Watching movies. I won’t just sit down and watch a movie. The ones people force me to watch, I enjoy—that is, as long as they actually have some cinematic merit and aren’t just action movies. There have to be feelings involved. Or it has to be really, really funny. Or have subtitles. It’s the passivity I don’t like. I can read for hours, but hate having to sit still and watch the story being told to me. Plus, there is this disturbing trend of making movies that are more than the standard 90 minutes long. Movie industry, you are killing me. If you insist on making movies that are four hours long, then I insist on bringing crossword puzzles and a tiny book light to the theater.
That reminds me of #2.
Clubbing. I’m referring to the practice of frequenting dancing establishments, not the practice of beating someone senseless (although I suspect the latter is more enjoyable). It’s too loud to talk to anyone, it’s crowded, people touch you, and you have to stand around making repetitive movements and smiling. The music isn’t even GOOD music; it’s whatever overproduced dreck pop music has vomited up recently made even more annoying by the addition of a driving beat and five extra minutes of repeated choruses. I can only surmise that the clientele likes the music, because they keep gyrating as long as the music plays and nobody ever tries to commit suicide by jumping off a high platform.
I’ve gone to a club only when forced to. Ray (my BFF) took me once when we were in our early twenties, and he was very, very disappointed in my attitude. He’d even gone to special lengths to have a friend of his bring some wardrobe selections and a trunk full of makeup to prepare me for the occasion.
“What’s wrong?” he asked me while we were waiting in line.
“These shoes hurt my feet, and I look like a whore,” I said.
He tried his best to inspire enthusiasm, but I refused to dance, frowned a lot and lamented leaving my crossword puzzle book at home. The coup de grace was learning that Ray’s friend was being paid several hundred dollars to don a cow-print bra and cowboy boots and prance around on stage waving a couple of glowsticks. I shook my head. The decay of civilization.
Following professional sports. Despite the costs to my social life, I do not follow professional sports of any kind. I weakly cheer on my husband’s teams, but he knows I couldn’t care less whether they actually win. He has tried to explain why rooting for a team is such a profound experience and remains puzzled by my apathy. “It’s the best story there is—the epic tale of struggle, of setbacks, of coming together as a team and winning!” he’ll say.
“And the sense of belonging! They’re YOUR team, so it’s like you’re winning too!”
“Mm hmm. Yeah, I get that. But…it’s just…always the same.”
“What do you mean, it’s always the same?”
“I MEAN, two teams play, and then somebody wins! It’s the same every time!”
“No it’s not! You never know who’s going to win each time!”
“I know, but somebody’s going to. Two teams play and one of them is going to win. Why does it matter which one?”
“DIDN’T YOU LISTEN TO ANYTHING I JUST SAID?”
“Yes, but I don’t care! They’re just games! They don’t mean anything. I could understand rooting for a side if it actually affected me. Like, if it was a WAR or something.”
G. puts his head in his hands and turns back toward the game, where the fans have big foam hands and painted faces and beer cozies emblazoned with their team name. They’re screaming for the athletes, who are way overpaid.
I shake my head. The decay of civilization.