Awareness of the outside world. Why raising awareness helps, “Scientists, she said, were spending too much time trying to get what little funding was coming into the space.” Boston.com: The Frates family always knew the Ice Bucket Challenge would result in hope and treatments for ALS patients. It has. Dwyer, November 7, 2022.
Question: What kind of riding do you do?
My new answer: This & that.
In the past, I have been stumped by this question.
“Questions like this take me back. I don’t have an elevator speech for where I am with horses. Wanna know how I feel? Here is 11 years of column, monthly blog, & daily blog tracing every step from buying Rodney to now. Read that. That’s how I feel.” [No Stirrup November, In Which I Complicate An Introduction]
“The poor lady at the store asked, ‘What kind of riding do you do?’ A simple question with complicated answer. More of a fraught question than she was intending.” [Tennessee Travels, Shopping]
Thanks go to a rider at the Silver Lining fun show. We were chatting, as one does standing around at a horse show. She asked what kind of riding I did. After my initial vague-it’s-complicated noises, she said, ‘Oh that usually means little of this, a little of that.’
Ding. Ding. Ding.
Actually, a belated ding.
She said what she said. I proceeded to give a hyper-condensed version on the state of my barn.
Upon reviewing the conversation (mostly to see if I had said anything unbearably stupid. Anyone else do that? Fun, right? But I digress.) I realized that people posing this question are not asking for my life story. Neither do they want 12 years of frustration dumped in their lap.
We are chatting. We are being polite. In the case of the Dover saleswoman, she wanted to know what she could sell me.
What is called for is a pleasant, non-committal answer. This & that. True enough and sufficient to the moment.
If the conversation continues, chime in with a few quips, still on the theme of this & that. I’m taking some lessons. I have two horses at home. I’d like to jump more. Accurate but not belaboring the point. Keep it light. Find out what they are really asking. Are we passing the time until the next class? Are we sitting over a get-to-know-you lunch swapping in-depth bios?
Then, and only then, if they end up wanting the details, I can provide those. Lots and lots of details.
So, with luck, if you meet me in the future, I should be better prepared to interact with society.