Tuesday, July 11, 2006

You may actually learn something

I admit it. I am a technophobe. When you are a 32-year old male, this is seen as decidedly uncool. I have never owned a playstation, I don't know how to use any computer programs outside of word and excel. I like gadgets but I don't know anything about computer related stuff. Possibly the thing in this world that I loathe the most is the telephone. I don't even like talking to my wife on it. Why? I don't know.
It seems that when guys get together the way that they determine a pecking order is through the demonstration of knowledge of a particular mutual interest. Musicians do it, sports nuts do it, poets, doctors and even guys that just sit and watch tv do it. I just can't get excited about computers. Obviously I'm using one right now, I get the irony, but if walk into a group and they are talking processor speed or which phone is the best I just tend to nod my head and look for someother people to talk to.
There's nothing worse than being stuck in a conversation with someone who wants to prove their worth to you by displaying their vast knowledge of a subject that you are completely uninterested in. I catch myself doing it sometimes. The other person answers you with an "uh,huh" or just nods. The more excited you get about finding someone who finally agrees with you about why Macs rule, or why the canucks can't get their defence together or how Josephine's Aramaic text is flawed but still superior, the less the other person engages and they get that eyes-glazed-over-i-wonder-if-I-can-pull-the-fire-alarm-and-get-away-with-it-look.
We have a friend who whenever he talks to Rach and I at church launches into some really exclusive obscure rant that leaves Rachel completely out of the conversation. At first, I didn't even recognize it but now I recognize that this guy doesn't know how to talk to women so he talks at me in an attempt to open a conversation. The only way I've found to include Rachel is to interrupt and explain what he's trying to say and have him explain to her what he's trying to tell me. More and more, this guy will actually try and start a conversation with Rachel if I'm not around and she has been patient enough to try and listen to his techno-ramble. What a wife.
Anyway, I guess the whole point of this babble is that be aware of your audience. Don't mistake shared mutual interest as friendship and don't be afraid to be the one in a group where you might know the least. You may actually learn something.