Three guys walk into a bar. A Rich Guy, an Actor and Average Joe. They begin idle conversation.
Rich Guy has traveled all over the world, been educated at the finest schools and once ate a puffer fish prepared by celebrity Chef Morimoto.
The demands of various roles enabled Actor to learn Spanish during two months of intensive tutelage. He was taught to box by Mike Tyson, trained with Navy SEALS and can hit a bulls eye with a crossbow.
Average Joe works in an office. Once he went deep sea fishing and a marlin nearly pulled him off the boat. Other than that he’s mostly been trying to make a living for his wife and two kids.
What’s the punchline? Rich Guy and Actor don’t have particularly great personalities. If you were trapped on an island with them, after about a month you’d MacGyver a gun out of coconuts and monkey poop to shoot yourself. On the other hand, Average Joe has a great sense of humor. But the bartender listening to the aforementioned bar conversation barely noticed Average Joe. The life experiences of the other two were too fascinating. Plus he has a thing against people named “Joe,” but that’s his hang up and has nothing to do with my point.
The moral of the story is that actors and rich people can be interesting using half the brain power, personality and effort of the average person. I’m not saying rich people and actors are idiots. I’m saying that people with more life experiences are just more interesting to talk to, at least in the short term.
Did I mention I am neither rich, nor an actor?
Once, while playing “If you could have dinner with anyone” I though how much fun a meal with Amy Pohler and her husband Will Arnet would be. Then I had a horrifying flash of this dinner from their point of view. Did I bore them? What did I have to share? How many adorable Labradoodle stories were too many? Were they going to fire the agent who talked them into the Have Dinner with Amy and Will! contest that brought them to my humble door?
Everyone plays “If you could have dinner with anyone,” but nobody every considers the poor famous bastards stuck at your grandmother’s table listening to the story about the time you totally one upped that mean girl at work. Sure, she had it coming, but nobody cares.
Something had to be done. I had to be more interesting.
Could I devote two months to studying Spanish? No. My business would fall to pieces and come month three, no one would pay me a million dollars to use that Spanish on film.
But I COULD try harder to experience life. I would gather my stories more slowly than the rich guys and actors, but slow and steady wins the race, right?
(Not in the Olympics, but come on, run with me on this.)
Actor and Rich Guy probably can’t or won’t develop better personalities, but Average Joe (or Josephine) CAN start doing interesting stuff.
Granted, unless a hot tub time machine takes me back to 1800’s Tombstone, I probably won’t ever need to know how to twirl a six shooter. But wouldn’t it be awesome to know how to twirl a six shooter? To drive a race car? To have a perfect Irish accent? How can you be dull when you know how to take apart and put back together a rifle in less than a minute?
So, I’m starting a series on Kid-Free Living called Be More Interesting, chronicling my journey to BE MORE INTERESTING. Turns out when you work from home it is easy to grow stagnant and I need to break out before my stories are all about the stretching abilities of quality sweatpants and joint pain.
Recently, I’ve made a paperweight in a glass blowing clinic and I am schedule for a flying trapeze class on June 24th. I’m finding a lot of these oddball things to do through Living Social, so I’m getting to do them for a fraction of the cost. Which brings me to my first tip:
Join Living Social, Groupon, etc. to find out about interesting things in your area and participate for half the usual cost.
In the grand scheme of mid-life crises, this is pretty tame. At least I didn’t buy a corvette or seduce a college student.
(Hold on a second while I punch this college student laughing his ass off at the idea I could seduce him.)
My hope is that anyone reading these pieces will be inspired to share their own interesting stories in the comments, then I can become even MORE interesting by pretending your stories are mine when I meet new people.
But seriously, love to hear your stories, and thank you, as always, for stopping by!