Of Hobbies and Men

Finally Easter is over, and I can stop pretending that my lent worked. It did, partly. Sort of. No, it just didn't, in case anyone was curious.
Naturally after Easter you meet the same people again, and tell them what you did during these most exciting days. Or you met someone new during these most exciting days. 

Meeting new people: a constant part of life, and this means training in small talk, learning bits and pieces about your conversation partner. This leads to reacting to new information. After all, when you learn that the other person spends their free time clubbing little baby seals with even cuter baby seals to death, how do you hide your fear? Maybe I'm exaggerating … a bit.

Let's take your faithful blogger for example, 5ft. 3 short, a librarian with a fondness for cars.
 And yes, I can already spot that frown on your face. I can fully understand it. Those aren't good factors to start with.
So in conversation the person would happily ask me what I do for a living and I will state that I'm studying to be a librarian. However, I can already see them trying to find the nearest escape route. Should it later slip that I also enjoy cars, they're running as fast as they can.

To them one of those subjects is already boring. It's not helpful that I combine them.
While they're plotting their escape they believe that their conversation partner is going to turn into an 80 year old woman with thick glasses and her hair in a bun, or someone who is going to recount the amounts of bolts you could find you that Porsche 911, or the amount of bhp of the new McLaren.

There is a small problem when you meet someone who isn't remotely passionate about the thing you love. My love for cars has lead to an awkward moment where I just couldn't keep it to myself any longer and told a friend "I'm so excited! The new BMW i8 is going to be on Top Gear!“
Sadly, the only word she understood was “excited”.
There are features about me which people might even considered fascinating. There is for example … erm … I'll come back to that later.


Naturally I'm not always on the receiving side of these frowns and discarded escape plans. Tell me that you study Geography or play golf, I'd already know where the door is or when I need the loo to never come back.
Though these escape plans are often discarded because in the end you discover that the other person is a nice, funny, and witty person. Who cares if their hobby is to punch a tiny ball with a stick and hope it rolls into a hole?
Or that they like to know which capital belongs to which country, or whatever Geography is really about ...

This raises a question: what is the hobby to which people react the worst?

The first thing that comes into mind is reading. There is the librarian stereotype again, of a person sitting in a dark room, lit only by a candle and wearing thick rimmed glasses.
Well, for one, you couldn't read properly with only one candle. In addition it's more likely that you'd set your book on fire than manage to decipher the words. Since you see people reading almost everywhere it is generally regard as 'good' and can be discarded.

Back to the stuff with engines. Out of funny reasons people who like motorbikes are seen as less boring than people who like cars. Though in both cases there is the – even reasonable from time to time – fear that they'll start talking about their gear box, or worse: fuel economy. Good but not quiet ­there yet.

From one engine to different engines: train spotting. Basically it works like this: you wait for a train to pass by, note which it was, at what time it passed, and how many carriages it had…
I'm not sure if all of that is correct, or how it can be so thrilling. Maybe it's more exciting if you don't have regular contact to the like.
One sunny day, while jogging in the morning, an old steam train trotted alongside me, and it was quite cool. There might be an exciting factor to it, but people will still think you sit on an old camping chair looking at a lonely railway station, praying for that one steam train to go past.

We're getting closer! But I'd like to declare that the hobby to which people react the worst to is: collecting stamps.
Every time you ask someone what's the worst hobby you can think of? This will be their answer. 
In fact, I have never met anyone who collected stamps. There can only be two reasons for this:

  • people don't actually do it. It's just a myth.
  • they're still in the closet about it.

Why? Because you're seen as a boring little bugger, who sits in his one room flat, eating from a small tin, and talking to … I don't know ... your stamps.


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