Monday, November 19, 2007

What do normal people talk about?!

(**note: in re-reading this post I found that it was all twist-tangled I editted it. I didn't add anything, or subtract for that matter, just fixed it so it makes sense.)

Last night I had an actual bona fide date with Mr. Date Man. It went really well. I was sort of surprised after all my anxiety and not really knowing him, but it went well. And, fortunately for me, I think he actually knows how to date, so things like the check and the doors were fluid and easy, instead of awkward and arguable. Thanks Mr. Date Man!

There are a lot of things about us that are different: where and how we grew up, our higher ed, our professions, how we spend our time, the content of our pasts. We spent the night navigating the waters of conversation, and it went fairly well. I mean we kept wanting to talk more, and I think that supposed to be a plus on a date. But really, I'm sort of a novice, so who knows! =)

Anyway, so this morning I have been thinking and I'm trying to come up with what normal people talk about. I mean, after the general basics of conversation, there has to be more to discuss, and quite frankly, I don't know what that *more* is. He's not really a church person, so my normal course of theological discussions, faith walk, and church people isn't really common ground. With my other non-church friends, we just talk about what we're doing, and mostly we see each other sporadically enough that we are catching up, rather than talking about things every day...not that we couldn't, but....I don't know what I'm trying to say. I guess just that in my head there is a whole gamut of *normal* that I don't have much interaction with. Mr. Date Man actually has a friends from work, people he goes out with, a karaoke bar he likes, habits of going out to concerts--you know...a LIFE! I, on the other hand, don't. I work. A lot. And when I don't work, I read, or cook, or watch movies, or hike...all mostly solitary things. I don't have a real social life. (
(yeah, that's a reality that is kinda hard to swallow, as much as I knew it before, it didn't really matter because the core of my friends are pastors too, so they don't have a life either!)

At one point he said, "so you don't really get out much do you?" Is it that obvious?!?! Dang. "Nope. I work a lot. And, I'm not really friends with the people I work with." Blank, quizzical look... "I mean, we have a staff, but I don't hang out with any of them, and the church folks, well, there's weird boundary and balance issues because as their pastor, I am a caregiver, so a truly reciprocal trusting relationship is hard to come by. And, I also deal in a lot of confidential conversations, so I can't exactly talk with person A and then go tell my friend, person B, because they sit in the pew next to each other. So yeah, it's just weird."

Mr. Date Man was really good about everything, idiosyncrasies and all. He didn't make me feel weird, but nevertheless, I don't know that I have ever felt so foreign about what I do or who I am (as a Christian). My experiences and such just don't seem normal. They seem strange. Weird. Alien. And actually it's more of a good thing than bad. It makes me realize I really do need to get out more, branch out more, and really encounter people beyond my setting. I mean, even when I meet people that don't go to church, by in large, they grew up in the church, or in another faith setting, so there's a common ground to fall back on.

So my question for today is: What do normal people talk about?!?!


Elizabeth said...

Thanks for this funny post. As another single pastor, I particularly relate ;)

Divers and Sundry said...

Politics, books and movies. If you talk about local politics, national politics, books, movies and dvds, you'll never run out of things to discuss. If you are out of the loop in one area, chances are your friend has opinions and is willing to share. ;)

Tippy said...

Your blog just reassured me that I'm not the only one with this problem. I'm not a pastor or anything, but I can definitely relate. (And you wrote this 3 years ago)