start with you. I know you love Homecourt, but what is it? Everything? What’s what’s your favorite Homecourt?


Casey  42:48

I love the rose scent, the hand wash. I love the room spray, which I’ve also used in my car, and I love the candle. It’s just an incredible scent that’s not too cloying, not too strong, which I don’t love, that I love Homecourt, and it’s from Courtney Cox, which I didn’t know for some time. Oh, and I think that’s best that I found out after, you know.


Kulap Vilaysack  43:11

And did you know that former guest, Nick Axelrod, was involved in home court as well?


Casey  43:16

Of course, I did not, and I love him so much, and I am such a fan of his other products. So like a little river rat, I did Instagram him after you told me that, and I said, loving your products. And he took the bait and said, what’s your address? So that’s small talk that social media you know.


SuChin Pak  43:36

You know, paid off.


Jessica St. Clair  43:38

Small talk can get you, percentages off. It can get you absolutely someone getting someone’s fanny running back and checking in the back stock if they have that size, even if they were going to tell you they didn’t. It can get you free oh yeah, even a normal.


SuChin Pak  43:54

Oh yeah. This is why I travel with my best friend, who is the small talker of the universe. I just, oh, we should stand by. Yeah. I just, I get to sit back and enjoy the fruits of her, not labor, but really her passion, of her pleasure, as she asks for discount. And could we get this? And what if I brought it back? Could you alter this and nine […]


Casey  44:19

Times other discount? It like a box store, kind of a place?


SuChin Pak  44:23

Oh, she’ll ask for a discount anywhere. I mean, everything is up for negotiation, and if it’s not a discount, then it’ll be gift with purchase. That’s a suggestion, even if you know, suggesting ideas, no, no.


Jessica St. Clair  44:38

And that’s an offshoot, that’s another podcast. And also, I wish we had put SuChin through her paces, because we have a lovely friend of ours, Tony. He was one of the worst small talkers in the world, and in the book, we actually taught him out of small talk and then put him through his paces at a party. And that is just pure comedy. He did great, amazing.


Kulap Vilaysack  44:59

I SuChin, he it is one of my favorite segments. I immediately texted you both told you how. So it’s really, there’s a lot of things. There’s again, Tiktok research their stories, all these interviews, but Tony, to hear it happen, to hear somebody live do essentially a makeover in steps. It’s fantastic, and he’s so perfect. He was the perfect person.


Jessica St. Clair  45:00

And a lot of people think it’s strange that we did our field research with Tony at Casey’s son’s fifth birthday. And don’t think that there weren’t some judgy parents there who were like, Why is there a camera? Why is there an Audio Crew, and why I had, like, a Donahue style mic that I was passing back and forth. It was so embarrassing, but we needed to do it.


Kulap Vilaysack  45:47

We had to. We had to, I really wish. I mean, when you do whatever the paperback version of an audiobook is, maybe SuChin could be a bonus.


Casey  45:56

I think that’s this Ku, that’s it. Every podcast we do paperback version of an audiobook.


Kulap Vilaysack  46:03

Copy that.


Casey  46:05

And that’s across the board all podcasts, you know, oh.


Kulap Vilaysack  46:10

St.Clair, talk about this watermelon glow.


Jessica St. Clair  46:14

Okay, so a lot of people on our podcasts, subscription Academy, The Deep Dive Academy. We go live, we do the deeper dive, which is a wrap up show that we go live and talk to students. And a lot of people are asking June, over and over again, what’s up with this glow she’s got going, it’s like a sheen. Have you seen her put this on her? Maybe you guys all know about this, but water so she do, yes, yeah. So she says it’s this watermelon gloat. All I knew is watermelon glow. So then BB, my 10 year old, found her way to a Sephora with her father classic when I was out of town at a funeral and managed to rack up quite a bill. And I had said to her, you know, hey, if you see the watermelon glow, get it. Well, what she ended up getting me by accident, which ended up being so good, was the watermelon glow, niacinamide. I don’t know how to say it. Niacinamide, Hue drops, Sun glow serum. You do a drop of it, put it all over your face. And what it does is give you a nice little tan, kind of lit from within, vitality. And, you know, I love a self tanner.


Kulap Vilaysack  47:23

Is it greasy?


