Monday, December 7, 2009

Can I tell you about my children?

You know what my biggest fear is? Not my fear of snakes, spiders or rodents, or my fear of tunnels, down escalators and heights (a biggie) or even my fear of my car breaking down in an isolated area where people find out I am Jewish and ask me to explain the Torah. My biggest fear is people thinking I am boring. And that is because I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT DEAL WITH BORING. I just can't. And thus, I am afraid that someone will cross the street to avoid ME because THEY think I am boring. I am not a juggling-at-parties kind of gal, but I think I am fairly easy to talk to. I can generally find some common ground with almost anyone. I try very hard to limit discussion of my family or my band.In short, I try NOT TO BE BORING. But I think the most boring are the ones that don't realize it. It is an insidious danger amongst us, so BE AWARE. This time of year, with all the holiday parties, school events and random get-togethers, we are all bound to get stuck with A Bore. If this is utterly unavoidable, try to get stuck near the booze table. The Bore comes in two categories: The Limited Interest Bore and the Nothing to Say Bore. Talking to either is like dying a very slow death, but in a different way.

Example of The Limited Interest Bore (LIB): Cornered near the coats by The Mom Who Won't Stop Talking About Her Children. Listen to stories of Walter's three goals at the state hockey championships, Gertrude's starring role in the school play in which a talent scout happened to be present, Fred's acceptance into a prestigious state department program for studies of World Breads. The LIB doesn't notice that you are texting for help, or anything else for that matter. This is never limited to a discussion of children (although that is a frequent offender), but could be about their job, their money, their connections (name-dropping), their hobbies, really anything. This kind of micro-lecture is not boring because the subject matter is uninteresting. It might be. No, it is boring because you, you personally, don't need to be there for it. Really anyone, ANYONE, in the room, would do. It is not a conversation, which involves the exchange of ideas, it is a monologue. So if you don't care about model trains EXCLUSIVELY, you are not being an asshole when you break your own finger and plead for first aid just to shut an LIB up. Kudos to you if you can do that without inflicting pain on yourself.

Example of Nothing to Say Bore (NSB): You are at a wedding, which can be a whole other type of bore, but let's stay on the subject, shall we? At a wedding, seated at a table with some perfectly nice people. Everyone introduces themselves, and of course, instantly forget everyone's name but remember exactly what they are wearing. You attempt conversation with the woman on your right, the Woman in the Blue Dress, and while she smiles at you pleasantly, you never get beyond the stage of "How do you know the bride?" Why? Because she has nothing to say. Unlike the LIB, she has NO interests, NO hobbies, NO discernible personality. Not mean, not funny, not sarcastic, not ANYTHING. Just NOT. AT ALL. This type of bore is much more difficult to deal with, because they have actually done nothing wrong, and the fact that you have nothing to discuss makes you feel like YOU are the boring one. Sometimes you can meet someone and have nothing to talk about because you have nothing in common, but not find them boring. But the NSB has absolutely nothing to say, and you wind up just looking at each other, and because time stands still with an NSB, you could be there for 5 minutes that feel like an eternity or for several actual years. Inflicting injury on oneself is generally not necessary with an NSB. You literally can get up and leave. An NSB is used to that and assumes everyone on earth always has somewhere else they need to be. And they do. Away.

I hope that the people who love me, those funny and fascinating people, will take it upon themselves to stage an intervention should I become boring. Bar the door and remind me that NO ONE wants to hear THAT MUCH about shoes. Withhold food and sleep. Whatever works. Because while my grandmother lived to a ripe old age and died with a full mustache, she was NEVER boring. She was just hairy. And I would rather be hairy than boring any day.

1 comment:

  1. The reason these two types of boring exist is because they fit together perfectly. Wouldn't you say??!!

    The older I get the more boring I feel because boring is also tied closely with motivation. I used to be motivated to not be boring. I tried hard to keep the conversation going or get the conversation started.

    These days, I don't give a shit if anyone thinks I'm boring.

    My friend, no one will ever accuse you of being boring! :) Happy Holidays.