Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Last Word On..., No. 2: My Interests

If you know me, you know what my interests are, and that they're more than just hobbies; they're passions, and things I can't help but talk about quite often.  I've learned that my interests aren't typical, and I hardly expect anyone I meet to do even half of the same activities that I often do; if they do, though, more power to them.  Still, they are a big deal to you probably know all too well.

As usual for this series of posts, I will have three points.  First off: If you want to be my friend, you've got to respect my interests.  Like many kids of my generation, I used to collect Pokémon cards; I still did so after most of my classmates and friends thought it was "uncool".  One of the last times I got any was when I sent my mom--I couldn't go with her because of our family situation at the time--to get a booster pack of a newly released set of the trading cards.  It turned out they were first edition, which made them more valuable, and there was a card in there that was supposedly worth a whole bunch of money.  When I told my mom about that, she said something to the effect of, "That's an expensive card; you better take care of it." Some time later, I was talking to someone else--remember, I don't name names on here!--about the incident, and that person said that anyone could say the same thing; it didn't mean they cared.  Years later, I was playing a Pokémon game on my GameCube, and was trying to perform a difficult task--I'll spare you the details in case you're Pokémon-illiterate--but wasn't having much luck.  I turned it off and went back into the living room, when my mom noticed the frustrating look on my face and asked what was wrong.  I explained to her in general terms--like I did above--what was bothering me, and then added, "I know you don't care," thinking back on that previous conversation.  My mom said that she knew those games were important to me, and that she wanted me to do well in them...which means that other individual was wrong.  If you're my friend, I expect the same from you: You know what's important to me, so, respect it even if you don't like it yourself.  My Christian friends--who probably make up most if not all of the people reading this--are probably familiar with the verse that says, "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." In my nearly ten years, I've seen lots of rejoicing on Facebook: "I'm engaged!" "We're having a baby!" "I've got a new job!" "We're going to be grandparents!" "I just got this big award!" There's also been lots of sadness on Facebook: people have lost family members, suffered debilitating injuries, been through divorces, lost their homes, etc.  Those are big things, and an emotional response is normal...but, even if you don't jump for joy or bawl your eyes out, other events can affect you emotionally as well.  I was recently crushed when I found out that MovieStop, one of my longtime favorite stores, is going out of business soon.  I was a loyal customer, and trading in DVDs at FYE, if I even choose to do that, won't be the same.  On the same token, I was very happy to find out that Disney Channel will be showing all of the original movies they've ever made soon, and even releasing them all on iTunes as well.  When my friends heard about those events, they reacted appropriately...which is just what friends should do.

Second off: Anyone who fakes their support for my interests is not really my friend.  We all know the story of an unfortunate comment I made that led to the ending of a friendship; what you may not know is that the other party was once a big supporter of my interests...only to do a complete 180 on that front.  Previously, she had gone out of her way to support my "love"--I don't really know what else to call it--for Victoria Justice, both on Facebook and in person, which was a breath of fresh air compared to all the flak my interests had been getting pretty much my whole life.  After our falling out, though, she said something that shocked me to the core: "Are [your parents] not concerned that you are a 24 year old [sic] man crushing on teenaged [sic] actresses?" How could she have turned on me like that? She had previously been the poster girl for what a friend of mine should be...and she had a problem with the whole thing all along, even though she was one of its biggest supporters?  Honestly, I'd seen the same thing before; the associate minister/youth leader at my old church seemed to respect when I declined to join the rest of the high schoolers making a banner for Relay for Life, because I didn't want them to end up with a messed up one, only to tear into me for doing so some time later after a completely different incident.  He stood there and spoke in my defense in front of the whole class...but he didn't believe it himself.  Both incidents were heartbreaking, but I know I'll end up dealing with such behavior again.  I hate to be blunt, but I don't know how else to say this: If you're not serious about your support for me and what I do...then get off my friends list, NOW!

Lastly: I'm definitely not the only one who takes my entertainment seriously.  I often define entertainment as "books, movies, music, and television"...but, that's not everyone's definition.  Many people consider sports a big source of entertainment, and make a big deal of it...just like I do with my shows and such.  Even if you're not into ball games, maybe you're a big Broadway fan, or you're ardently enthused about history.  We all have our thing(s), and you know what mine are; now, my question is: What is/are yours?

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