Jessica St. Clair  47:25

No, it’s like, it’s, it almost feels like, almost like dry, like you pat it on and with so what I do is I put on my Elsa sunscreen tinted, and then I do a just one little pump of this, and it’s giving me this, like little tan, little shine to it.


Casey  47:41

So you don’t look like the red face alcoholic that I look right now, having not done foundation.


Jessica St. Clair  47:46

Exactly, I’d love to try this on you. But again, I’m a huge fan of turning my skin to a different color at all times, not winter some I, my skin has been so self tanned, we don’t know what color it was or is it? Is it is now.


Kulap Vilaysack  48:04

Where does the self tan begin and where does Jessica end? It’s hard to say, it’s a dozenity loop.


Casey  48:10

Well, you know, we just did this podcast, and the comedian Michelle Collins. I don’t know if you guys have had her on, but you should, yes, we have


Kulap Vilaysack  48:16

Shopping warrior, exactly.


Casey  48:19

That’s what I was thinking. But so she was on, we’re on Zoom, and her skin looks so luminescent. There was a comment section. I am not kidding you, 1000 comments are just coming up, what is she wearing? What’s on her face, what’s on her face, what’s on her and it was the watermelon Glow Recipe, wow.


Jessica St. Clair  48:34

Apparently it makes you like 16 truly lit from within.


Kulap Vilaysack  48:38

We love Glow Recipe because it’s Asian American created.


Casey  48:43

Oh, it is, I didn’t know this?


Kulap Vilaysack  48:44

Yeah, yep, yep.


Jessica St. Clair  48:47

It’s a Tiktok, thing, though, right? Like, BB knew it. Like people like, it’s been out there.


Kulap Vilaysack  48:52

I’ve not gotten some real traction. It’s been around for a long time, but I wasn’t aware of the the Niacinemide hue drops. This is, this is new to.


Jessica St. Clair  49:00

SunGlow serum anyway, no one needs to look at the ruddiness of Irish skin. It’s really unappealing.


Casey  49:07

My remove to cart is there’s this. I bought one, like, three years ago, and I do use it all the time. I know there’s no evidence of that on my face right now, but it’s that Dennis Gross Skin. It’s like the LED mask. So now I got it for Christmas three years ago, because it’s not the cheapest thing, right? But I do use it’s a little less, but it’s not, not much less. But now they are offering a lip one, okay? That just goes on your lips. Insane, it does, and it’s to help the fine lines above the lips, so your brain says, great, I gotta tell you. And I don’t know why I’m taken out of my cart, because, you know, Miku, I never take anything out of the cart.


Kulap Vilaysack  49:44

So rare, yeah.


Casey  49:45

But finally, I said I got this in my bigger mask. I think they’re just trying to, I think just trying to get me to get that. And it’s the first time I’ve ever taken a stand in my life for anything that’s growth is, you know, because I’ve got the mask. And. There’s a strip where that same little lip LED would go.


Kulap Vilaysack  50:04

Yeah, now I was, I follow both of you during your press tour. Casey, you posted a video of Jessica St.Clair doing the most SuChin Pak thing I have ever seen. St Clair had a mask on, and she was eat. She was shoving food into the hole like one of those plastic LED light masks, yes. And I was like, oh, wow, SuChin and St Clair are the same person.


Jessica St. Clair  50:28

We are. I’ve always been the same person.


Casey  50:29

Yeah, she’s trying to get a bagel through there.


Jessica St. Clair  50:32

Bagel hole, it was one of those Dunkin Donuts. They’re bagels, the cream cheese injected into it. So I shoved it into the whole while I was getting makeup done, and, yeah.


SuChin Pak  50:42

It feels like a win, because everybody the world is.


Jessica St. Clair  50:46

Telling you feels that way. I won’t tell you it does not look that.


SuChin Pak  50:49

Yeah, but you know, the world is telling you this is impossible. And then when you get that cream cheese squirt through the mask, it’s a triumph.


Casey  51:01

Small talk SuChin, the world is telling you it’s impossible, and yet, right when you get that, listen.


SuChin Pak  51:06

If small talk ended with some squirt of cream cheese in my mouth at the end of it, I would be small talkin around town.


Casey  51:13

You never know if you’re looking for love, it could end with quite a squirt, you don’t.


Kulap Vilaysack  51:20

Jess,, we have to let you go, but quickly tell us about the Dyson Air Straight Straightener.


