All The Things You Love That I Hate

14 Jul

This is going to be the most controversial post I ever write. I may even lose readers (and there’s only 6, so that’s rough). A few years ago when my husband and I were at his college reunion, a large group of us went out to breakfast after a long night of drinking (and by drinking, I mean I had water because I was pregnant, but everyone else had a hell of a time drinking non-water drinks). At one point, one of the girls said we should go around the table and each say something that we think is overrated, but is beloved by everyone else. Everyone’s answers were pretty tame, like the Beatles and Arrested Development. When it got to me, I said the first thing that popped into my mind, which was the movie The Princess Bride. You would think that I had just run over a small puppy and was wearing it as a hat – that is how disappointed everyone looked. I quickly tried to move the conversation on, and a couple people later was my friend Amy, who was also the wife of one of the college friends rather than the actual friend (we knew our place), and she said “animal pictures on Facebook.”* If you thought these people didn’t like my answer, you should have seen them after this! They were imagining running into her on the streets and telling their respective dogs to “Sic her! Sic her, Melonball!”

*I did not include this below, but I also don’t really look at animal pictures on Facebook. I realize I am a total asshole for saying that I don’t care that much about pictures of your pets, but you should know that I don’t expect you to care about pictures of my kid. So let’s just put that out there and move on with our lives. Although I do like the combination of kids AND pets because they’re like little friends and that’s funny.

Girl and her dog

A few weeks ago my husband and I started watching Veep, and we LOVE it. Why I am saying this, other than to let you know that Veep is very funny and you should watch it (which you probably already knew since it wins like 700 Emmys a year), is that on my forever list of overrated items in pop culture is Seinfeld. Because of that, I just never paid much attention to Julia Louis-Dreyfus. It’s not that I didn’t realize how funny she is (I mean, this Amy Schumer bit is the BEST), but every time I saw her I’d just think, “Awww, there’s Elaine again. Probably doing that Elaine dance. And wearing the Sponge. And all those other things. Wah wah.” But now Selina Meyer has replaced Elaine Benes in my brain and I can’t get enough Julia Louis-Dreyfus in my life!

This new found adoration for Julia L-D got me thinking about my current overrated list and I finally feel brave enough to share it with you. I’m sure you will disagree with one or all of them, but please refrain from telling me what a dirty whore I am and instead look inside yourself to determine what you hate most that other people like. And then take all that disgust you have with me, and turn it towards them. And then walk through the world hating everyone and feeling insecure while I go about my day emotionally unscathed. M’kay?

1. Seinfeld

Seinfeld

I think I like funny things that are smart and weird and out there. I appreciate inside jokes and quirky characters. I like anything set in New York City. I regularly watched Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm and laughed aloud. I enjoy seeing an entire shelf of cereal in someone’s fake kitchen as much as the next person who eats cereal. Despite all of this, I still somehow cannot see the appeal of Seinfeld.

All the main characters suck. George Costanza is epically annoying, and every time I look at Jason Alexander all I can see is him trying to rape Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and I become enraged. JUST BECAUSE SHE WEARS SHORT SHORTS WITH RIPPED FISHNETS DOES NOT MEAN YOU CAN HURT HER, GEORGE COSTANZA. SHE IS A GEM WHO DESERVES LOVE TOO. Don’t even get me started on Kramer. Why is his hair like that? Why does he always come flying through the door like he’s been running, and then everyone laughs? Why does he talk so weird? Thank god he we went publicly racist because finally others started agreeing with me. But let it be known that I detested Michael Richards looooooong before he offended and alienated everyone with his stand-up act turned hate crime. I was the original Kramhater.

michael-richards

Jerry and Elaine were okay, but not endearing enough for me to like them. I know that the characters being so self-centered was the whole point of the show, but instead of making me laugh, it made me grimace. And I do not look cute with a grimace. I did like some of the side characters, like Elaine’s boss and George’s parents. My favorite was Newman, and I laughed every time Jerry said, “Hello, Newman” in that disgusted tone of voice. But then he’d say other stuff, like “What’s the deal with hand soap?” and I was all, “I’m out.”

