Here is something that’s kind of hard about being home all day: I run out of stuff to talk about. I don’t mean I have zero opinions to contribute about the world at large or that I’ve completely lost the ability to hold a conversation with another human being, I mean I rarely leave the house so my daily talking points are pretty much limited to things the kids did or crap I read on the Internet.

I have no one to blame for this tragically reduced set of life experiences but myself, really. I could at the very least work from a coffeehouse during the afternoons when Dylan’s in kindergarten so I’m not quite such a recluse. But I don’t, and so these are the sorts of things I find myself rattling on about when JB gets home from work:

• ”The mail is coming earlier in the day than it used to! It’s weird, because it used to come so late, you remember how it would be like after 5 when the truck would pull up? Well now it’s more like 10 AM. Crazy, right?”

• “The cat sleeps like all day long in the winter. Gosh, she can sleep.”

• “Did you see that Jean Claude Van Damme Volvo ad? How about that fucked-up giant squid? Breaking Bad bloopers? That awful knockout game craziness? The thing where you open a can without a can opener?”

• “I was publishing this one article and for some reason the image upload was hanging and it took SO long, UGH.”

• ”Can you even believe we’re out of milk again? I swear I just bought milk.”

I’m not actually convinced I was a more entertaining conversationalist in the past (”Oh my god my commute sucked a bag of ELEPHANT TESTICLES today, like even more so than yesterday or Monday!”), but lately, despite my overall contentment, I feel like I’ve become a very, very, very, very boring person.


81 Responses to “Sparkling repartee”

  1. Mariya on November 20th, 2013 4:24 pm

    I’m right there with ya…I’m currently in the process of trying to figure out how to be less boring.

  2. Shannon on November 20th, 2013 4:34 pm

    I find myself thinking this same thing when I talk to my husband about the millions of inane things I did that day…”Wow, you would not believe how much dust was behind the couch and I believe there was enough food in the cushions to feed a small nation….also, I gave the dog a bath, she was much better about it…hopped in instead of me chasing her around the house and dragging her in like she was going to a firing squad, and the neighbors told me they saw the leaf pick up a couple streets away so we really should get the leaves out soon or we’ll miss it…oh, and the kids and I colored their banners for the Turkey Trot run this Friday…and on and on and on….He kind of glazes over and looks just as interested as that cat above…and I don’t blame him one bit!

  3. Becky on November 20th, 2013 4:40 pm

    OMG- 3rd bullet point would be my internet viewings today. I work from home too and I completely get what you are saying!

  4. Michael on November 20th, 2013 4:42 pm

    You’re a writer — make stuff up! Ideally, stories that paint you in a good light, like, you disassembled a major appliance and put it back together again so it doesn’t make noises anymore, or you are teaching yourself Kung Fu from YouTube videos. (Van Damme’s split *was* pretty amazing…)

  5. Jeannie on November 20th, 2013 4:42 pm

    If it helps, I work outside of the home and I also think I am terribly boring — my comments to my husband are all about the kids or about who said what at work and goodness knows he doesn’t care much about that! I think it’s just having kids doesn’t leave anyone with much time to pursue your own interests, which gives you more interesting things to share.

  6. Sally on November 20th, 2013 5:02 pm

    I think this is one of those lessons I’m learning that makes me feel like I might actually be a grown up someday – happiness is just not very interesting, and that’s ok.

  7. Leah on November 20th, 2013 5:03 pm

    I work in the home too and you just described my life, haha! But I actually think I’m the opposite of boring! I don’t know what others think, but I’m just going to be content in knowing that I’m awesome!

  8. Erin on November 20th, 2013 7:04 pm

    This is so me, too!! My husband often makes fun of me for the “conversation” I bring to the dinner table, but it’s all I have to talk about!

  9. meeshie on November 20th, 2013 7:09 pm

    I’m still at the stage where most of my conversation happens with a tiny human that does not yet speak and consists of “Did you poo? Oh my gosh! You pood!”

