Yawn …

Mingling with this group should be a good opportunity to bond with other women, find a companion to converse with, exchange some ideas and experiences. Instead my mind wanders while I smile and nod politely. I have been disappointed, once again, by women my own age and education who should have scintillating conversation.Β They are, however, confined within the banal of their everyday lives. Topics range from what annoying behaviour their child exhibited last night, to shopping, to their trip to the gym, to their disagreements with their husband. Nothing new. Nothing exciting. Nothing to exercise the mind. Yawn ….

Don’t get me wrong. I exchange banal pleasantries as well as the next person. How are you doing? What did you do over the weekend? How is your daughter/son/pet doing? And yet, when one sees the same people day after day, surely there can be a little depth to the conversation? Surely we can exchange ideas on topics that affect our everyday lives?

The conversations I long for are the ones I had with people I attended university with. There was a small group of us in my Education class who would sit on the lawn in front of the building during free time. Oh, the conversations we would have: the merits of Vygotsky’s theory versus Piaget; the meaning of God and whether He exists;Β what the ideal education system would be; the change that our country was bound to experience; the meaning of Sting’s lyrics. Backwards and forwards the conversation used to flow as we stretched our minds and voiced the opinions that were fermenting in our consciousness.

Not everyone knows education theory or can discuss the meaning of religion objectively, but I do search in conversation for that questioning mind, the mind that does not accept submissively the expected thoughts and actions in our society. Alas, many times my search is fruitless. And in the meantime, I yawn …

What makes you yawn?

Β© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

(This post was inspired by the WordPress Daily Prompt: Yawn)

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61 thoughts on “Yawn …

    1. I was thinking of work colleagues when I wrote this – and the mothers of my children’s friends. You have contact with these people for years and yet nothing but the surface is scratched.

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        1. Sometimes Darlene I did wonder if they ever thought about people in situations other than their own – or even thought about a world in which the environment was different. Now my cynical side is emerging!

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  1. Women like that makes me yawn too Colline and that is why I hate family and social gatherings. The men always go and stand by the fire (if it’s a barbeque) and here I have to sit with all the women talking about themselves, what they bought …blah blah… very boring indeed. Luckily most of the times there are kids and I can go and keep them busy. To tell you the truth, I find their conversation very intellectual and interesting. Nowadays I take my camera with. The best conversation ever! I don’t talk. I just sit on one side and watch them talk and when I get bored I walk around and take photo’s. πŸ˜€
    Great post and thanks for sharing hon. *hugs*

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    1. Yes, Sonel! Don’t children just say the most interesting things? Children can be truthful, unguarded and honest when encouraged. I often find myself laughing when I listen to children. My joy comes from the authenticity of the interaction.

      I too, struggle with polite small talk. I don’t do it very well and find I am often yawning. I too find social gatherings stiffling

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      1. Seems like there are a few of us who would prefer socialising with the much younger generation precisely for their honest reactions to what happens around them. This is the reason why I so love working with this group of people.

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  2. Excellent piece Colline. Oh, how I love intellectually stimulating conversations. I’ve two topics which make me yawn….loudly. The first would be anything on TV. And the second would be anytime a friend calls me to ‘vent’. My thought on venting is I’ll give that friend about 5 mins to get it all out, then the conversation HAS to turn to what they intend to do to change whatever it is that’s bothering them so very much. If this doesn’t happen in 5 mins I have to politely excuse myself and tell them to ring back when they’re ready to fix the problem at which time I’ll have all the time in the world for them.

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    1. I forgot about those venting conversations Alex! They can be so tedious – especially when you have met up with a friend to have a little enjoyment out of the house.
      And of course don’t start me on my response to “lecturing” when I am told how I ought to be living my life ….

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  3. LOLLOLLOLLOL!!!!!!
    I think you’re the only one I know saying this….so yes, I too, yawn. At least clever or witty conversation would suffice, wouldn’t it?

    And hey, now you have me trying to imagine which Sting song your group was trying to figure out. Was it the one about a teacher?

    I love lyrics. They are just like poems in a format that people can accept better. Hey, what about putting some lectures to song?
    No one will be yawning!

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    1. They most definitely will not! Especially if you put it to a catchy tune πŸ™‚
      As for Sting – there were so many to choose from. One that I can relate to now is “Englishman in New York”

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  4. I also find that in groups of supposedly intelligent men the conversations will largely be based on cars and sport. One cannot safely launch into the arts, religion, or politics.

