I’m the lead copyeditor in my office. The other day I overheard my boss telling someone not to get hung up editing text because, she said, she doesn’t know anyone who cares as much about grammar as I do.
Wow, I thought. What a compliment. I do love grammar. I’m so glad it shows!
Then I kept thinking about it, which has always been my fatal flaw. Soon I was over-thinking it.
Wait a minute, I thought. I don’t want to be the person who loves grammar the most. “There goes Stephanie, Queen of the Anal-Retentives.” That’s what people think when I walk by, I bet. Caring about grammar is for old ladies and William Strunk. Man, I need a hobby.
If you, like me, have taken your passion for grammar or something equally fusty to what others might consider an extreme level, you may not have heard of “hobbies.” A hobby is a regular activity done for enjoyment. You find one of your own by thinking of the things you like.
Things People Like
- Hitting stuff with sticks
- Pretending that a strand of yarn is actually something else
You leverage the thing you like into a hobby that incorporates it. For example, the people who like hitting things with sticks often enjoy golf, baseball or hockey. People who pretend a strand of yarn is actually something else like to knit or crochet. Those who enjoy taxidermy might visit museum dioramas as a hobby, or make those creepy bell jar specimens that every mad scientist seems to own. Sometimes people combine multiple things they like — polo was invented by people who enjoyed both horses and hitting things with sticks.
Hobbies are great for a number of reasons. They are more interesting to talk about at parties than what you did at work that day, unless you are a spy or the person responsible for cataloging everything owned by Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Too, they are a good way to attract a partner who may also be interested in tricking fish into making fatal errors, slowly running through neighborhoods and parks in tiny shorts, or trying to breed two dogs together to create a perfect version of the same dog for other people to judge.
I’m having the worst time finding the perfect hobby for myself. I made a list of things I like, but I can’t say it’s helped much.
Things I Like
- Reading books about grammar
- Stripping wallpaper from my living room walls
- Going to the dump
- Alphabetizing spices
- Staring at my cat
None of those things are a good basis for a hobby. They don’t include other people, for one thing. Alphabetizing spices is not a group activity, especially if the other members of the group are the kind of people who have to recite the alphabet from the beginning every time they try to remember a letter in the middle.
These things are difficult to discuss at length at parties (not that I can discuss anything at parties), and they’re certainly not what I would call cool. At this rate, I’m never going to be invited to Hobby Lobby to lobby with the hobbyists.
I’m no quitter, though. I’m going to keep trying to find the perfect hobby with different combinations of my interests. If I have to invent one, so be it. I won’t be the girl who cares way too much about grammar anymore. I’ll be the girl who takes her cat to the dump. Or the girl who strips wallpaper in alphabet-shaped patterns.
…I’ll keep thinking.