Thursday, June 30, 2011

Confession Time

I'm a confirmed activities snob.

A friend of mine called me out on this recently after I turned down invitations to watch two different movies with him (one tearjerker and one action flick). Apparently, I tend to forget that sometimes, it's less about the activity and more about spending time with the person (or people).

Now, I have a few theories as to why this is, none of which are terribly flattering. The first is a kind of cultural snobbery. As stated in one of my previous blogs, I tend to cling to my intellect, my status as a "smart girl", with the tenacity that a rat would display while clinging to a sinking ship. Even when I don't feel "smart", I have other people assuring me that I am. As a result, I have a hard time "liking" movies, TV shows, books, etc. that aren't at least somewhat intellectually stimulating. I like the occasional "dumb" comedy, but I have a hard time with, say, reality TV shows and action movies. (Note: If you like either or both of those, I'm willing to hear you out regarding their appeal.)

There's a practical side to this. Let's say I'm at the movies. Typically, I'm spending 2 hours of my time, as well as roughly $9 for the ticket (less if it's a matinee or otherwise discounted). That's not including commute, gas, snacks, etc. Logically, I want the movie to be something that I'll enjoy. And I can totally rationalize it from a "good financial stewardship" point of view.

On a more personal note...I tend to strategically avoid sad movies like the plague. Movies where I know (or suspect) an animal or child dies are almost unbearable for me to think about, let alone watch. Movies featuring terminal illness or suicide are also hard, mainly due to my own experiences with these events. I'm not a naturally sanguine person, so I try to avoid things that are overly depressing.

But sometimes I forget that it's not always about me and what I want to do. Sometimes it's about the other person.

Which leads to another, unflattering realization that I've had about myself: even all these years after middle school, high school, and the unpopularity that dogged me during those years...even having grown up -- and assumedly grown out of my awkward stage -- I still have a hard time believing that my absence from a social setting makes that big of an impact. It's not that I see myself as a complete reject...I just have a hard time believing that I'm missed.

Then there's the anxiety factor. I've actually panicked in certain situations where I've stepped out of my comfort zone. The feeling of panic was not I try to avoid it by sticking to more familiar situations.

On a positive note, I have made some steps toward breaking out of these habits. For example, I've traveled to foreign countries. And I've started this blog, which is scarier at times than anyone reading this could possibly imagine.

I guess I'm open to suggestions on how I can continue to overcome my "activities snobbery", as well as comments on times when you all have done things that you normally wouldn't have. (Not to be confused with things you shouldn't have done...that's a whole other can of worms.)

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