The other week at a party, a stranger asked what I did. I told them I was a student at U of T. But then they said, “No, what’s your thing? You know, for fun.”
So I just paused and stared blankly at them.
“Are you just really into school?”
It was getting worse by the second. I was mortified when I was unable to respond. For fun?! Was I really just into school?! The horror!
I repeated what I was studying and then left to go get another appetizer.
After that party, I went into a state of shock. Realizing that I have no hobbies was troubling. Especially since I used to have many things I did for fun. I used to play sports and write poetry and go to interesting events and…now I just stare blankly when people ask what I do for fun.
I had wanted to say something witty and self-deprecating like “For fun? Oh, you mean when I sit around in my PJs and watch TV until I hate myself?” but I didn’t think of it in time.
And I could have mentioned that I went to a curling bonspiel last week and enjoyed it a lot.
Or that I blog and “Haven’t you heard? It gets published every week online. Life @ U of T is kind of a big deal.”
But I didn’t say any of those things. Instead, I was the person who is “just really into school”.
Determined not to repeat the scenario again, I thought about all the cool things I could do that could also be easily dropped into a small talk conversation.
But after talking to a few friends, I figured out that I actually already have fun. (All hope was not lost.) It is just that my interests are difficult to describe at a moment’s notice.
So the next time I’m asked what I do for fun, I will either talk about some geeky thing I am interested in and hope the other person also likes dynamical systems theory or I will troll the unsuspecting stranger with precious gems of ridiculous hobbies that I will pretend I have.
At one party, I may be an avid eavesdropper. At another, I may embroider Kanye West quotes.
Some days, my one true passion will be crushing my parents’ dreams. (Too true to be funny though…) Other days, I’ll be into extreme ironing (yes, with an ironing board and clothes on the side of a mountain).
And hopefully my actual interests or my interesting sound bites about extreme household sports will allow me to avoid any blank staring and “just being really into school” comments for years to come.
*If you have an interesting hobby, I’d be glad to hear about it in the comments section. I promise to use some of them in conversation with strangers at parties 🙂