In 1999, I was introduced to a show called Mork and Mindy, which I am still a fan of to this day. Everywhere I went, I was telling people, "Na nu, na nu," which got responses ranging from an echo of the Orkan greeting, to laughter, to even, "May the Force be with you!" I couldn't shut up about the show; I had found a new (well, to me, anyway) television program to love, which was great for me...but not for those around my age with whom I associated. The vast majority of my peers--classmates, coeval church members, fellow Cub Scouts, kids in my neighborhood--had no idea who Mork or Mindy even were, and the few who did didn't like it, save for a Cub Scouting buddy of mine. That caused me to interact more with adults, because they were largely the only ones who cared; my adoration of that old sci-fi sitcom did little but annoy the kids I hung around.
As time went on, my interests had both the same effect and the exact opposite. Though some of my anti-popular likes, such as Nintendo GameCube and Scooby-Doo, caused even worse problems, the fact that I was a Pokémon fan instantly bonded me and a few other kids. Prior to me discovering Lizzie McGuire, I avoided almost all popular, current, non-gaming entertainment just because I thought it wasn't worth my time. Since then, my tastes have continued to expand, which has helped me associate with a broader range of people.
The last bit is funny when you think about it. On my last post, a good friend left a comment that said, "You will continue to face this same problem as long as you do not find some common interest with people." Yes, the "problem" she was talking about was the issue of my tastes not matching up with others'; however, my interests have broadened so much over the past few years that I can find something to discuss with pretty much anyone.
Here's an example: At my church, I have several people whom I interact with almost every week, and I discuss whatever mutual interest(s) I have with them. My techie friends and I talk about whatever Apple has just unveiled; me and my book-loving buddies converse about our latest reads; those who like the same shows as I do chat with me about the latest VICTORiOUS or American Idol episodes; fellow bargain hunters share their finds with me, and I share mine with them; and, if I can find anything else that both me and another person like, I'll discuss it with him/her. That's a far cry from the days when almost everything I said or did was about the same topic.
Frankly, the fact that I can converse with nearly anybody about something he/she likes makes me happier. It's no wonder I was such a frustrated individual in my younger days; everything that was important to me, no one else cared about at all! I'm glad those days are over; I have more friends, better interaction with others, and more varied activities as well. That's what I sorely needed for quite a while; I just hope it doesn't go away.