Do you like sports? I'm asked as a sort of ice breaker to fuller conversation. I find myself in this quandary all the time and I don't know how to answer. Today has been a day full of overexposure for the sake of community (i.e. meeting people that I really do want to meet, but I'm also an introvert and this is the third gathering I've done within 12 hours, so sorry about my vacant stare and overtly contemplated answers). This is the second time today that I've stood smiling nodding my head, unsure of what to say. At dinner I said, "No. I've never really been into sports. I think it started when..." I mean, this is, in real life, my answer to someone I just met--someone that I hope to become friends with--a long drawn out story as to the social and psychological reasons as to why I am not a fan of sports. What a buzz kill.
I smile and nod some more, given a second chance to redeem myself, "Yeah! I like the social aspects of sports. I mean, I'm not a fan of any one particular team, but it's always fun to watch a game..." Even I don't buy it, and I mean it. I'm an introspective, non-competitive over-analyzer that enjoys being indoors reading, playing board games, watching movies, eating, and enjoying time in conversation with small groups of people; an introvert that loves people is unheard of, I know, yet here I am. Even my line of work in campus ministry makes me an enigma.
What do you like to read? Another question I dread. "Well, mostly non-fiction." I don't even want to go on."The latest books I've read were on college ministry, theology, and personality types." Sounds like a blast, right (*sarcasm*)? Lost in my own head again, I come to. Did I see you with a soccer ball the other day? Yes. One of the many toys I didn't buy, but have for my son. One day
he'll want to learn how to throw a baseball (and his mother won't be around) and he'll come to me, ball in hand, and my answer will be something along the lines of, "I'm sure there's a great tutorial on youtube," or, "wouldn't you rather listen to the new Sigur Rós album together?"
Each question inevitably leads to the same reaction. I, the buzz kill, smile and the poor sucker that tried to find commonality slinks away to save what's left of their dignity. So, what is the correct answer? Either find myself a team to half-heatedly cheer for or deal with how hilariously awkward I can make everyone feel as they attempt to get to know me, staying true to myself in the process. Much to the chagrin of those I have yet to meet, I think I can deal with the latter.