Diplomatic Relations
I hate phones.

No really. You likely do not understand or appreciate the depth of my tele-hatred. It goes beyond all reason. In fact, in an effort to encourage me to actually use a phone and be somewhat reachable in an emergency (since my previous cell phone had sat in my purse, dead and unopened for the past 6 months though I still paid the bill), my fiance gifted me an iPhone. It has been largely successful - I answer when someone calls. Most of the time I'm just surfing the internet or playing Civilization though.

I do not do telephone conversations. They frustrate me. Tell me the information I need, and then let's be done with this, eh? The problem with this is that I'm also FEMALE. And for some reason, other females seem to think that, like them, I will enjoy nattering on endlessly on the telephone with them. I DON'T. But no amount of trying to explain this to the other women in this world makes any difference. It is beyond comprehension to them. I guess this is especially the case with my own family.

I called my parents yesterday to tell my father I was thinking of him on Veteran's Day, but unfortunately he was not home. So what followed was an incredibly awkward 45 minute "conversation" with my mother (whom I dearly love, don't misunderstand me) who was trying to get me to be talkative. Every few minutes she would ask me another variation of "What have you been doing lately?", to which I would respond with some new variation of "Absofriggilutely nothing, momma." Our entire 45 minute conversation dragged out like this.

The irony is, from the outside, nothing IS going on. There is nothing going on in which my mother would have any interest, after all. Of course, had I been honest, I could have said something like this...

"Well, I wrote up this survey on my blog for other healers to get to know some information about other healer classes, and it just TOOK OFF and this big website linked to it, and now I feel all this pressure to actually write something decent on my blog (not that I wasn't trying to do that before) and every day there are all these comments, and it's super exciting! I would have thought by now I'd run out of things to write about, but I just keep getting all these ideas! The strangest thing is that I'm not even playing WoW as much as I'd like, because our raiding alliance was going through a rough time, and I've recently decided that perhaps 25 man raiding just isn't worth the effort for me, so I've been working on putting together smaller 10 man groups, but I'm thinking more and more that what I really need to do is just focus on leveling up my other two healers so that I can be more informed when I write about things on my blog, because that's quickly becoming my new passion, although I've been spending so much time on my blog, I haven't invested ANY time on my novel!!!!!"

My mother -> .....

She would be so confused and lost. As a matter of fact, I vaguely mentioned that Friday night we would be having our regular D&D 4th edition session, and that I was considering stopping by for my friends' Saturday night Pathfinder session to learn more about healing classes in tabletop gaming, and there was a stunned silence as my mother struggled to find something to say that would make it sound as though she had any idea what I was talking about. Actually, I think she was trying to figure out if D&D was somehow related to S&M and whether or not she should be horrified.

It's kinda sad, when you think about it, that the S&M would be something more easily understood than the D&D. Or... well maybe it's not sad. Actually maybe it's just creepy, since it's my mother. NAAAAAAAAAH *thinks happy thoughts*

I really did have a point. Somewhere.

Oh yes. Outside of the gaming universe, my life is incredibly dull. I work. Or rather, I go to a place and hope that maybe this time they will give me work. My fiance works. And we come home, maybe watch some TV together, and talk about our hobby, and maybe play some of our hobby - gaming. I suppose I'm a bit spoiled on having people to whom I can relate in regards to my hobby. My fiance is a gamer. All of our friends are gamers. There is never a shortage of people with whom I can discuss gaming.

But now I'm one of those people who, when faced with a non-gamer, has nothing to really talk about. Well, we could discuss politics or religion... two subjects I love that are simply not polite conversation - especially not with my mom. Perhaps if my job were more interesting, I would have more to discuss on that front. But I'm a hobbyist, I'm engaged to a hobbyist, our friends are hobbyists, and I'm left wondering, what do hobbyists talk about with non-hobbyists?

When speaking to a non-gamer, when they ask what you do, it's just "gaming". But that one word encompasses so much. Entire worlds are encapsulated in a two syllable noun. I suddenly have so much more sympathy for folks who play WoW a lot and are in relationships with non-WoWers. I'm really very lucky. I am off in my own little world, this alternate universe. I have likely abandoned all those who do not appreciate this world, or speak the language, and I'm blessed that so many people I *do* care about are on the voyage with me. I never realize how separate this world is until I'm forced to try and conversate with foreigners.

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10 Responses
  1. Ara/Vinenaro Says:

    Haha, this problem is the bane of my WoW existence. Literally none of my friends, even my hobbyist friends who play magic cards or D&D with me, play WoW. They also all think WoW will eat your soul and make you a addict for like( kind of true) so I get all sorts of crap if I even mention I still play it. Alot of them still think I stopped playing when I cancled my account for 2 months awhile ago... And talk about it with my GF? She does not understand any game more complicated than scabble... Oh how hard my life is! (Bitch bitch whine whine)

    Anyhoo, I feel ya jess.

