Thursday, October 18, 2012

Intellectual Curiosity

This afternoon, my boss called me and the guy who used to be doing the secretarial stuff that I'm now doing into his office to brief us on an upcoming conference.

The best part of the meeting was the fact that my boss started out by saying that he'd been to visit my Joan website and was very impressed by the work that had gone into it! And then he asked what first made me interested in Joan Crawford. So I got to tell my "Well, back in the '80s, I was first fascinated by Greta Garbo, and so checked out from the university library the '32 film 'Grand Hotel' and watched it in a tiny room, on a hard chair, on a 12-inch screen, since at that time VCRs at home were still a newfangled technology and no poor college students owned them. And upon watching said film, ended up HATING Garbo's woodenness and marvelling at Joan Crawford's freshness...I want to know more about HER, said I to myself..." story.

And he LISTENED to all of that! :) He'd seen "Grand Hotel." He liked Joan Crawford's acting. He remembered those viewing rooms at the UT libraries! Which segued into the also-small rooms at another library on campus where he used to go and SMOKE while he was working on his book. Which is where I shelved books in the '80s and had to pick up books from those smoking rooms, which REEKED! But, hey, I smoked then and I smoke now! (but those smoking rooms WERE pretty nasty) And isn't it interesting how smoking used to be allowed in university libraries!

He and I were going on for a while, then he snapped to and sought to bring the ex-secretary-guy into the conversation. Had HE heard of Joan Crawford? No. Must be too young. (He's late 30s, for pete's sake!) Mildred Pierce? No. Mommie Dearest even? No. As it turns out, this one doesn't "like" movies or watch them, unless it's with his kids. And even at the kid movies, movies put him to sleep.

I was incredulous: "No WAY! You don't like movies? NO movies?" How can anyone not like ANY movies???? Seriously. That's ridiculous and, yes, just plain retarded (in both senses of the word). It's like someone saying they don't like books, ANY books. Or music, ANY music. Or art, ANY art. (You get the idea.)

I couldn't quite grasp this: WHAT, did this person grow up seeking absolutely NO point of reference other than his own? Despite all of the available sources of other references, NEVER chose to further explore ANY of them? My god.

At just this embarrassing point, my boss wisely and semi-apologetically (for workplace purposes) chose to re-direct the meeting toward its actual initial goal: My arranging hotels/food for the upcoming meeting! (EXACTLY what I'm sooooo good at!) :)

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