Therein lies a problem, though: Some people--including some on my friends list--seem to think that such shows and their stars consume all my time. In an instant message conversation, one long-time friend put it this way:
That's kinda weird, since most people who watch that are like at least ten years younger. [...] The first thing I can think of is to get off the "obsession," or whatever you wanna call it, with the "middle school shows." You can still watch them if you want, but maybe don't talk about them as much. [...] When I think of obsessed, I just see all of the collages you made and listed on here or mentioned you have in your room or whatever. It makes it seem like that's all you spend your time on, but that's how it comes across to me.I think she actually has a very good point; in fact, I would wager to guess that said friend is not the only one who thinks that. People believing something like that is nothing new: When I was in eighth grade, I bandied about the names of the stars from my favorite shows as if they were my best friends. More than once during that time, my mom said, "You make it sound like you do nothing but watch TV! You don't even watch that much TV; you're just fanatical about the TV you do watch!" With the way that my classmates and other coeval peers acted around me, it seemed that she was right on target.
The same is true of my favorite media in other areas, as well: A movie, TV show, or book does not have to be made solely for kids for me to enjoy it. If you look at my review blog--you know where to find it!--you'll see reviews of all kinds of media. Recent movies I have reviewed include the historical drama Alleged and the inspirational flick Unconditional, both of which have themes that little kids may not understand. When it comes to books, you'll find everything from Joel C. Rosenberg's "prophetic" fiction to George W. Bush's autobiography, which aren't for children based on their length alone. I don't usually review live television on my blog, but I do plan to tune into The X Factor this season. I wanted to last year, but a massive leak at our house which caused a forced remodel made our family room inaccessible, which made watching anything on television rather uncomfortable. I'd also like to check out other singing competitions--The Voice, for one--and other shows ranging from Castle to HGTV Star to Once Upon a Time to even some classics that I am currently largely unfamiliar with, such as I Love Lucy, The Twilight Zone, and Emergency! However, working about twenty hours every week, as well as household responsibilities and such, take precedence over consuming entertainment.
Some may wonder: Why such a focus on entertainment? Why not broaden my horizons even further? I'm reminded of the "Shooting Three to Make Tutu" episode of Home Improvement, where Tim takes his youngest son Mark to a basketball game instead of the ballet that Jill wanted him to attend. When Jill finds out, she isn't too happy with Tim. A rather iconic line from that episode is, "Tim, for years I have been trying to expose the boys to something other than sports, tools, and cars. I can't get Brad interested; Randy's light is barely flickering; now, you've taken away what I had with Mark." When it comes to most non-entertainment-related topics, you could say the same thing about me that Jill said about Brad: No one has been able to get me interested.
Lizzie McGuire, all blond curls, high cheekbones and sparkling eyes, asks the boy she has a crush on to go to a school dance with her. Not interested, he says. Anyone tuning in to the program for the first time wouldn't buy it. No boy would turn down this adorable girl for a date...but that's the genius of the show. "We took the sweetest, warmest, cutest girl in school and made her the vulnerable one," says [Disney Channel Executive VP] Marsh.
You could make a similar statement about me: When people who have recently met me or who don't know me all that well hear me talk about my favorite things, or see what I post on Facebook, some of them just don't seem to "get" it. What's with all this talk of bargain hunting? Why is this guy posting pictures of celebrities? How could anyone have a penchant for wall calendars? Yet, those who know me well understand it completely, and realize that I just wouldn't be me without all of that. It's no surprise that at least two-thirds of the "unfriendings" I have had on Facebook were from people who I randomly met me once before "adding" me as a friend, or who might have gone to high school with me, but still didn't know me very well. Unless someone knows me, he/she just isn't going to understand why I do what I do.
Here is my fifth, and concluding, point: It's hard to tell how such interests might affect my love life. This is actually a point I've wanted to make for a long time: It's true that my interests--entertainment-related and otherwise--are not shared by those around my age. Most coeval folks couldn't care less about garage sales, libraries, or Austin & Ally. I get that; still, that doesn't mean that my chances of finding my perfect mate are completely nil. It's actually one of the reasons that a cougar/cub relationship seems appealing: It seems to me that I would have more in common with a lady several years my senior than one at the age most would consider "normal" for me to date. Some of you may remember this Internet meme that was passed around several years ago:
Two men were sitting next to each other at a bar. After a while, one guy looks at the other and says, "I can't help but think, from listening to you, that you're from Ireland."As funny as that joke is, that right there is the kind of meeting I envision having with my future wife. If I could meet a single Christian lady, and, when she and I name off all of our favorite things, it turns out that they're all the same...well, I can't envision a more perfect match. It may sound naive to believe such a thing could happen outside of a movie, TV show, or novel, but, if a Hollywood screenwriter or best-selling novelist can make such a thing happen, why couldn't the Creator of all things?
The other guy responds proudly, "Yes, that I am!"
The first guy says, "So am I! And where abouts from Ireland might you be?"
The other guy answers, "I'm from Dublin, I am."
The first guy responds, "Sure and begora, and so am I! And what street did you live on in Dublin?"
The other guy says, "A lovely little area it was, I lived on McCleary Street in the old central part of town."
The first guy says, "Faith and it's a small world, so did I! And to what school would you have been going?"
The other guy answers, "Well, now, I went to St. Mary's of course."
The first guy gets really excited, and says, "And so did I. Tell me, what year did you graduate?"
The other guy answers, "Well, now, I graduated in 1964."
The first guy exclaims, "The Good Lord must be smiling down upon us! I can hardly believe our good luck at winding up in the same bar tonight. Can you believe it, I graduated from St. Mary's in 1964 my own self."
About this time, another guy walks into the bar, sits down, and orders a beer.
The bartender walks over shaking his head and mutters, "It's going to be a long night tonight; the Murphy twins are drunk again."