There are a few conversation topics I absolutely love to talk about in social settings. And I mean this sincerely. Anything about religion, science, the future, or law. I like talking about a lot of things, but those things really interest me. And those things are usually associated with controversy.
I geek out when someone in a social setting wants to talk about one of these things. Like, way way too excited. At least that’s what it seems to me in my head. So, I will warn people sometimes. I was at a party about five weeks ago and this girl and I were making polite party goer chit chat. She mentioned something about the future. I think it was inspired by her e-cigarette. And I love future prediction talk. If you like it also, check out Dr. Michio Kaku’s lecture (http://youtu.be/219YybX66MY) or book (http://tinyurl.com/ne3aann).
But I get paranoid that I get too geeky and boring about it. Like I fear that you wanna mention something on that topic and then find a new topic to jump on. But I already made camp on that topic and started paying property taxes. And I’m unknowingly forcing you to talk about something for ten minutes that you thought was only interesting for about thirty seconds. So, I warned the girl before I started talking more about it by saying:
“Are you sure you wanna go down this road with me? I might get a bit too nerdy for ya.”
Basically it’s like a friendly warning. Like, “Danger, approaching geek zone. Last chance to turn back!” I say this kinda phrase in these situations often because I’m trying to be nice and not be that guy you talk about later with your boyfriend. “He seemed like a nice guy, but he just kept talking about the most boring stuff!”
I use that saying to be nice, but it could also be used more sharply. For example, if someone believes they know everything about a topic and you disagree with they might say something like: “You don’t even go down that road with me. I will win this argument.”
That’s like saying, “I got ten trained snipers on you right now. You lose. Now give up and don’t make me actually shoot you.” That’s a bit more cocky. But essentially we have a phrase to indicate that the upcoming conversation topics should be carefully heeded if not avoided entirely. But we don’t have a phrase for the opposite. What if you’re just as geeky as I am and get excited talking about new exoplanet discoveries? Or religious fundamentalism as it relates to education and class warfare? Or how we may all one day upload our information into a digital database and have no use for our corporeal bodies? Are you bored already? 😉
Anyway, I’d like to propose a new axiom in the English language. Actually, I’m not sure if I want to propose a new axiom, cliché, saying, idiom, adage, expression or some other category of phrase. Regardless of what you call it, I want this to become a saying:
“Let’s go to that party together.”
And I want that phrase to apply to someone who’s excited to engage in a friendly debate with someone else. Or it could also apply when someone is really excited to talk about something that you brought up.
I love discussing/debating topics with someone who disagrees with me. I’m close friends with a number of people who sharply disagree with me on a few subjects that both them and I feel passionately correct about. But our friendship has nothing to do with our agreement on the subject. We care about each other. And we disagree on evolution or politics or abortion or whatever. We’re still friends. Those facts are mutually exclusive.
Debating topics excites me. I might learn something really eye opening. I might change my mind about a topic. I might change someone else’ mind or simply see my belief through different eyes. Any/all of those possibilities are fine. There’s no specific goal when discussing controversial topics for me. I just think it’s fun to do it.
So, from now on I’m going to invite potential debates with someone to be something like,
“Let’s go to this party together. We may not go home together, but we can enjoy each other’s company for a little while.”
We’re both going somewhere just like when we ‘go down that road.’ But this time, we’re not going to some road that makes me think of the opening sequence from T-2. Now, we’re at a fun party which makes me think of Can’t Hardly Wait. And that movie is a blast.
So, if you feel passionate about a subject and you wanna have a friendly chat with someone I dare you to pre-empt it with the phrase: “Let’s go to this party together.” Maybe it will take the edge out of disagreeing with each other. Maybe with more mutual respect it will even help both sides learn something new they never heard before.
If you disagree with me, please comment that. And then we can go to a party together right here.