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  5. This very same thing in fact! It happens most regularly at work I am afraid-not on an individual level but in larger groups where the talk is of prom dresses, the Voice ( or other banal “reality shows”), what to make for dinner or gossip. Such a small uniformed world! I keep quiet most of the time because I don’t want to sound like an intellectual snob. But sometimes I just want to scream!

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    1. The writer in you may be wishing for something a little more substantial. A reader would not want to read a story focused on the banal – and I don’t think you would want to describe it!

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  6. My yawn factor — spending time with my in-laws. They are so caught up in their wealthy life-styles of trips to exotic places, fancy houses with fancy furniture, big time careers, grand pianos and Mercedes benz suvs, their exceptionally bright (not so) children, etc. etc. etc.
    Mostly they ignored me — I was invisible as they felt I could contribute nothing to the conversation as I was none of the above. (The poor relation!). I solved the problem by not going to my in laws any more (except for one sister in law who they treat even more shabbily!). They haven’t missed me, and I haven’t missed them. I used to play with the kids, but they all became spoiled brats like their parents, and were more interested in watching tv that going out side or playing a game.
    Like you, I miss the grad school conversations over a beer at the grad house on Friday afternoons. I was my mother’s caregiver for many years, so I haven’t been working outside the home for quite a while, but as you and your commenters note, this is the kind of yawning thing that does happen at work. My experience is that it was usually gossip, something I was even less interested in.
    By now, you’re probably yawning over the length of my comment. I tend to do that and get rather carried away. I’m going to read some more of your posts — I’m looking forward to the experience. It will, no doubt, feel like a real conversation!

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    1. Long comments never bore me – especially if they have interesting titbits in them. Seems to me that your in-laws missed out on getting to know someone who could have brought something a little different into their lives. After all, life isn’t about having the best car and keeping up with the Joneses.

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      1. Exactly!
        To every one of them, except the one nephew I like (he treats me as an equal even though he and his wife have been to every continent, and are now working on the most special places like Matu Picu — misspelt ) there really isn’t anything they care about that doesn’t show how rich they are.
        Christmas is an orgy of spending on their children, spouses and siblings! Enough to keep a village in the developing world feed, housed and clothed for a year. Unfortunately, this mentality is infecting their children, too.
        Last year, they in laws pooled their resources to buy me a jar of jam (that costs about 4 dollars), lol

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    1. Or spend most of the discussion listing the places they have visited, the films/opera/ballet they have seen, the restaurants they have eaten at, …. It always seems to me to be a sort of competition which they feel they have won.

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  7. University, a foreign country where idealistic and impressionable youth lives. Sorry, but there’s no going back. Have you looked up those old chums? Do you think if you find them they’d talk about the same sorts of issues or would they be too preoccupied with whatever experiences life has dealt them? I did like your post, though. I too yearn for the good old days.

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    1. It is ironic that the people I sat on the lawn with were the older students who attended university only after working for a while. These forays into theories also happened when I was past the first year student status and was no longer trying to learn how to cope with the academic life.

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  8. It just shows how people are absorbed with their every day lives and chores … a standard way of things … I hate these gatherings and I see them all the time at work where people gather every single work day for morning coffee and exchange the same kind of chit-chats. Same people, every day, same talks. Thank God I am not that sociable and prefer to stay within the walls of my office and go through blogs πŸ˜‰

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      1. πŸ™‚ it brings me peace to read this πŸ™‚ – I hope you are not hormonal like me too πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ ( a really bad case of pms now – oooops here comes chit-chat)

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  9. Great post Colline. I agree. Why also when we are in a mixed crowd at work, the conversation always needs to turn to sports. Don’t they know they leave some people out. Why don’t I bone up on the team they talk about so I can join in? Why should I have to? Small group interactions should be give and take and after they discuss the scores, they could move onto something else.

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    1. As someone who is not a sports fan, I agree with you. What I have noticed too is that only certain sports are spoken about – the lesser known ones are never mentioned. And when you try to change the topic? It always seems to come back to rugby/hockey/soccer/cricket.

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    1. Or even to think of the opposite viewpoint. I love debating with people who are able to see both sides. And, of course, I love playing the devil’s advocate πŸ™‚

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  10. “confined within the banal of their everyday lives. Topics range from what annoying behaviour their child exhibited last night, to shopping…”
    we try to find better topics – and often music is a solution – thanks for your link to STING
    P.S.: I loved to read his autobiography book…

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  11. I hear you loud and clear. I wondered if I was the only one sometimes. The glaze that comes across my eyes is not the wine after all πŸ™‚ It reminds me of a quote that has been re-worded and re-hashed but has the same essential meaning.
    “Great minds discuss ideas, mediocre minds discuss events, small minds discuss personalities.” Anonymous Proverb

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