Mundane. Yet Glorious

Last night, I went out for a beer release near a friend’s house. I knew she lived in the area, but had thought she didn’t like this bar, so I didn’t invite her to join me. This is despite the fact that, last night, I was in pretty dire need of companionship.

She realized I was there, came out anyway, shared french fries with me and laughed at me as I tried Malört (both kinds) for effectively the first time. I’m very glad she came out, both for the company and for making me think.

She asked me “What’s new?” And I replied, as I often do, “Nothing.”

Then, almost immediately, I had to say, “Wait, no, that’s not true. I’m going to Baltimore Beer Week next week.”

That interaction, specifically, is what got me thinking.

For someone who can talk (or write) as much as I do, it occasionally floors me how often I have nothing to say. It’s not that there’s truly nothing going on or nothing new in my life, it’s that it feels like those things are so little. So unimportant.

But, they add up to a lifetime, don’t they? A lifetime of big, huge things like getting married or going to Kenya for three months or getting divorced. And a lifetime of little things. Like realizing just how great it makes a bar to not have a ton of TVs. Like realizing four years of living together has not diminished even an iota the joy of seeing him walk in the door. That a blog turned out to be self-guided cooking lessons. (Ok, maybe that’s a medium thing.)

I wonder why I do this. More than that, I wonder why so many of us do this. While I understand why the exchange is usually:

“What’s going on with you?”

“Oh, you know, same old.”

I can’t help but wonder why we (I?) don’t more often add a couple more details in. Why I so often don’t know what to post, because my life feels so mundane.

It is mundane at times. Particularly to me, since I live it daily. But, it turns out, people sometimes want a little glimpse into that. Maybe not more than a glimpse, but that much would be perfect. That much allows us to maintain our connections with one another, especially in a world where we find ourselves more often scattered from our family and friends.

So, yeah. Last night was same old. I had a beer. I saw a friend. We shared fries. Mundane. But glorious all the same1.

fn1. Except the Malort. Malort is not glorious. But I suppose it’s not mundane either. It’s… something. I’m not sure what yet.

8 thoughts on “Mundane. Yet Glorious

  1. I think you’re right on here, and I have the same problem. I was just explaining the other day that wording is hard and I might be able to write how I’m feeling but I can rarely just…say it. It’s that way with stuff like that too. I think for some people it’s a function of introversion. But you’re right…it’s the little things sometimes that aren’t little at all and you do know someone better when you don’t gloss over that stuff. Also, I’ve never once heard of anyone liking Malort. Which…I fear means I have to try it just to see how truly awful it is, because human nature and stuff.

    • Going backwards:

      1) I actually kind of liked the Leatherbee Malort. It intensely bitter, for sure, but strongly grapefruit flavored as well. It’s like drinking liquified grapefruit pith, almost. But there’s some notes of wood in there too. I compared it to chewing on twigs while at the bar. The Jeppson’s Malort was not really anything I could describe. I probably would avoid having it again.

      2) Introversion definitely plays a roll for some folks in not sharing. I’m very extroverted, but most of my friends are not, so I can see that interplay.

      But it’s also the complexity of not wanting to bore people, no matter your “version”. I think that’s why food blogs, Instagraming your breakfast and such came into being, and also why there’s such backlash against them. The idea that you can share this, and only people who care need look is powerful. But, somehow, people who don’t care and are bored by it look too, and then bitch about it.

      Very mixed messages out there, is what I’m saying. And while I doubt that’s unique to a time where so many of us carry computers in our pockets, it certainly amplifies both messages dramatically.

  2. Malort is terrible. A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad drink. I’m sorry to hear that you had two!! Why on earth would anyone make variations on that?? What crazy, lacking any taste-buds, sociopath would subject people to such a thing??

    My shudderings on Malort aside, I completely know what you mean. I usually find myself answering “Oh, nothing” when my brain is going crazy trying to find a ‘good’ answer to the “What’s going on with you?” question. (Not everyone I know needs to hear the inner-workings of my brain, you know?)

    Also, the ‘little things’ you mentioned made me smile.

    • Hee! As I said above, I actually kind of liked the Leatherbee Malort, though the Jeppson’s was not my bag. I have a friend who likes to drink the Leatherbee and Stigel Grapefruit Radler simultaneously. Dude, apparently, likes his grapefruit.

      “Not everyone I know needs to hear the inner-workings of my brain” is exactly 1) what we all think, 2) true to a degree, and 3) what makes it so easy to set aside ALL the workings of our brain. I have the same thought regularly. I’f found that, sometimes, the best answer to “What’s going on with you?” is just to open up the garden hose (not the fire hose!) of those thoughts though. Use this advice sparingly, at least at first.

      Glad my “little things” made you smile. They are very precious to me, for all that they are the tiny things of life.

  3. I do the same thing – dismissing stuff I’ve been doing as unimportant and not worth talking about. I think it’s because I was raised both not to brag and not to complain, so once you take out the bad things and the good things, what’s left? I microwaved a new kind of Lean Cuisine last night, and it was pretty good?

    I’m not sure if the trick is to do more, to give things I do more credit and weight, or to ditch the guilt and share more of my joys and difficulties with more people.

  4. I have this same problem, and I just read about this same topic somewhere else, too. My problem is that I am a details person and I generally don’t have a strong ability to summarize what’s happening in my life until it’s over (or until the thing or event is established enough to feel like a “good story.”) I also have a bad habit of minimizing my day-to-day habits, but you’ve inspired me to re-evaluate that habit 🙂

    • Oh, yes! The DETAILS! I’m somewhat incapable of explaining something without giving all the details. I’d say it’s part of my charm, but I suspect most people who love me love me despite this tic…

      I think discussing the day-to-day on occasion really helps. Like, I can see why we don’t recite our day like we’re 5 years old every day, but just touching on the little things occasionally gives that connection. I hope, anyway. I keep a blog, complete with failures based on the assumption.

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