It happens every once in a while that I end up at a large dinner table with unknown people. Sooner or later I tell my company about my occupation: a curator. This can leave to many questions which I normally try to meet with a broad understanding that this is not an occupation that most people know a lot about. No problem here.
When the conversational partner is an artist however, it is a completely different ballgame and the conversation can continue in several different ways. Of course, there are the haters, and there are also the ones that somehow seem to get a very brown tongue long before the dessert has arrived. There are variations to this type as well, and a great deal of male artists are also trying to pick you up as well in a mix of sucking up and trying to be suave in a particularly unattractive way that (almost) always fails. But then there is a category for itself which consists of the typical (male) artist in their 50s that immediately when they hear the word "curator" starts to boast without even knowing anything more about the curator: "Oh, I am an artist you know, my paintings/photography/whatever are currently on a tour in Hong Kong and it is highly successfull. I was highly inspired by Warhol/Schnalbel/any-huge-successful-male-artist and blah blah blah blah blah blah, and you know, blah blah, blahhh...". This won't stop until one politely says that you need to go to the restroom and when you come back, you pretend to get into another really interesting conversation at the other side of the table and find a way to remove yourself from the conversation.
A word of advice to all artists out there: when someone says they are a curator, it is an opening to a conversation about art in general. After a while you will feel it appropriate, or in-appropriate, to talk about your own work, but perhaps let the curator every once in a while have a breather, or even a slight chance to ask more. It might not be what you boast about that get the curator interested in your work, it might as well be what you don't say! Also, the person you talk to might be a curator at a museum that doesn't even handle contemporary art or even art at all! Please, just listen in, and feeeeeel the vibe before start boasting. Pretty please.