What is interested?

I am very interested in what my partner is doing. I may not be interested in the things he is collecting, but I am still interested in hearing about them, because he is interested. It is fun to listen to people’s expertise and joy and obsessions. Most people know a lot about something, and it’s often surprising to find out the topic or topics they take joy in.

When we first moved to town, our piano developed a key that did not work right. The piano tuner could not fix it. A second piano tuner also couldn’t fix it. We were talking to a neighbor and he said that he had worked with church organs in the past. He was the fix it when something was buzzing or not right. He said sometimes it was a loose board in the church that would vibrate with certain keys. He said that he was very good at fixing these, by wandering around the church and listening.

We said, please, come see our piano.

He came. He listened to the key and walked around the room. He pulled the piano out from the wall. This is a 1905 upright grand, big and heavy. The movers hate it and it breaks dollies. He looked in back and pulled out the culprit: a tuning instrument left inside! We had no idea how many years it had been there. It had rolled during the move and gotten stuck near the strings, affecting that one key! Fixed, instantly. We were delighted!

My partner seems disinterested in most of what I do. I am trying to understand this. I do not understand this. I am experiencing it as disinterest in ME. As if what I do or say is unimportant and only his interests are important. I always have to work on diplomacy, because it doesn’t come naturally to me. I am working on this. It feels asymmetric, unfair, unkind, to have my interest repaid with disinterest. I don’t like it and I am listening to that dislike. I also do not understand it. Though I do have a friend who has six interests and EVERYONE knows what they are, because that is all he talks about. He has a lot of expertise in all six. I am interested in everything, a generalist, and I am interested in what makes people fired up and passionate. I don’t care if it is model trains or knitting. We can learn so much from each other.