It is one of the great tragedies of the human condition that people become interested in something not because they are but because they are supposed to be.
I am an artist, a poet, and a mystic. I am far more concerned with describing the color of the clouds at sunrise than whether (insert sport team or individual) is doing well in the standings.
Likewise, I can explore for hours the subtle nuances in tone between varying types of electric guitar pickups but care not one whit what sort of engine you have in your (brand and model of vehicle). Nor is there any reason that I should.
And frankly, to feign such interest when there clearly is none, for the sake of making conversation, is disrespectful to both of us.
Now, don’t get me wrong, here. If the exact conditions of the atmosphere this afternoon relative to recent precipitation events gives meaning to your existence and fills your dreams with glittery delight, by all means you go right ahead. But don’t expect me to care, or act like I care. That’s not being rude. On the contrary, it’s considered rude to lie to people, and so I just don’t.
It is entirely possible for persons to exchange all relevant information necessary for the completion of any task without the expenditure of energy to find a common irrelevant topic for “small talk”.
I don’t want to talk small. I want to talk big. I want to talk about cosmic questions, and deep enigmas, and how the world was when the pyramids were new.
So if I grunt and avoid your attempt to engage me in same, it’s best to just let me by. You, after all, would find my observations on the impact quantum mechanics has on the perceived nature of God in the early 21st century as tedious as I find your descriptions of last night’s Karaoke Dance Combat Of Internet Celebrity Trainee Chefs marathon.
The only common ground we need to share is whether or not I can expect delivery on the order we sent Monday, then you can go back to your world and I can go back to mine. Both of us will be happier and more productive with that exchange, rather that harboring distraction and frustration at the extraneous bits that neither of us really wanted to hear about.
Don’t worry, I will actively seek out persons who share my enthusiasm for Medieval illuminated manuscripts and interstellar propulsion theory. And you are encouraged to “find your tribe” as the hip kids say, that stands aghast at your knowledge of transmission assemblies for late model muscle cars. There’s no harm in us going our separate ways, in full happiness and contentment. Strife results from wandering into each other’s world and wondering what the heck is wrong with that guy because he/she doesn’t like (insert possibly obscure or unusual hobby behavior) as much as everyone else does.
And there’s enough strife over whether or not that freight’s going to make it on time anyway. So why add to it?