Attempting an actual journal post, á la whileintucson
, despite the fact that I can't seem to help watching myself type. Most of my entries become meta way too fast (cough, like this one). I was actually keeping an honest-to-God paper journal for a little while, trying to write a bit every night before bed, but - well, you can imagine how that turned out. In a creative writing text I have somewhere, one person recommended just - typing. Whatever comes into your head, throw it down, eyes closed so you won't be able to think about wording/spelling mistakes, etc.
I'm not going to do that right now. Right now I'm going to talk (bitch?) a little about something that's been bugging me for a very long time.
The problem seems to be enthusiasm. There are many, many pop cultural topics on which I am extremely knowledgeable and on which I can expound - for much longer than my listeners would like, in most cases. (I'm reminded particularly of an early Nick Swardson bit in which his nephew tells him all about the looks and abilities of every single Pokemon, and Nick retaliates by taking him into the bathroom and telling him every ingredient in every bottle of shampoo/conditioner.) Nevertheless, I can't seem to help it - I get enthusiastic about things, often very enthusiastic, and can't avoid wanting to share it with my friends. Or even just my acquaintances.
Lately, though, I've found myself trying to hold back - not out of trying not to bore the person I'm talking to, by any means, but because I've noticed that if you show too much enthusiasm people don't take you seriously. "Oh, she's just a fangirl," seems to be the thought. "She's probably just obsessed. [Fill in the blank] probably isn't actually that great. No need to take it seriously." This, I feel, is unfair. And not just for me - this happens to too many people. Hell, I do it occasionally - my mother has been trying to get me to read A.S. Byatt for years, and I never do.
I suppose part of the problem would be that people don't know if they can trust your taste. I mean, I've had people go on and on at me about certain TV shows - Desperate Housewives comes to mind - but since I do know a little about the show, and what little I know I don't like, I'm not sure whether I should trust that the fangirl to whom I'm speaking actually knows her shit. For obvious reasons, I have a pretty inflated opinion of my own taste. If I think something is good, well, obviously it is
good. (To be fair, I do have a little more training in analysis and what makes shit good than the average person. It's basically my whole major. But I digress.) And the people who know me extremely well (and who are willing to indulge in their own rabid bouts of enthusiasm [mostly Kelly and Alma]) are willing to trust my taste and, for the most part, will at least taste whatever fandom/film/book/game I'm offering.
But here's my plea. Even if you don't know if the fangirl to whom you're speaking actually knows good TV from bad TV, or good writing from bad writing, and so on, at least hear him or her out. (Yes, men can be fangirls.) First, because maybe s/he actually does know what they're talking about, and they're going to hook you on something friggin' awesome that you never would've found on your own. Second, if you
already have a firm differing opinion on what they're talking about and yet you trust their taste, try to reconsider. After all, I'd heard only trash talked about Heroes, but when Kelly and Alma got on board I did give it a shot, and the first season was wonderful. (I admit I did wait for Alma to also give it the green light, because Kelly may have been blinded by the Pathan. It happens to the best of us.)
Third, though, and most important - listen to the fangirl with the light in her eyes just because the light is there. I remember once - oh, it must've been something like ninth grade - I had been talking to (at) my mother about Tool and she was being a little curt, and I could tell she didn't care, and I was all of a sudden extremely angry. Because my mother and I have the kind of relationship in which we can talk frankly, she asked me why I was pissed, and I realized - it wasn't that she didn't have the same appreciation for the lyrics or rhythm or whatever that I did. It was that I cared about this admittedly insignificant thing, and she didn't care that I cared. I know that sentence sounds stupid, but it's really the essence of this whole post. It's the same as the thing I wrote for Alma, once - sure, I don't actually care about ichthyology or octopi or crotchet, but I should listen when she tells me about it just because how much she knows is impressive, and because she
I guess it just boils down to - care about each other. It's funny how many things do. Listen, and even if you don't care about Desperate Housewives, appreciate the fact that your friend does.