Last night, a friend and I were watching Millionaire Matchmaker when my friend turned to me and said, “Did she just ask him, ‘What do you do for fun?’” We tuned in more attentively. The millionaire’s answer was, “I like to drink and hang out with my buds.” Which, for this particular millionaire was an incredibly accurate answer. Later in the date he took the girl to a rooftop bar where they had sake bombs with his “buds” and got really drunk. Which seems totally fine. Except that he’s a supposed millionaire and it was a first date. He could’ve played that out better. Save the sake bombs and the buds for a different date, dude. But that’s besides the point.
When someone asks me what I do for fun I have a minor panic attack. I start sweating, my lungs start closing up and my face turns red. I may even start breaking out in hives. You know why? Because what I like to do for fun doesn’t actually sound like fun. I like to hang out with my friends. I like to curl up in my sweats and watch movies and tv shows. I like to read. I like to eat pretzels and dip them in funfetti icing (it’s amazing, try it). I like beautiful weather where I can enjoy doing fun things outside. I don’t exactly have any hobbies. I don’t know how to sew. I only cook things that take less than 10 minutes to make. I don’t know how to surf. I either need some hobbies or I need to come up with a go-to answer for the worst question in the world, “What do you do for fun?”
I can see how the question is important. What a person does in his or her free time for fun is very telling of his or her personality. If I answer with, “I like to travel,” that’s true. Except, I only travel to places I’ve been a million times to visit my family in various parts of the country and I’ve only been abroad a few times on organized trips (I’m young and haven’t yet been able to travel the world as much as I would like). I would like to travel more, but I can’t exactly say I do it for fun. If I answer with, “I like going to concerts,” that’s true too. Except, I don’t go to concerts on a daily or even monthly basis. So I can’t really say I do that for fun because I really only go to concerts when it’s convenient. If I answer with, “I like scrapbooking,” that wouldn’t be true at all. Except, I do enjoy being crafty, I just don’t do it for the kind of fun implied in the question. Do you see how this question can fuel anxiety? How do you tell somebody about yourself when you have limited hobbies that are difficult to glorify?
But, no one is going to stop asking this question. Employers ask this question in interviews. People ask this question on dates. My grandparents ask me this question for goodness sake. I’m thinking of just sticking to my guns and forever responding with, “I do fun for fun” so I can totally throw the questioner off and then they’re so confused that they’ll ignore me and then forever see me as mysterious. What’s your usual response to “What do you do for fun?”