Once upon a time, I used to be into MMA. It is not a coincidence at all that once upon a time I was way smitten with a person who loved MMA. His diet consisted overwhelmingly of protein and he most closely resembled Donkey Kong.
During that time, the other television programming I watched most frequently was “So You Think You Can Dance?” It should be mentioned here that my older sister is a dance teacher and the best day of my childhood consisted of skipping ballet and going to Dairy Queen with my dad so…
We all do these things. We feign interest or enthusiasm to relate to people that we care about or people we want to impress or just other people in general. In no particular order here are things that I have pretended to like and I suspect that others are pretending to like as well…
Spoiler: If you’re reading this post looking for something to disagree with, well then…have fun.
1- Salad: If I had a nickel for every delicious salad I’ve ever encountered, I would have a dime. And for those of you thinking of a caesar salad: Just stop. Caesar is neither a good judge of character nor is Caesar really a salad. Et tu, Brute? Is that an insulin needle in my back? It’s mostly fat with a side of lettuce.
It’s so rare and also so sad to hear somebody feign excitement over a salad. A salad, to me, is like a pap smear. You don’t look forward to it. It’s healthy and you’ve got to do it and it just happens to you maybe like once a year.
2- Peace: I don’t mean to say that we’re all secretly in love with violence. That’s a different debate altogether. I just mean that people thrive on drama. People love conflict. We crave it. We’re American. Have you watched the news here? Everything all day every day is drama. And that’s THE NEWS!
Why do you think nice guys finish last? Because girls get bored if there isn’t enough drama. Why do you think scummy men date more than one woman? They can’t get enough drama! Why do you think Kim Kardashian has a job?
Yes. The answer is drama.
3- New Years Eve: You are as high as the ball at 11:59 PM if you think that I think that you aren’t scared to death of December 31st. This night is the ultimate test of exactly how cool you are. Nothing puts more of a damper on a good time than being pressured into having a good time. While many holidays are guilty of this (4th of July and Halloween in particular), there is no holiday more guilty than New Year’s Eve.
If there aren’t any juicy or glamorous stories and Facebook pictures to back them up, people tend to assume that you were just alone with your Chinese food sobbing out the words (or similar noises as the words) to “Auld Lang Syne.” That’s why I went out New Years 2012 in spite of my tonsillitis, laryngitis and the pleading of my mother. And it was the best night ever (it was not the best night ever).
4- The 1st Amendment: We only like the 1st Amendment when it’s on our side. Conservatives on Fox News hate those “damned Marxists” over at CBS and CBS hates them back. We love our soap boxes but we want so much to kick them out from underneath those that we are opposed to. You’re kidding yourself and everyone who reads your silly tweets if you’ve never (at least) silently wished you could shut someone up in a permanent fashion. You may even want to shut me up. But you can’t! AH HA HA HA HA!
5- Do It Yourself Projects: This one. Oh boy. With the Pinterest and the “blah blah from scratch” and the one-upping that they inspire. There are 24 hours in a day. Roughly 8 of those hours should be spent sleeping, around an additional 8 are spent working. That’s ⅔ of your day that’s spoken for. And you’re spending the remainder of that time making your own cleaning products and then blogging about it? When do you eat? When do you interact with your loved ones? When do you catch up on all of the crime dramas on NBC?
6- IPAs: Anytime you live anywhere that there is more than one great local brewery, you will probably have a person within close proximity who is a beer snob. It might be a friend, a relative or a significant other. You might just get one of each. At least one of these people will be really into IPAs and when you sip their recommended brew and cringe, they will make a condescending remark. For example: “Oh it takes a really seasoned palate.”
You want bitter? Go have some unsweetened chocolate. Oh. Unsweetened chocolate is gross? Exactly. I’d much prefer a Hefeweizen any day of the week.
7- Art Museums: If we’re all in agreement that the arts are dying in our schools then isn’t a person in an art museum like a toddler holding a paperback copy of a James Joyce novel? It’s just a lot of staring and nodding. Finnegan’s Wake can only be read by schizophrenics and art museums are only frequented by those of us who are trying to impress undergrad art majors on dates. It’s okay. You’re not really enjoying yourself. You’re sweating straight through every layer of your ironic t-shirts while you try to conjure thoughtful comments. You’re doing great though. I’m somewhere on the other side of the room telling someone that I saw this same painting at Ikea once.
8- Professional Sports: I find the expression “Pink Hat” to be outrageously sexist because both men and women do this but this variety of people are a real people.
Case in point: I hail from the beautiful state of Massachusetts. We are proud and wicked into BEING FROM MASSACHUSETTS. The Boston Bruins (and hockey in general) were ignored for years up until June 2011 when we won our first Stanley Cup in 39 years. A few more people watched the beginning of the 2012 season but don’t you know everyone came back- with gusto- to watch the playoffs as though they’d been there all along. And a visit home (and trip to a Massachusetts bar) coincided with the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs. I’ve never seen so many loud people, so few of whom knew what they were talking about. And I love my home state with all my heart but that doesn’t make this any less true. We didn’t love hockey until it became cool.
This is true of people everywhere and is true of “followers” of all sports across the country.
9- Pictures of other people’s pets and children: While it’s kind to present others with an opportunity to shamelessly brag about cuteness within their own lives, you usually don’t care do you? It’s an opportunity for small talk and self-esteem building about the great mash up of your genetics or how great you are at selecting dog breeds and then photographing your pets. Do my own nieces and puppy have their own hashtags on my instagram account? Well, of course they do. Because they’re the cutest things that have ever lived. But you don’t care. You’re faking it to bring me joy and I thank you for that.
10- Yoga: Because who doesn’t love the downward dog position with someone else’s spandexed posterior so close to their face? Okay. Breathing out of your nose when you have a big beautiful mouth so close by? Riiight. Those of us with deviated septums: Can I get an amen? I’ve been fighting a losing battle with learning to love yoga for several years now and even in my best classes, I still find things that drive me nuts about it.
I’ve encountered a lot of people who try to compete with you in class. What? I’m meditating or whatever, you ass. Stop this. Stop it right now. And bending here and there, there’s always at least one gassy yogi in the room. Let that stew for a 60 minute class period? No thank you.
And you have to be quiet and tranquil in yoga. To me, that is just so many things that exercising people are not. Between panting and ipods and thumping of feet and grunting, it’s an entire orchestra of fatigue. And what about our precious sweat? Namaste? Namasticking around to deal with that.