    Unless you need a dissertation on poo I’m pretty much useless right now.

  10. Koa on November 20th, 2013 7:33 pm

    Just hahaha. The thing is, the flipping mail delivery is FASCINATING! Like, I’m in Eugene too, so maybe this was a Eugene thing, or a budget cuts thing, but did you notice that sometime last year they started hiring, like, essentially, hobos to deliver the mail? Like all of a sudden our really normal, All-American mailman was GONE and then we had a series of really shady “trainees” with some sort of supervisor, and then all of a sudden it was, like, this dude I swear the recruited from, idk, I shouldn’t say, but he was wearing an official post office shirt, and jeans shorts. I just couldn’t.

    I guess I need a bit more of a conversational life, too.

  11. Danell on November 20th, 2013 7:52 pm

    “Happiness is just not very interesting, and that’s ok.” Sally, I want to put that on one of those inspirational posters and enjoy it every day. :)

    Although, since I’m not sure it’s possible to be boring and hilarious at the same time, I’m going to have to bet Linda is not very boring at all.

  12. kate on November 20th, 2013 8:10 pm

    I work from home, too. My tip is to keep NPR streaming at all times, then at least you’ll be up on current events. Oh, and I spend an embarrassing amount of time thinking about the whereabouts of my mail. :-)

  13. sooboo on November 20th, 2013 8:43 pm

    I work at home and I too am obsessed with the mail and also the weather. I tend to give a lot of cat updates at the end of the day. I am fascinating! The NPR suggestion is a good one. Current events or some random story on NPR is always a good share.

  14. Curly Girl on November 20th, 2013 9:43 pm

    I would like to commiserate with you about my similar lack of conversational skills (My limited topics: crappy baby sleep habits, laundry, traffic to and from school drop-off, trying to explain the Cartwheel app) but I’m too distracted by this topic of opening a can without a can opener??? Tell me more!

  15. agirlandaboy on November 20th, 2013 10:47 pm

    Holy shit, YES. Yeeeeesssss. I say a total of maybe two sentences to people outside of my immediately family on weekdays, so you’d think I’d have a lot to say, but no, it’s always about how late the mail is coming. SAD.

  16. andrea on November 21st, 2013 4:03 am

    ebb and flow I think- right now we are going through some traumatic times and I KEEP having something to talk about and wish I didn’t. Wish I was boring right now. :)

  17. Jill on November 21st, 2013 5:17 am

    OMG! My mail is coming EARLIER. We should totally have coffee and discuss this at length.

    Excuse my while I watch my grass grow. Would you like to join me?

  18. timberdawn on November 21st, 2013 6:01 am

    I remember some family frustration re: Grandma only talking about death. Those participating and those at the door. But honestly? That was what her peer group was up to. (I did dub it the Dead & Dying report.) Perhaps what you have done here is describe your place in the human life cycle. The comments here seem to indicate that you have a devoted readership who are at the same place. And as someone mentioned, talking about crisis doesn’t seem like a very appealing alternative. Perhaps the blessing of boredom begins to look better?

  19. jen on November 21st, 2013 7:10 am

    This happened to me when I was staying at home. My husband would get home and he was likely the only other adult I would speak to all day and I would go on and on and on and he would glaze over. I agree though with the Jeannie that even though I now work outside the home again, I am only marginally more interesting. Maybe. It’s just…not really a whole lot happens in the day and I highly doubt he wants to hear about stock compensation. I know I don’t.

  20. Callie on November 21st, 2013 7:21 am

    If it makes you feel better, working outside the home doesn’t make for any better conversation. “So and so at work got on my nerves today.” “I didn’t like anything they had for lunch in the cafeteria today.” I mean, I could talk about my actual work, but who cares about that?

