Everyone is fake. A smile no longer means anything beyond being a basic pleasantry, like “thank you” “nice to meet you” or may favorite – “lets do something sometime.” Just because she smiles, doesn’t mean she doesn’t think “when am I getting out of here,” or “what an asshole,” or both. He might be your typical SF douche or yet another tech beta.
Between your mind-numbing, lopsided job, dictated not by what you want and what you like, but by what market demands today, and drinks over small talk about nothing, you don’t have too many stimulating or funny thoughts or ideas to share with her beyond the most rudimentary gossip. Mainstream non-fiction and stupid comedies don’t make you more interesting. Talking about your traveling and skiing adventures isn’t all that impressive anymore. Everyone travels these days.
It’s time to raise your game before your brain perishes irreversibly. It’s up to you to figure out how.