Here’s a place we’ve all been. You’re hanging out with friends, and someone brings up a band/movie/restaurant/book that is fairly universally loved. Or, if not universally, at least intensely loved by your present company. But, lo and behold, you just don’t get it. Either you feel like it’s over your head, not quite your taste, or just plain bad.
This experience has led me to create a very important list in my brain called “Things I Wish I Liked More.” The idea is, things you want to enjoy but can’t bring yourself to. Isn’t that betraying your real feelings? No. There are lots of reasons to want to like things more. Like, you want to reap the same benefits from a work of art that other people do. Or, maybe, you just get tired of saying that you don’t think Lou Reed is a misunderstood genius. Sorry, Velvet Underground, I said it.
There’s a sweet spot for “TIWILM.” It’s not something that you love to hate. Example: I don’t wish I liked Nickelback more. I am fine thinking they suck. I’m not going to lobotomize myself just to be able to have better conversation at a Wal Mart.
Here are my all-time Things I Wish I Liked More:
Man, would this make things easier. I like ketchup and salsa, even pico de gallo if it’s in a burrito. But tomatoes on their own are my least favorite vegetable. And yes, I know that they’re technically a fruit. But here’s the real test: What salad are they in? If you ever, ever saw a tomato in a fruit salad, you would pluck it out, throw it in the trash, and salt the bowl so that nothing may grow there again. Sorry tomatoes, no one wants you at brunch (unless you’re juiced and combined with vodka). We’ll see you with vegetables the week after New Year’s or when we’re on a date with someone who thinks she’s fat.
As long as I’m talking about food…pad thai is just okay, guys. Stop acting like it’s nectar and/or ambrosia.
2. The Band “Pavement”
Okay, I get that Stephen Malkmus was really influential on a bunch of bands that I like now. I get that lots of people that I respect really love them. But here’s the thing, when their music hits my earhole, it sounds like an indie-rock version of free-jazz. I’ve tried and tried. People suggest albums and songs over and over, but the best I can muster is a forced “not bad.” Same to you, aforementioned Velvet Underground. I’m sorry, guys, but I don’t consider heroin a performance enhancing drug. “Sweet Jane,” the song your wrote to appease your record label, is pretty great. But do you really need to devote your entire discography to squalor? Guys, I don’t really love squalor.
I’ve covered this in previous blogs, but I wish I could get into drinking more. Historically, it would have facilitated other things I like such as yelling at strangers and kissing girls. But generally, it’s just something I do so I don’t have to explain why I’m not doing it. And also to prove to girls I’m a real man after they find out I’m really good at baking. That’s healthy, right? (This is also how I feel about dancing/staying up all night.)
4. The Movie Scarface
This is just so I would have more in common with rappers.
Also, there is a short list of things I wish I liked less. It includes:
Ice cream, going to bed early, Facebook, “Dammit” by Blink-182, Dirty Work with Norm MacDonald, being right, and fast food hamburgers.
Thoughts? Opinions? Lemme know.