I recently had a conversation with a friend during which we were discussing what people think are boring and interesting topics of conversation. We concluded that our conversational topics were often determined by the talking habits of our parents or by our professions or passions.
In her family when she was growing up, if you talked about the weather, you were a supremely boring person. Then, in that humorous twist of fate, she married a farmer and their daily conversations are always about the weather because their livelihood depends on the weather--will it freeze tonight? will there be enough rain, too much rain?
In my bus driving/bus company owning family, roads, destinations, and driving routes were a sure topic of conversation at dinner, in the car, everywhere we were. My father, uncle, cousin, brother would discuss how to get from A to B, whether it was faster or safer to go via C or D. They could discuss (argue) for hours, and maps would be pulled out and unfolded, pointed at and written on. I thought this was normal behavior for drivers, so when I met and married The Professor and he already had a nice map collection (and still does and keeps adding to it since you can never have too many maps) it only made sense that 'real' drivers carry maps and discuss (argue) about routes to take to wherever we are going and wherever we have been.
My friend was a passenger in my car last month and told me later that I talked about places and how to get to them from where we were at the moment on various Los Angeles freeways. Hmmmm--have I turned into my father or my brother? It's true I usually consult my map (one of the many in my car because as you know you can never have too many maps) before I leave and I regularly check LA traffic if I have to drive to LA (www.sigalert.com). Mike (and others) often call us and ask, "Are you at home? Can you check sigalert? I'm stuck at...." Sigalert and Mapquest are marked as favorites on both our computers.
My question is: do you talk about the weather or traffic conditions/roads/freeways?
What do you talk about that you think is a normal topic of conversation?