  21. Kelly on November 21st, 2013 7:22 am

    Yes, I am the same way. I try when I can to listen to a bit of NPR because, like the other posters, I usually find something worth thinking and chatting about even listening for just a few minutes. And when it gets particularly bad, I try to take a few minutes to watch a TED talk…typically works while I’m unloading the dishwasher or starting dinner. It may get interrupted a lot, but it helps.

  22. Angella on November 21st, 2013 8:09 am

    Right there with you, friend. But at least we get to wear yoga pants to work?

  23. Kizz on November 21st, 2013 8:18 am

    I don’t know, you found that gif and it’s pretty fucking awesome. Not boring at all. Very creepy actually. I’m afraid my cat is at home right now doing that and it explains why all my emery boards are missing.

  24. Dawn on November 21st, 2013 9:54 am

    Linda, you need to talk that GIF down. I think I seriously hurt myself laughing so hard.

  25. Shawna on November 21st, 2013 10:12 am

    Hm, at least you converse. Most of our evenings are quick hellos while I dash to get ready for the gym (my second job) and try to connect with the kids for a few minutes because they’ll be in bed by the time I get home (Tuesday and Thursday). My husband plays hockey Monday and Wednesday, though it starts later so we do at least have time to make a communal effort to get the kids fed before he has to leave.

    As we are renovating these days, we at least have an automatic topic of conversation we’re both interested in when we do get some time to talk.

  26. Amber on November 21st, 2013 11:07 am

    We recently moved out of state from Oregon for my husbands job (to a place where we know approximately 4 people). The weekdays consist of work for both of us, while the evenings are something like: gym, dinner, chores, shower, sleep.

    I didn’t work for the first few months after we moved, but I’m not convinced that my conversational contributions are any better now that I am working out of the home.

    I’m with Shawna on the automatic topic of conversation – at least since we just moved there are still house projects that need to be discussed. If it weren’t for that, we may just stare at each other – or our cat – most nights.

    It seems like once the social dramas of your 20’s subside, you settle into a generally peaceful “adult-like” routine…which is happy, but not always all that interesting on a day-to-day basis (like Sally said!).

  27. Corinne on November 21st, 2013 11:30 am

    You may think of yourself as boring, but you’ll have to take your loyal readers’ word that it’s quite the opposite. And your conversation recap just made me stuff my scarf in my mouth to stifle the snorting (quiet office = bad place to read funny blogs).

  28. D on November 21st, 2013 11:37 am

    I work from home too! Our mail started coming later, and the nice woman has been replaced by an unsmiling man who never waves. I try to message with friends on FB or Skype so I have some outside contact during the day. And when my husband gets home, he prefers to sit quietly and read the paper for a bit (since he has been with people all day) while I am starved for conversation and I want to regale him with stories about the dog.

  29. alexa on November 21st, 2013 1:45 pm

    I saw this blog post and I thought of you. I love your posts about being a mom of boys. I’ve got two girls and am slightly terrified of the teenage years to come. But anyway I found a new to me blogger and reading this made me think of you and I thought you might enjoy it:

  30. Em on November 21st, 2013 1:48 pm

    I am the same way. I am home all day with two kids, and the first thing I tell my husband when he gets home is how much the 7 week old pooped that day. Needless to say, he is thrilled. And I think I definitely need to get out more.

  31. sheilah on November 21st, 2013 2:17 pm

    I think I’m pretty boring too. I will blame it on the fact that my first job out of college was working on a classified project that I *couldn’t* talk about (…you know, without killing someone). Now, 20 years later I still don’t talk about my work (which is really pretty boring when you break it down to what I do most days anyway…).

  32. Deanna on November 21st, 2013 3:44 pm

    At least you wait till he gets home. I IM with my husband throughout the day. And I know it is boring stuff he could care less about but he is a good sport about it. Right at this moment we are debating restaurant choices for a December date night (3 weeks away!!). Sparkling repartee!
    Also, he makes fun of me because I cannot go a day without starting a sentence with “I saw on Pinterest . . . ” At least it adds to my conversation!

