Friday, May 16, 2014

I'm vapid?

About a year there was an incident of all hell breaking loose around me.  The details are not for this blog since really it was about someone else but I say this because as part of the all hell breaking loose I got told I was vapid.  Now, I have to admit there are plenty of English words I don't know and this person found one of them, vapid.  I had no real clue to what it meant about me.  I knew it wasn't good.

In general, I am a shy person and I really struggle with small talk.  If I don't know anything about a subject, I will probably keep my mouth shut and listen.  I'm a big believer in learning from listening and using context clues to try and understand what is being shared.  Now that said if I feel like I actually know about some subject, like breastfeeding, being glutenfree/wheatfree, or education, I will jump in and talk your ear off.

After some research and a good deal of soul searching, I'm not sure that I'm vapid.  The person who said it was angry at the time and I'm pretty sure feeling under attack so this was the stone hurled.  Vapid - to contribute nothing or to lack a challenging aspect.  Maybe I'm still misunderstanding.

This concept was actually hurled at a group of us in describing our conversations with each other.  We were told we talk about nothing of interest.  All we talk about is babies, periods, sex and other stupid shit.  Vapid.  The ladies in question as well as myself I would argue are far from vapid.  Can we talk about nothing?  Absolutely.  For those of us raising kids and worrying the better part of the day about doing a good job educating our children, talking about nothing is actually kind of nice.  A conversation on which the fate of the world does not hinge is really really nice.  For a different subset of us, talking about nothing (small talk) with a group of friends is about practicing the art of small talk.  We are shy.  We don't speak to people unless we have something to say so a discussion about nothing is an honest to goodness exercise in being social.  Vapid.

I've heard mothers be called vapid.  Mothers add nothing to the conversation except talk about their kids.  I wrote a blog post about my Ravebaby many years ago stating that my child is my legacy, my ultimate research project, my eternal life experiment is motherhood.  I expect my husband to talk about his physics projects, I expect a barista to talk about coffee, I expect an artist to talk about art but yet when a mother talks about her kids, she has nothing to add to the real world.  Vapid.

Maybe my topics of conversation add nothing to your life.  Maybe you think I'm boring.  I probably think the same thing about you.  I have a four-year-old who sings Let It Go around the clock so it is possible I can't put a thought together without bring her into the conversation.  My bad!  Please tell me more about Socrates and how hard it was for you choose between hot outfit #1, #2 and #3.  I was just lucky to find something that was clean because I haven't been able to find time to do my own laundry in weeks.

I am in the process of earning a doctorate in educational leadership.  I have two Masters degrees.  You want to talk about the state of education?  You want to talk about librarianship and the real value of the community library?  What you only want to talk about theories and philosophies?  Good for you, but I'm about to tune out and yes Ravebaby's Let It Go will be ringing in my ears.  Vapid.

Maybe I am vapid, what the hell do I know? Ravebaby would say, "Vapid rhymes with Rapid!"  Yes dear those are rhyming words and can we please not watch Frozen again?  How about some Word Girl?


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