My friend Michel at Facts Are Strictly Optional got me thinking about hobbies. She doesn't have any, but don't tell her I said that. She's stuck in Sudan with oddly decorated mystery meat, and I don't want her to think we're all talking about her. 'kay?
Anyway, I began wondering what even constitutes a hobby – besides woodworking in your garage, rebuilding vintage cars, and hand-crafting or creating anything. What about sports? What if you’re an avid spectator of sports? Is that your hobby - spectating? Wikipedia, the trusted last word on everything, defines hobby as a “spare-time recreational pursuit.”
Does this mean that flirting is a hobby – and a recreation – if you pursue it in your spare time? What if you’re totally competitive about it? Pursuit being an activity, I think we have five levels of potential hobbification:
- Professional whatever (we’re talking Lance Armstrong here),
- Wannabe-pro-highly-competitive-might-squeak-onto-the-A-team whatever (weekend warriors who will sharply tongue-lash you if you call what they do a hobby – I'm just trying to protect you – don't ever call my writing a hobby),
- Recreational whatever (I’ll give this to Ex #2 who made grand efforts),
- Spectator/popcorn-gobbling whatever (definitely Ex #1), and
- It-crossed-my-mind whatever (sorry, Ex #3, that’s you).
Sorry to get all scientific on you. But anyway maybe only the first one or two are actual vocations, cuz those peeps would be more inclined to work at whatever all the time, making it more like a J.O.B. Numbers 4 and 5 – no real pursuit going on there, so we’re down to #3, and we can deduce that only a particular set of pursuits can be considered recreational and ipso facto hobbies. Well, that's science for ya. You can't argue with it.
Which brings me to online dating sites. Not that they’re scientific, though I did meet a cute Latino biology professor on there. See, nobody wants to be perceived as a slacker on a dating site cuz that would be unattractive, and how do you expect to get a date if you’re a slug who only wants to grow his hairy preggers belly and biceps swag? On Match.com, it’s hard to find a profile that doesn’t have a whole lot of activities checked off as things a person likes to engage in, like football, baseball, running, hiking, wrestling, body building, martial arts, scuba, racquetball, basketball, bike riding, gymnastics, and dancing. Thing is, you KNOW a good portion of those activities fall into Hobbifications 4 and 5 – especially the dancing one – gah! They're not doing as much as they're thinking about doing, or spectating. It’s true. I know it’s hard to believe it, but SOME of those people are L-Y-I-N-G.
Therefore, I’ve deduced that I’ll never know who’s a real slug and who isn’t before I meet them. So I can never be assured that I will never be pressured to exercise again. (sigh) I’m too logical for my own good.