How to be a Bore

Ancestry, dreams, illness, and tenuous celebrity connections, are four major examples of topics that prove a dreary bore to everyone but he who is living it.

Nothing elicits instant dis-attention with such inevitability than when an acquaintance recounts a dream. An oblivious woman at a party had a captured audience of smokers on a balcony some years ago, and her retelling of the previous night’s unconscious cinema was met with eyes on shoes and hurried puffing. What is unimportant are the specifics of the dream (the one notable exception would have been if the entire cast of the balcony had somehow all featured in her dream. No one cares what you dream about unless you dream about them -Doug Martsch). No matter how thrilling or surreal or unfathomably bizarre your dream was, your victim of a conversation partner wasn’t there and can’t rent it later. Fuck off.

Little concentrates the mind like a virulent invader insisting on puffing one’s glands to the point where swallowing is an achievement both memorable and traumatic. Much like having sex or doing drugs, its requires a great deal to distract oneself from the task, and despite the occasional or otherwise expression of sympathy, you simply had to be there. “But dude, I was so high.” “Yep.” “No, dude, you don’t understand, I was really really high. Like soooo high.” “Ok, I believe you. You were really high. Good for you.”

Margaret Atwood and I share the same birthday. Utterly banal facts of that order cannot possibly be of even the slightest interest to anyone who doesn’t also share Margaret’s special day. In fact, it is somewhat embarrassing to admit that on some small level I find our shared birthday noteworthy, but it is one of those inescapably narcissist moments that one is doomed to file away under significant digits. There is only one pitfall to avoid; if  Margaret Atwood comes up in conversation, resist the temptation.

I suppose being a none too distant member of a decaying European dynasty is interesting enough to get even the most portly Doritos aficionado laid, but your distant cousinship to the heirs of  the Nabisco fortune is not even worth mentioning. Perhaps it might come up well into your retirement over a game of cribbage with your wife, where she will respond with a “huh, I didn’t know that” but that will be the end of it. We all have relatives, what have you done?


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