I’ve never been interested in the impersonal minutia of day to life. Don’t get me wrong, I can tell a story so detailed that 5 minutes of my life can quadruple in time but I reserve that for something worthy of the effort. I find no need however, for the minutia of day to day events that I constantly hear spilling from people.
Today I heard that a coworker reread his lease noting that the apartment will be furnished with light bulbs upon moving in but that he will be responsible moving forward for the replacement of such light bulbs. He now wonders if that means even the recessed lighting which is difficult to change and high up. He wondered about this out loud to an interested group for over 10 minutes. Then another chimed in to talk about the window that he needs to replace in his condo and he reiterated, word for word, the entire conversation he had with the repairman about the kind of glass he needs. I could go on and on talking about the insignificant details of everyone’s lives but I won’t because I don’t care about those impersonal details that litter everyone’s lives. It’s not that I don’t care to hear about people’s lives because I do like to hear people’s stories but I want to hear about the things in people’s lives that excite them, that inspire them, that move them. I want to hear about things that really matter. Then I ran into someone who was on vacation last week and I asked how it was? He then started to tell me about a day spent zip lining down a mountain in New Hampshire. Finally I thought someone talking about a life experience, an adventure. But the conversation was full of mundane sterile details. I wanted to hear about how it felt to be up in the trees, to move through the air across the gullies and the exhilaration or fear that was felt but instead know that it cost $99 for a day of zip lining and a day of skiing and there 10 people in the group.
Why do people reveal the most minute details of their daily events yet refuse to reveal the personal side of experience? We’ve become an impersonal society. A society where we don’t know our neighbors, we meet people through Facebook and we think we know these people because they tell us what kind of breakfast cereal they are eating via a status update. That’s not who people are, that is merely what they have for breakfast. So if I ask you how your trip was, don’t merely show me your itinerary, tell me about your trip.