The Luv Doc: Boring People

Ask not from whom the dull tolls. It tolls from thee.

The Luv Doc: Boring People

Dear Luv Doc,

I moved to Austin in 2017 to go to school. I am now graduated but still hanging out with a lot of the same people I went to school with. At this point I have been to just about every party/club/brew pub/swimming hole/festival Austin has to offer and I am just kind of done with it all. My friends are all boring. They never want to do anything because they all have boring jobs just like me. Even the girls I meet on Tinder are boring. All they can talk about is their work or their boring friends or their boring families. Help! Rescue me from being bored to death!

– Ian (pronounced "yawn")


There is a phrase that is colloquially known as the "Chinese curse" that goes, "May you live in interesting times." It's a curse, of course, because interesting times are just as often bad as they are good. I always thought it was an Irish toast, of which there are many. Turns out, the Irish make a lot of toasts. I blame it on the Guinness. I'm not saying the Irish aren't a naturally loquacious people, I am just saying there are additional chemical forces at work that need to be recognized.

By the way, possessing a substantial but admittedly indeterminate amount of Irish ancestry, I feel like I have license to make broad, sweeping generalizations about the Irish people, even though I have only spent a few days on actual Irish soil. I do, however, have plenty of relatives who claim to be Irish, many of whom look like they arrived on the slow boat from the island of Dr. Moreau rather than the idyllic landscapes of the Emerald Isle, but all of whom can drink prodigious amounts of alcohol and still sound relatively coherent, so, like several generations of shit-talking Irish ancestors before me, I am going to recklessly ascribe that talent to the entire Irish diaspora – at least for the purposes of this response.

After a once-healthy liver's worth of casual observation, I think I can safely report that you can drink Guinness all day without getting truly wasted. I'm betting it has something to do with the amount of solids in a pint of Guinness versus the alcohol content. It's like eating and drinking at the same time, only without the inconvenience of actual mastication. The only hitch with Guinness is "the ropes," which is a suspiciously charitable description of the succeeding day's bowel movement that was probably cooked up by the Dublin Chamber of Commerce. Other than that small flaw, Guinness is a work of indisputable genius, and very likely the reason I am such a tragically misinformed adult on so many subjects, one of which is the aforementioned "Chinese curse." Like a lot of things anecdotally described as Irish, it isn't, but maybe it should be. Perpetually buzzed people are always up to something entertaining.

Now, if you were thinking I am about to suggest the cure for your ennui is to go on a Guinness bender, well, I'd say that couldn't hurt, but it's not a long-term solution unless you're comfortable with the occasional unexpected torrential bowel movement. No, what I am about to suggest to you has nothing to do with the several-hundred-word digression above, and here it is: Only boring people are bored. I mean, I could make that a bit more poetic – maybe something like, "Ask not from whom the dull tolls, it tolls from thee" – but I think you get the idea.

You're clearly a smart guy, obviously too intelligent to be amused or engaged by your friends' predictable shenanigans. You need greater intellectual, spiritual, perhaps even physical challenges than your current environment can provide. Well, good news! I know a quick-witted fellow who is up to the task: You! Look, the only way for you to beat boredom is to become an interesting person. Note I did not say "person of interest." Get that shit straight. I am saying that once you take a genuine interest in the world, in other people, dare I say even in yourself, you will find that there is truly rarely a dull moment. People who sit around waiting for the world to engage with them rarely get what they ask for, and that is the Chinese curse. My suggestion to you is to quit wasting your time bitching about everybody else being boring and make a real attempt to be less boring yourself. Do you think interesting people are going to come seek your boring ass out? Not likely. They're too busy being interested in interesting shit. I suggest you do the same.

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