I get to work very early in the morning, well in advance of even most other people who come in early, but given that my cube is on the same floor as our NOC, which is a 24x7 operation, I don't really receive the benefit* of having the place to myself in those early morning hours.
My cube is located relatively near the elevators, which seems to be an area where a lot of people hang out and chat as they pass each other on their way to and from their shifts, and I sat there one morning powerless to do anything but hear the extended, heated, and extremely loud - for some reason the people who are talking to each other in the morning seem to think they need to make up for the lack of background noise by being as loud as possible - discussion about football or some other horseshit** that I don't care about, which led me to start thinking about the things I do actually care about and am interested in and how little overlap there is with the things that other people care about or take an interest in.
I mean, even to the extent that I identify as a nerd, there isn't a whole lot of overlap there, either.
So, in thinking about this, I made this handy diagram, which - while realizing, of course, that no one would be especially interested in it - I posted to Facebook:
Today, while I was in the comic shop paying for my comics, I found myself stuck in that overlap between nerds and normal people - into which I don't fit - that involved a discussion of football.
I thought, "Have some nerd dignity, for god's sake. You're not supposed to be talking about this crap, you're supposed to be having the standard Punisher vs. Batman argument or something. Isn't there anywhere I can go to escape this horseshit***?"
Of course, even the "Who would win in a fight?" arguments among nerds don't much appeal to me, especially given that the answer, is of course, Batman, because the answer is always the goddamn Batman.
But I digress.
My point is that when people wonder why it is that I'm so quiet, well, there's your answer: I share very little in common with most people. I can't talk to you about the game, or your fantasy football stats, or that TV show that I don't watch, or about...well, much of anything.
Even within the confines of what should be my "tribe" - nerds - I share very little commonality. I can't talk about Dr. Who, or that video game, or zombies.
This is exacerbated that the fact that I just don't have it in me to even feign interest**** when people are talking about things that I don't care about.
The other problem is on the more affirmative side: the number of people who have any interest in the things I do care about is pretty statistically insignificant, and even among those very few people who do share my interests, they don't share them with the same intensity.
As a friend once put it, "No one is as interested in the things you're interested as you are."
It is, perhaps, a bit inelegantly constructed - and was said in a manner that was more than a little unkind - but the idea expressed is sound.
So what is my point? I don't know, honestly, and I have a feeling that you wouldn't be interested in hearing it even if I did...
*People who work on other floors that aren't staffed at all hours have told me about how "spooky" it is if they come in early in the morning, given how quiet it is with no one else there. I envy them the spookiness.
**"Horseshit" seems to be my new favorite word of late.
****Of course, there are exceptions - that aren't really exceptions - when it comes to my actual friends, but in those cases, even when they're talking about a subject I don't have any particular interest in, it's still not feigning interest, because I am interested in listening to my friends. Unless they're talking about sports.