I'm re-reading Ray Oldenburg's The Great Good Place tonight for class tomorrow. I find his discussion of "third places" useful for my online identity class, and there's lots of juicy stuff there.
But I found myself really taken aback by this passage, which I guess I never really paid attention to in past readings:
At home and work, topics of conversation have little novelty and points of view vary hardly at all. To have a good talk at home usually means a serious discussion, not an entertaining one; it is a conversation that resolves some marital or financial problem. Indeed, to have an entertaining conversation at home usually requires the addition of outsiders. Good conversation becomes the host and hostess's reward for the effort and expense put into drinks and dinner.(p. 46)
Wow. That makes me wonder what Oldenburg's home life is like. Not like mine, that's for sure. I'm very grateful that conversations in our house aren't only to resolve "some marital or financial problem." In fact, in our house, we even have conversations with our kids! :)