ShareThis Page
More Lifestyles

Hesitant to tell brother his girlfriend is a 'boredom missionary'

| Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, 1:33 a.m.

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

My brother wants to know what I think about his girlfriend. I don’t like her. It isn’t an actionable dislike — she isn’t controlling, criminal or abusive — but I find her boring and, worse, a boredom missionary. No hobbies, doesn’t watch any TV shows, thinks fandom for anything is stupid, and doesn’t have a team (in any sport!) that she supports.

Our plans to do a panic room, see a dumb movie, or eat at the weird new fusion place are all “a bit silly.” Instead she just wants to do dinner at someplace deemed nice and an indie movie about sad people being sad — fine if that’s her thing, but she never seems to enjoy it, or anything. She doesn’t even like animals!

I have dodged my brother’s question, but he is pushing. The best I can think to say is that she is unobjectionable and has lovely hair (tried to ask about that — she just washes it, “that is a bit of a silly question”). I can do the old “she makes you happy” dodge, but pretty sure my brother will see through that. Plus, do I owe it to him to point out that she obviously loves him but doesn’t share an interest in anything he enjoys and probably won’t want to do any of the big-adventure-stuff holidays he has always planned? Or even get the Great Dane he has wanted since our childhood dog died?

On the other hand, he has picked her, maybe a life of gentle boredom is what adult bro is all about? I just don’t know. I think if she didn’t do this passive roadblock of disapproval about things she considers silly — like, all fun stuff! — I could appreciate her other qualities more. As it is, she just exists as this big buzzkill in my head.

— A Bit Silly

Best description of indie movies ever.

He’s asking and asking, so answer him! Just don’t make too much of it: “She’s way too much of a grown-up for me — but you know I’m all weird food and dog hair.” Then turn it to him: “Does she make you happy? That’s what matters. If she’s right for you, then I’ll just have to wear her down.”

Something tells me you’ll get the tone of this right. And let me be the first to thank you, too, for “boredom missionary.”

Re: Boredom Missionary:

Wow, Carolyn, not going to call out the attacks on people who like indie movies, quiet restaurants, and don’t follow sports? (Which is, like, a lot of people.) Going on a tirade about how much you hate her because she enjoys different things than you is obnoxious and rude.

— Anonymous

I love quiet restaurants and sad indie movies and I’d rather sit in traffic than eat weird fusion or go to a panic room, and I thought the letter was hilarious. It’s not our interests that make us interesting, it’s our willingness to laugh at ourselves. IMO.

Re: loaded question

“The only person whose opinion matters is yours, so why do you keep asking me?” You might get an interesting answer. People in happy relationships don’t care what others think.

— Ding!Ding!Ding!

Thanks. I signed it for you — hope you don’t mind.

Email Carolyn at, follow her on Facebook at or chat with her online at noon Eastern time each Friday at

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me