Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Things that bore me

Last night, the telephone rang and a nice lady asked me whether I'd answer a series of questions for a survey about public opinion and ratings for social media programs and children. I said that I would, and answered amiably for a few minutes until the questions got more and more in-depth about the need to provide ratings for apps on phones and tablets that children download. And then I realized that I really didn't care about the need for ratings for apps on phones and tablets and that it bored me to tears, so I hung up. And then I thought about what else bores me in this world, even as I did what some people might think of as mind-numbing, like cleaning up the kitchen, folding laundry, changing an adult child's diapers and putting on her pajamas, drawing up cannabis oil in a syringe and shooting it into said adult child's mouth, telling The Brothers to pick their wet towels up off the floor, letting the dog out and musing for the millionth time about how perfect the back stoop would be for a smoke, but I don't smoke.

Here are some things that bore me:

  1. Long conversations about how social media, cell phones, Facebook and the internet are destroying our capacity for community, particularly for our children. I think this is largely bullshit and probably more a case of old-fashioned projection. I think, too, of the worlds that have opened for people with disabilities, for the caregivers of those with disabilities (ahem), for the blending borders of the great, wide world. I think, too, of the hours and hours and hours I spent alone as a child, with a book, dazed and isolated, immersed in worlds from other centuries, immune from the calls of friends and families (and that wasn't a bad thing, either).
  2. Essays on Huffington Post about how people who don't vaccinate their children are immoral, anti-Science, and stupid or are endangering others' precious children yet never acknowledge the tens of thousands of children affected negatively by vaccines. Notice that I said nothing, here, about being anti-vaccination but everything about acknowledgement (and thus my boredom, because in the end it's the not delving into complexity that bores me)
  3. Anything, really, on Huffington Post
  4. Articles and essays on the mommy wars or anything having to do with the dilemma of women working and not working
  5. Articles and essays on different types of parenting, but most especially tiger moms and that whole debate about how bad it is to over-praise your kids or give them trophies when they play soccer in kindergarten as opposed to shoring up self-esteem and teaching resilience
  6. Texas public education policies
  7. American history (I'm sorry, but other than bits of the Civil War and perhaps the Salem Witch trials, I'm bored by it)
  8. biographies of American presidents
  9. Christian evangelism (this type boredom can turn into virulence, but that's not the subject of this post)
  10. slapstick
  11. fantasy novels
  12. talking about diets (but I'm not bored by people talking about their dreams)
  13. myself, right this moment

Reader, what bores you? And if this bores, you, please let me know because that would never bore me.


  1. maine. making salad. joni mitchell. walking circles. sundays. whiners. radio opera. november. january. february. march. april.

  2. My list would look very similar. I'm laughing that you are bored by diets but not by dreams. I'm bored with kale, vegan-anything, gluten-free, theories on ADHD and ASD, people that power wash/edge/blow/mow when I'm trying to take a nap, commercials of any sort, and everything in my closet.

  3. Hallelujah! I'm bored with body image conversations, hyper-academic treatises on anything, but especially the minutiae of feminist ideas, the conversation about whether global warming is "real," my husband's travel and any loud, stinky machine that interrupts my walks through the neighborhood (pressure-washers, generators, leaf blowers, jackhammers, etc.)

  4. Mostly social interaction on a casual level bores me.
    Sometimes children bore me but then they can turn right around and delight the hell out of me.
    Sometimes my life can bore me but then, same as above.

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  6. Hmmm, I'm bored by those endless sequences in action flicks with cars blowing up and lots of guns and fighting and jumping off of buildings and explosions and the endless battle between hero and villain that is de rigueur in such movies. Once all that mess starts, i take a nap. I'm bored (stir crazy) when I'm inside the house at dusk. I'm bored by solo airplane rides. I'm not usually bored by people; there's usually some quirk that's interesting. Except telemarketers. Bored to tears by them.

  7. Hahahaa--I like your list. Cancer bores me. Aging bores me. My own cynicism bores me. My lies bore me.

  8. I'm bored by finding out which xxxxxx my Facebook friends would be. I'm not bored by this, however, and despite your #5, I think you'll like it, too:,26452/

  9. These things! And the school run. And those shares on Facebook that say "only x people will share this because they are brave or whatever." And the never ending thing that is cleaning my floors.

  10. Workout talk, diet talk, shopping and fashion talk, make up talk. Philosophy and politics. Idle gossip about who married who blah blah jesus. Our list is mostly the same except for fantasy novels. I enjoy one from time to time--but not the boring ones.

  11. Monica Lewinsky. And the word "awesome-sauce." Constantly seeing upteen variations of KEEP CALM and .... (Just fucking keep calm already.) Invitations to play Facebook games. Still wearing my winter coat in May. The entire world's fascination with Betty White.

    1. Believe it or not, I have met Monica L and spoken with her at length several times as she is the good friend of a friend. She is a lovely person and different than you might expect. Really.

  12. The Dave Matthews Band. Kale. American Football. Mandatory trips to The Home Depot/The Genius Bar/Lowes/IKEA. Starbucks. Game of Thrones. Zombies. Vampires. Sudoku. Meetings. Power Point. Working out. Waiting. Pumping gas.

  13. am bored with perfection, responsibility, banality, bed making, bathing, nice people, insurance policies, answering notifications, TV and gluten free. What I realize about myself in middage is I yearn to be like a kid, irresponsible, naive, hopeful and excited because everything is a first. As soon as my son is off to college, I'm going around the world, alone!

  14. Anything related to professional sports. Or any sports, really.

  15. My boredom with diet talk is very narrow in focus: Weight Watchers points. Being trapped in a room with two or more people who have recently joined Weight Watchers/embraced the food "point" system is just excruciating. They cannot be swayed from the minutiae of point-talk. I don't want to know how many points are in a goldfish cracker. I just want to eat the stupid cracker and enjoy it.

    Also, linguistic laziness bores me. Why can't people just say "vegetables" instead of "veggies?" When did chicken parmesan become chicken parm? Does it really save a lot of time to say "Lexington Avenue" instead of "Lexington Avvvvvvvvvv?" Ugh.

    Thank you, Elizabeth, for allowing me to vent. I love your writing.

  16. oh, not n.13!
    i'm in awe that you agreed to even reply. unsolicited phone calls always make me regret having a cordless instead of an old fashion phone, and not being able to slam down the receiver. that is a part of communication that technology has taken away, and that I miss :)

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  18. Love it.
    Oprah, Gwyneth Paltrow, mommy blogs (yours is not such a thing), JW's on every street corner, so-called memoirs written and published only because the person was kidnapped or lost a lot of weight or something, every 20 year old who invades the beach near my home in the summer in order to tan, upspeak and pass the football shirtless.
    - Karen



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