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Friday, February 15, 2008

To share

I think the kind of relationship advice Tasha gives in this week's Ask the AV Club is something I don't hear enough. Aside from what Leah says in her column and podcast (and what wisdom Jason passes my way), too often I hear fluffy cliches that are too vanilla. Even worse, I hear advice saying you should initially present yourself to someone in a slightly false light. So when I read a passage like this, I wish those bland advice-givers would take a few notes:
Don't be an asshole. Having strongly held, precisely detailed opinions on Yasujiro Ozu or Badly Drawn Boy or Brian Michael Bendis isn't the problem. Forcing them on people who didn't ask, or sneering at those who disagree or don't care, is a problem . . . And stop thinking that being a geek is a bad thing in and of itself. It isn't, and it certainly isn't a relationship deal-killer. Being an unsocialized jerk is the problem.

Like I was once told in a pseudo-intervention (and still agree with), embrace your weirdness. Yes, I might have eccentric music tastes, but I try to steer clear of forcefully converting those who don't. I might gently give friends a hard time from time to time, but I've been at the receiving end of flak from unsocialized and unloved jerks, so I don't want to become the problem.

If anything, my weakness has been the fear of sharing my eccentricities. Despite speaking openly about them on this here blog, I find them harder to share in person beyond the closest of friends and family. Too often I've thought sharing them with people not so close leads to an expression of disapproval and eventual abandonment. I'm compelled to save someone who hates Scott Walker's music the pain of having to listen to it in the car by not playing his music. I'm compelled to not play my drums for too long in the presence of those who can't stand drumming. Maybe I'm just being overly courteous or cautious.

I will say this, I've learned that I shouldn't feel ashamed because I'm happy the theatrical version of Blade Runner is airing on the Sci-Fi channel. I think that's a good start.

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