I’m Dying For Some Hot Goss
After almost a year of living in pandemia, I find myself craving other people’s minor dramas like a plant craves sunlight. Almost as much as I want to eat inside a restaurant or linger in a coffeeshop, I want to bask in the heat of someone else’s embarrassments, arguments, or romantic misfires.
I want to hear about other people’s problems, so I can stop–for one blessed second–obsessing about my own.
Remote work, the removal of forced workplace fun, and the inability to gather at bars, parties, lunches, brunches, and game nights have deprived us of the fertile soil in which gossip can grow. We can’t stand around the K-Cup machine on Friday morning discussing what went down at Thursday night’s accounting department karaoke night, because there are no accounting department karaoke nights. There are no karaoke nights at all.
Gossip, like group singalongs, is in short supply, and I miss it so much.
Now I’m not talking about the kind of deeply harmful, trust-eroding gossip that Brené Brown calls “common enemy intimacy.” Brown says, “We share things that are not ours to share as a way to hot-wire a connection with a friend.” Telling other people’s secrets is a social shortcut, and I’m as guilty of using other people’s business to stoke friendships as anyone else. But gossip that relies on selling out someone else’s genuine heartache is not the kind of gossip I crave.
I miss the really dumb stuff.
The diagramming of the previous night’s tipsy blather. The precision analysis of the body language of that one weird guy on the elevator. The rehashing of the passive aggressive nuances of a particularly tense meeting.
I want to hear about other people’s roommates, other people’s spouses, other people’s families, other people’s jobs. I need the constant stream of reassurance that everyone else’s lives are…