Bored Among the Crowds by
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(46 Stories)

Prompted By Boredom

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Generally I don’t get bored easily, and I can be as creative when I’m busy as when I’m not. I can stand in a grocery checkout line without looking at my phone, although occasionally I do. Transatlantic voyages, when there is nothing but ocean to see and little to do, have been delightful for me. I must have had the usual episodes of boredom as a child, but nothing stands out.

This story is something of a confession: I have had memorable episodes of boredom when I've been around other people ...

This story is something of a confession: I have had memorable episodes of boredom when I’ve been around other people, especially at parties. Maybe it’s because I’m introverted and my extroverted sweetheart drags me to parties and gatherings that aren’t intrinsically interesting to me. Possibly it’s because I drink very little or not at all, so conversations that are hilarious to others aren’t so amusing. Could be I simply prefer one-on-one interactions and tend to avoid small talk.

I try to do what’s recommended–join a small group, ask people questions, and the like. Sometimes it works, but if I discover I have nothing in common with most of the people, boredom can creep in. At that point there is no alternative but to sit quietly and wait until I can depart. Other times there are options. Here are some I’ve actually used.

Art Tour. I went to a party at a large home and talked with everyone who was there, it seemed. The home was full of artwork, many interesting paintings. I began examining each in detail, and it turned out they were old and valuable. Alas, many were of dogs and fox hunts, which didn’t suit my taste, but it was an interesting hour.

Book Club. More than once I’ve wandered into a den or library and had a good time looking at the books in the room. One can learn a lot about a host from his or her books! Normally it would be too rude to actually read a book, but on a couple of occasions, after no one came into the room for 15 or so minutes, I did flip through a volume.

Sports Shorts. If the gathering is about a game, or takes place during one, I can take refuge in the TV room and just watch.

Animal Husbandry. Pets, particularly cats, can be an introvert’s companion, as often they’ll avoid the crowd. I’ve asked several hosts if I could visit their cat(s) holed up in a bedroom. One host was amazed that her beautiful Siamese cats allowed me to pet them. More than once, hosts have “lost” their cats, terrified by a noisy party. I’ve found their hiding places as the parties wound down, and carried them back to grateful owners.

Bed-lam. The incident I’m most embarrassed about, although I think I was rather clever, was at a rowdy party where most people had had a lot to drink and were outside on a patio. That day I was extremely tired and became very bored with the party. After about an hour, I went into the house, noticed a small bedroom, and saw that everyone had piled their coats onto the bed. I sidled onto the bed, slipped under most of the coats, and took a nice nap, completely unnoticed by the partiers. Luckily I woke up before someone decided to go home.

Profile photo of Marian Marian
I have recently retired from a marketing and technical writing and editing career and am thoroughly enjoying writing for myself and others.


Characterizations: well written

Comments

  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    I understand about not liking large gatherings. I am, by nature, a shy person. I have gotten better through the years, at conversing with strangers, but it isn’t my favorite thing to do, so sympathize with all of your situations above. I particularly LOVE that you a took a nap with the coats! That is hilarious!

  2. Suzy says:

    Great story, Marian, and you found an amazing image to go with it! I can’t stop looking at that picture. I love all your options of things to do at a party when you’re bored, but I have to admit that my favorite is taking a nap among the coats!

    • Marian says:

      Thanks, Suzy. That image was one of the first I saw on Pixabay and it really spoke to me. I don’t know if I will ever try the “coat trick” again, given the chances of being discovered, but who knows?

  3. Laurie Levy says:

    Marian, I feel like we really have something in common this week. I too hate cocktail-type parties for the same reason. I’m pretty introverted at these gatherings. Rather than feeling bored, I feel anxious. Maybe these feelings are two sides of the same coin. At any rate, I love your ideas for managing parties in people’s homes. Maybe I’ll try it next time.

    • Marian says:

      Thanks, Laurie. I agree that there probably is social anxiety here. While I would not necessarily recommend the coat trick, I like to seek out animals, especially since we don’t have pets.

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