Lotte's Lexicon: How Not To Be Boring

In her new column, Lotte Jeffs takes a sideways look at a word the fashion world can't stop saying and asks: 'what does it really mean?'

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Slow talkers, period dramas, 'sports', the reason you're late, tax returns, yin yoga, other people's dreams… The list of things that bore me goes on, and on, and on, and on… BORING! Sorry.

In today's world of instant gratification, where you barely have to think about needing something before it's dropped by drone into your garden, and where brands such as Burberry are flinging looks straight from the catwalk on to the shop floor, we're doing everything we can to stave off the dull thud of the diurnal.

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But it's not good enough because still we find that sometimes, life just doesn't have the range.

Maybe if British politics hadn't been so dry for so long, young people might have paid more attention to the EU referendum, and we wouldn't be panic-buying macarons because we're scared our new blue passports will make popping to Paris a thing of the past. By the time Brexit got interesting, it was too late.

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Human beings' need to be entertained is also at the root of Donald Trump's terrifying popularity; he may be a dullard, but he sure ain't dull.

I grew up without any siblings, and my childhood was punctuated by the fear of crashing boredom between activities. Fellow only-children of the Nineties will recall endless rainy afternoons playing Bamboozle on Teletext and watching theNeighbours omnibus.

I was an expert at making my parents sit and watch me perform dramatic monologues that I had written, produced and directed. I'm pretty sure being forced to entertain myself has made me a more creative adult.

'There's no such thing as being bored, only boring people,' my dad used to tell me, and I'm inclined to agree. In my opinion, the world comprises two types: those who know how to tell a funny story and those who don't.

I've little patience for people who aren't instantly engaging, and I'm sorry if you're a slow burner, but I will have caught at least 25 Pokémon in the time it takes for your personality to shine through.

Luckily for me, working in a creative industry means I'm surrounded by weird and wonderful people. But that's not to say kooky dressers are automatically interesting. I once sat next to a woman at a fashionable dinner party who was wearing a taxidermy owl on her head, and she was one of the most insufferably dry and humourless people I've ever come across 'You are wearing a dead bird on your head FFS', I almost screamed at her, 'Surely your conversational gambits should extend beyond the traffic on the M25'.

A few years ago, fashion got so bored of its own relentless peacocking, that looking bland actually became a thing. Normcore was a kind of inside joke - what could possibly be more mildly amusing than people who did know how to dress well wearing The North Face fleeces and trousers that look like the ones you can order from The Guardian's classified pages?

It didn't last of course, because Generation Snapchat was on to the next trend before it even started.

And that's the thing, these days we're all so quick to declare something 'boooooring': it's why most Millennials are 'slashies' - working three or more different jobs so that no single career ever becomes tedious.

When our Uber arrives in three minutes and our Net-a-porter shopping the same day, the art of being bored is dying a death.

But even as someone with the attention span of a gnat, I can't help wondering (for the millisecond before I start wondering what to have for dinner) if sitting quietly alone, in a state of – yes – temporary boredom, with only the monotony of our own thoughts and no iPhone for company, is where the most truly interesting ideas might be found.

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