Jessica St. Clair  51:25

Okay, you know, I’ve been very vocal about Dyson, and I’ve gone this way and that about it, and I told everyone to get the Dyson air wrap. And then I told everyone don’t get that, because I’m always looking and this is where I think SuChin and I do a line, I always think there’s got to be some hack out, yes, it’s going to make my life, especially hair, especially hair so easy. So I thought, let me get this $500 at least a Dyson airstrip, because it goes wet to dry. Now you think, and that’s true. You put wet your hair is sopping wet. You put it into this clamp, and it dries it.


Kulap Vilaysack  52:07

Wait, no towel, nothing?


Jessica St. Clair  52:08

Nothing. I mean, yeah, you could, like, squeeze it out a little bit. You can go wet to dry. Now, in any it does smooth your hair, but it looks like you’ve ironed your hair in a bad way, and your hair mostly dry up that fast. Yeah, and I don’t know what kind of NASA technology they use, but there’s no bend in it. There’s no way to make it look like a blowout, and then your hair behaves like an American Girl doll hair, not in a good way. It’s like, like a lampshade. You’re it’s like a lampshade hair. And I’ve, I’ve given it so many shots and I but I’m here to say no, and I’m glad I didn’t first say yes. A lot of people don’t trust me in terms of my recommendations, but this is one that I can say, I didn’t tell you guys to get it, and now I’m telling you don’t get it.


SuChin Pak  52:55

Save us 500 I just made money on this, so that’s thank you.


Kulap Vilaysack  53:00

Thank you, thank you. Jess, thank you, Casey.


Casey  53:05

Both of ours were about beauty, both ads and takeaways. You know, I don’t know, but, oh.


SuChin Pak  53:10

But we added so much prior that was nothing about beauty. Do you know what I mean? It was about human connection and about love and expansion.


Casey  53:21

Guys, can I add one more thing to cart?


SuChin Pak  53:23

Yeah, yes, of course.


Casey  53:25

A little show called seeking sister life. Okay? It’s fascinating and incredible. I mean, this so jealous of a friend in a job. Ever normally, when I see a friend with a job, I really am like, oh, that’s so amazing. I’m like, what I’m like, nobody called me like, I feel happy for you, but also definitely making me look within you know.


Kulap Vilaysack  53:48

This is for the host of Bake Off, which is coming out really soon.


Jessica St. Clair  53:53

When you sit in that Cotswold tent, if you hear, like a dart and like something hits you in the and then you go, you go limp. Know that I’m like, Robin Hood style, taking you down. When I saw you, I was like, that is gonna get it. I hope she gets bitten by a tetsy fly and like, they gotta make the call at the last minute, and I’ll fit right into your loss. Give me right into your little form fit and dresses, honey.


SuChin Pak  54:17

I mean, this is a circle of friendship, female friendship, that we want to put out there in the world, and I hope that that it’s been received, so thank you.


Kulap Vilaysack  54:25

Get The Art of Small Talk wherever you get audiobooks. You can find Casey on Instagram @Caseyrosewilson, and you can find Jess @stclairjessica, I mean.


SuChin Pak  54:37

Thank queens. Absolutely love you guys.


Casey  54:39

Thank you, I’m sorry we didn’t let anyone else speak.


Jessica St. Clair  54:45

I’m gonna think about that like for five tour.


Casey  54:48

We should have thought about this a week ago.


Jessica St. Clair  54:50

I know, but I would have thought, God, I should have let my friends talk more. But then, you know what? By by 3:15 that’s out. No, we’re gonna think that again.


SuChin Pak  54:57

This had never happened.


Jessica St. Clair  55:01

We’re out of that Home Depot bathroom babies.


CREDITS  55:12

Add To Cart is a production of Lemonada Media. Our producers are Kegan Zema and Tiffany Bouy. Brian Castillo is our engineer. Theme music is by Wasahhbii and produced by La Made It and Oh So Familiar with additional music by APM music. Executive producers or Kulap Vilaysack, SuChin Pak, Jessica Cordova Kramer, and Stephanie Wittels Wachs. Be sure to check out all the items we mentioned today on our Instagram at @AddToCartPod. Follow Add to Cart wherever you get your podcasts or listen at free on Amazon music with your Prime membership.

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