James and I have no hobbies.
Back when I was teaching high school, one of my students asked me what James and I like to do together, and when I tried telling her that we just kind of like hanging out, she gave me that withering you-are-so-lame stare that high school girls of all cultures and tribes have perfected. Not much has changed since then.
I don’t mean that we don’t do stuff. We love taking walks, we can’t ever get enough time reading, we obviously like to watch some TV, and I’m slowly grooming my Pirates fan self (um, did you see that kid pitch 99 mph this week??? I can’t even think that fast.). We also like to make up stories about the imaginary redneck community that we have invented. all centering around the adventures and exploits of one Troy Bobine who lives in rural Virginia. I contribute actual Southern redneck knowledge and James contributes snarky satire.
But none of these are hobbies, the type of things that you say when people ask what you all do together. We don’t bike or garden or pay softball or go to cool indie concerts that no one has heard of. We don’t go running together (Tried that. It was a disaster. James just gets really angry the whole time and pressures me to run faster so we can get it over with, which makes me all wheezy and irritated and totally incapable of reaching my running endorphin zen accompanied by my “Run it out Girl” playlist. ) or cook together, though we do very happily eat together, but I can’t count that as a hobby since that is like wearing a sign that says “Hi, we’re the Wegmanns and we plan on succumbing to the obescity that is plaguing America.”
And people, I love hobbies. I grew up doing drama, ballet, cross-country, horseback riding, youth group, speed shooting, academic team (yeah, I was cool), and art lessons, as well as my own games of Hannah the Budding Capitalist, which involved either trying to swindle my little brother out of his money, or devising all sorts of schemes to make money from unsuspecting neighbors and passersby. When it came time to fill out those college applications where you brag about all the things you were involved in, I was ready.
James did his share of hobbies too. In fact, all of the Wegmann children did a frightening number of bizarre activities, the depths of which I am only slowly discovering. They made pottery, gardened, played every sport, volunteered to teach children to read, did speed skating, competed in the annual gingerbread house building competition, were involved in Boy Scouts, played instruments, and James worked the snow machine in the production of The Nutcracker.
And now? Now we make up tales about imaginary rednecks. Oh how the mighty have fallen.
My fascination with touching those squirming fish knows no bounds. You can tell that from my eagerness to give a smile so big that it shows all my teeth and then some. We did catch and release, and when James told me to “throw it back,” I took it very literally, hurling those shiny fishies through they air with such gusto that one might have not survived his catch and release experience.
Listen up fishing world: The Wegmanns have found our hobby. We’re coming for you. We are prepared with Hannah’s strangely good casting prowess and her love of touching fish and James’ manly ability for everything else involved. We will be bringing snacks.
Do y’all have any hobbies? Have you ever had to find a new one to share with someone in your life? This phenomenon is not of course reserved for spouses. I remember finding one of my closest friends through a Jillian Michaels shred.