Please don’t ask me what my hobbies are, unless you want to kill this date.
It’s the fastest way for me to become the most boring person in the world in 3 seconds, and I like to think there has to be someone out there who beats me in that game.
I quit gymnastics in like 2nd grade. I played the drums for about a year (although the set still lives in my parents’ basement, so maybe that counts?). I took art lessons for a few years, but I was only mediocre. I played softball for a few years, because if you’re from my neighborhood that’s what you did if you wanted to fit in. But that was ages ago.
Because here’s the thing. I don’t have hobbies. I’m not in a knitting circle, and I don’t play in my work’s intramural softball league. There are so many days that I get home from work and I honestly couldn’t tell you what I do between the hours of getting home and falling asleep, but let’s be real, you’ve totally been there, and if you haven’t, bravo. Gold medal to you for being super efficient or exciting, but also, dude, CHILL OUT. I’m a regular person who goes to work, pays for a gym membership I rarely use, and then goes home to watch some cocktail of whatever’s streaming on the networks I’ve managed to pay for on my own, maintain access to from my ex, or score from my parents’ unknowing benevolence. Are those hobbies? Is that what you were getting at when you asked the question?
But that’s not all that I do, because sometimes, usually on weekends, I at least try to go places. (Last week I actually went for drinks with some other guy who asked this exact same question which is how I got myself here with you, but I’m not going to mention that because A: that’s not a hobby, and B: that’s actually the fastest way to kill this date, and I’m not that into self sabotage.) I hang out with friends, sometimes we go to a movie. Once a year maybe I’ll see a concert or a sports game if I’m feeling exciting or I score tickets from work. I’ll wander through neighborhoods and explore new shops and sift through bookstores because I like their vibe. I’ll walk from Kith to the Nike store to Stadium Goods and stare at sneakers, and make friends with other sneakerheads standing next to me who I’ll never see again as we ogle over kicks we can’t afford. Once a month I’ll experiment with a new recipe and then pretend I cook all the time as I pat myself on the back for accomplishing the most basic of adult tasks. Or I’ll write a blog post that never sees the light of day. Are those hobbies? Maybe? I guess I could box them up into little packages and tell you I hang out with friends! or I cook! or I write! or I shop! But oh my god, I am sleeping just reading that sentence, because I hate to be the one to say it, but no one really cares about hobbies. Who wants to hang out with someone who says things like that? We may as well just call the date now. Time of death: when you asked me what my hobbies were.
It’s not that I’m not doing things, it’s just that you’re asking the question wrong. It’s like when you ask me what I’m passionate about. Questions like that make me feel like I need scripted answers- make me want to curl into a ball and reevaluate my boring, pointless life. Can’t we be organic?
“Hobbies” is anxiety inducing for anyone who doesn’t do something religiously or exciting, something that requires a level of talent like “I’ve been playing an instrument since I was seven, and sometimes my friends and I jam on street corners for fun and play at local bars.”
So let’s bring this date back to life. Ask me what I did this week. Last week. Last month even. I mean, I can’t make any promises, because you might hate me, and that’s cool, but I’m telling you it probably will elicit a better answer than “sometimes I binge watch shows on Netflix?”