Yesterday, I sat and listened to several men in my office talk about sports for what felt like hours (but was, to be fair, probably more like 20 minutes).
“I don’t think there’s anything I could go on about for that long,” I told my coworker Lindsey.
“Well, food,” she told me. “You and I always talk about food.”
Which is definitely true. I’m pretty sure we were waxing poetic about cupcakes only moments before, in fact.
The exchange reminded me of a post a friend of mine had made on social media about a week earlier, in an effort to veer away from politics for a while, asking folks to share what it is that gets their juices flowing. What could you stand around and discuss, seemingly unendingly, in a windowless room on a given afternoon.
Or, to phrase it better, in the words of my pal and fellow writer Danielle Costello, “What thrills you?”
Years and years ago, my father made a joke gift for me — a book wrapped in paper, titled, “Things That Really Piss Me Off, by Katie Long.”
Open it up and it’s a dictionary. Get it?
The point being, my lists of dislikes are long — and quite regularly and publicly noted.
My loves, well — I guess I’ve given less effort to cataloging those through the years.
So, I wondered.
What thrills me?
What I came up with:
— A good turn of phrase (even better if it’s mine)
— Vintage shopping of all kinds — furniture, clothing, jewelry, art, you name it
— A good book
— Someone with whom to discuss said good book
— That first sip of coffee in the morning
— Laughing out loud
— Seeing animals happy and loved
— Finding and buying something cool no one else will have
— Beautiful bags and shoes
— Unique coats
— Weird T-shirts
— Depressing documentaries
— Custom, handmade anything
— And, of course, delicious food.
All of the delicious food.
I can also discuss movies and actors for hours on end, and could die happy planning specific outfits for any and every potential occasion.
I love a smile on a dog, and hearing a song you’d forgotten about but still somehow know the words to.
Soft pajamas make me happy, as do cozy socks.
I dig a well-tailored blazer, and jeans that don’t make me look too hippy, pop-culture references, talking about serial killers and Robert Stack’s voice on “Unsolved Mysteries.”
I used to love thunderstorms until Pops moved in (the poor man is terrified of them).
And I’m always down with getting a “package delivered” text from the post office.
There you have it.
I should say, it was kind of fun putting it on paper.
Certainly more uplifting than contemplating the state of the world for a change.
So go ahead. Take a break and write down what makes you tick.
And please, if you’re so inclined, feel free to share.
Particularly if it has anything to do with food.
(Actual food also welcome.)
Katie McDowell is a lifestyles writer/copy editor/pig. Email her at email@example.com.