  33. C on November 21st, 2013 3:53 pm

    I have the same problem… I’m currently at home struggling to work on my own, and I don’t have cute kids to blame anything on, so the world is a bit like “you do…WHAT…exactly??” (Not that your kids make it easier-Noooo, nooo, No, I am sure they do not, not saying that at all).

  34. kat on November 21st, 2013 4:06 pm

    i don’t work from home everyday but when i do, i find myself talking to..the plants. i like to move them into the sun when i’m home and then i find myself talking to them. riveting stuff. i just LOVE that cat gif you have.

  35. Judy on November 21st, 2013 5:34 pm

    I’m pretty convinced that our postal carriers here are recruited from the local homeless shelter.

    I’m bored, and boring. I was forced to retire early due to poor health a couple of years ago, and at first it was “Wheeeee! Internet all day every day!!” but now that’s so boring I can’t stand it, and I don’t feel like I’m of use to anybody and have no purpose, and my health keeps me from getting more active (not to mention lack of money). So I hear you.

  36. gingerest on November 21st, 2013 6:52 pm

    I work alone in my office and I’m introverted. My idea of big news for those evening chats is “Hey! I knocked my water glass over on my desk, and it totally justified the Lightly Used Paper Towel Collection I keep in my top drawer!”
    I work in a hospital, just like on Grey’s Anatomy, but I am still dull as dirt.

  37. Kami on November 22nd, 2013 12:38 am

    Where does everyone find work at home jobs?! I would love to work from home & I don’t mind if I’m boring, lol.
    Seriously open for suggestions :)

    Linda keep blogging you rock it!

  38. Shawna on November 22nd, 2013 6:51 am

    Had to jump back in and say, gingerest, I thought I was the only one to have a Lightly Used Paper Towel (in my case paper napkin) Collection in my top drawer!

    High five!

  39. Joanne on November 22nd, 2013 10:47 am

    I don’t know, my life at home is boring but when I was at work in an office it was boring AND annoying. Unless your old job was, like, Professor of Interesting Things at Interesting U, who among us is filled with witty repartee at the end of the day?

  40. Alison V on November 22nd, 2013 11:46 am

    Yes, this. Once upon a time I had a job that I Did Not Like, but at which there was much drama and things happening everyday. I had bizarre and interesting stories to share, from my job that I Did Not Like. Sometimes when I’m home alone taking care of two under two all day, I have to remind myself about the Not Liking of the job. And when husband arrives home and wants to chat about what I did today…gah. Everything. I did everything. But also nothing. Because that is apparently what raising tiny, not yet talking, kiddos is all about.

  41. H on November 22nd, 2013 12:08 pm

    Shawna and Gingerest: I do too.

    I’ve worked at home since 1997 and I have been told MANY times, particularly by my children, that I tend to talk about the same things over and over and over. The most common topics are: my dogs, what I read online and what the neighbors did.

  42. H on November 22nd, 2013 1:32 pm

    Oh, and my numerous retired neighbors! They do stuff like vacuum their landscaping rocks and work endlessly to rid the easement of hundreds of tiny “weeds” that no one sees anyway. So I’m retelling that same story over and over, to emphasize how insane it is!

  43. Willa on November 22nd, 2013 9:36 pm

    Yes, yes, yes. I too give really detailed updates about the mail truck and what the two neighbor’s cats did today. I mean, whatever, it’s interesting, right? I also recently won tickets to a concert by calling in to the radio because by listening to it all day every day I have learned to guess when they’re about to do it. After having called in several times before and being too early, I also have the timing down pat. Take that, people who work outside the home!!

  44. m @ random musings on December 5th, 2013 10:09 am

    I don’t have kiddos, but I do find that when I’m heads down in projects (thesis writing + internship = no free time) I lose some talking points. NPR is your friend.

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