    AV out.

  2. Sidhe Says:

    I know exactly how you feel, Miss.

  3. Kayllnn Says:

    OMG Jess I hate talking on the phone forever. Sometimes my friend calls me, and all I want to do is plan when we are going to meet for a work out or dinner, but she blabs on and on and it drives me nuts! Sometimes I just pull the phone away from my ear.

    I also am lucky like you, my fiancee plays WoW, although not as much as I do, but at least he knows what I am talking about and enjoys talking about it.

  4. Fricassee Says:

    I have the same problem with phones, but I think it stems from the fact that I'm on the phone all day with customers.

    And what do you talk to non-gamers about? The Wii. It transcends boundaries between gamers and non-gamers.

  5. koalabear Says:

    I actually will start talking about my WoW playing with non-gamers. I talk to my mom about it until she gets tired of it and changes the subject. I do the same thing with coworkers and other people in my office building.

    I know that they look at me funny and think I am quite odd, but frankly I stopped caring a while ago. My friends have learned that I will talk non-stop about WoW if it is brought up.

  6. Lisa Says:

    I know exactly what you mean -- I rarely have stuff to talk about that isn't geek-hobby like WoW or MUSHing, and I hate talking on the phone. I can chat the hours away in text, but real voice talking actually wears me out. Classic introvert, me.

    I have a WoW-playing co-worker, though sometimes that's more of a burden because all he can talk about sometimes is how awesome a raid healer he is. -.- But he's a nice guy generally and at least he understands when I talk about being a druid or doing dailies or suchlike.

  7. Kurnak Says:

    Maybe it's not about talking on the phone. I'd say it's mothers. They're the same all around. When I talk to mine conversation is always the same, how am I doing, how's work, why I'm not calling the rest of the family more often... well, I don't have much to explain since my gf left me, so my life is kinda grey, things like WoW serve to relax and escape from that grey existance.
    But it's not only when talking about me. When she wanst me to explain me some problem (like when her computer goes nuts) it takes her ages, so I have to go Gestapo-like to end the conversation fast and get the info I need to give her an answer. Otherwise it takes 20 frigging minutes to get an answer to simple questions.
    I know mothers care about us, but come on! we're not kids anymoire, don't be so protective!

  8. Ophelie Says:

    The fear of phones seems to be surprisingly common! All this time, I thought I was the only one. You wouldn't believe the lengths I go to to avoid talking on the phone!

    Lately I've been having trouble finding things to talk about with non gamers too. My classmates talk about tv shows and shopping and clothes and boyfriends and I'm all "....."

  9. Anonymous Says:

    I, too, have telephobia but, thankfully, I can get away with it; people at least don't expect me to talk to them over it. A few 'ugs' usually do the trick, and when that fails I bash it against a rock for awhile...

    I do, in fact, now own a *shudder* mobile telephonic device but only because some friends bought it for me, regardless of my strongly worded protests. I'm an appalling luddite, truthfully, which is strange for someone who plays as many computer games as I do...

    Also, and maybe this is a form of misanthropy, I hate the idea that I should just be universally and ceaselessly available - which seems to the expectation behind a mobile phone these days.

    But I know what you mean about the difficulties of communication between different social groupings. I always see myself rather as a gamer-by-association in that, despite a weakness for IF and cRPGs, I used to live a highbrow and sophisticated life (I say this with heavy irony) until, through someone I was dating at the time, I met my current circle of friends - who are all rather intense gamer folks. And naturally it's their main connection with each other, and it tends to dominate what they talk about it.

    Generally, *I'm* the person dropping the clanger. The other night conversation went something like this:

    Them: So, Tam, haven't seen you in a while, what have you been up to?
    Me: Oh, y'know, the usual Michaelmas term stuff but I did get down to London the other day to see the Anish Kapoor exhibition
    Them: *shocked and horrified silence*
    Me: *hastily* And then I came home and we raided Ulduar!
    Them: *babble of relieved questions about if we got to Yogg yet*

    Sorry, I've just written you a tedious essay about my life and in no way answered the question (I feel like an undergraduate again).

    I suppose I was trying to say it rather works the other way for me. I visited this island and rather fell in love with the natives, but I do sometimes stare at my little raft and in the direction of the mainland wishing there was somebody to talk to me about all the other things I enjoy.

  10. Heather Says:

    Oh dear, I know how you feel. My mum always wants to know what I'm doing and like you, what I am doing she would never understand. So half the time when I say 'nothing' she thinks I'm avoiding her.

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