Fun fact: my friend and I went to NYC when we were in high school and we spent two nights waiting by the stage door of Jerry Seinfeld’s Broadway show that had opened just after Seinfeld ended. Finally, on the second night, I got his autograph. Not only that, but I said something sassy to him like, “Finally. We’ve been waiting for 2 days.” I mean, I was an asshole! Who says that to Jerry Seinfeld?!? You know who? A celebrity whore who didn’t even like his show, but would wait in line for an autograph from Flo the insurance lady, that’s who. And do you know how Jerry Seinfeld responded? He signed it and glared at me like he wanted to kill me. The joke’s on him, because that makes for a great story. How many people can say that they’ve been stink faced by Jerry Seinfeld? Probably not many!

2. Instagram, and all the others

Kim K Selfie 1Kim K Selfie 2Kim K Selfie 3Kim K Selfie 4Kim K Selfie 5Kim K Selfie 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You know how nobody cool is on Facebook anymore because they are all on Instagram and Snapchat? I am those nobody cool people. I have a Twitter account, but my thoughts cannot be contained to 140 characters or less, so I never post anything. I can barely write an FB update that’s less than an essay. And I don’t really read Tweets because I don’t understand what the fuck anyone is saying.

RT @juliemybutt @starcircle3056 r u heeere?> idk 2 + 2 #TimeOfOurLives #ShitMatters

Everything looks like that to me and my brain won’t accept it.

Snapchat sounds so dumb. What in the world would I want to send to someone that they see for only 10 seconds? The only thing I can think of is a picture of my boobs or of some other private part. But a) I shouldn’t be sending pictures of my lady parts to the world for any amount of seconds and b) if I wanted to send a picture of my boobs, I would send them in a mass text for posterity.

I remember being on a bus with some undergrads who were having a really difficult time making conversation. At one point, Girl 1 started laughing so Girl 2 asked what she was laughing at. Girl 1 said, “So and so sent me the funniest Snapchat. You have to see it.” Girl 2 eagerly leaned over and Girl 1 said, “Oh, you missed it.” Silence for the rest of the bus ride.

Instagram seems like the most simple concept for little old lady me to follow, but I don’t have any interest in looking at people’s photos or reading hashtags that say things like #beachlife or #onvacationagainwhileyoureatwork. Unless you have super cute kids, like SUPER cute, or you post an embarrassing photo of yourself, or the photo is of you and a celebrity in an embrace, I’ll merely skim through all pictures. I need words. Now, if Instagram was made up of people describing their pictures in words, I would be a dedicated user.

“In the picture I’m describing, I am standing in front of a mirror in the Applebee’s bathroom wearing a green tank top and kind of pursing my lips at the dirty mirror. There is a small stain on my left boob from the third Applebee’s Bahama Mama® I was drinking just moments before I took this picture of myself. I hope Bobby didn’t take me here to break up with me is what I’m thinking about. Hashtag weekday life. Hashtag Thursday Night Selfies. Hashtag Bobby’s Girl Is Hot And Should Never Be Left Alone Or Someone Else Will Want To Date Her.”

3. The Princess Bride

Princess Bride

Before you send me death threats, let me explain. When I was in elementary school, all the students gathered annually in the gym to watch movies. As I recall, it was an all-day movie marathon, but in reality we probably watched one movie twice a year or something. Either way, nicely done public school. Hope all the staff enjoyed smoking cigarettes in the teacher’s lounge while every single student (except my friend Bryana, who was probably faking sick) was sitting on his or her ass watching a movie instead of learning. Is this why I can only name like 3 countries? Probably.

The thing about movie day was that they showed the same movies every single year. We watched Prancer and The Princess Bride. (I swear to god we also watched Raising Arizona, but that was rated PG-13, so it’s unlikely. But somehow images of Nicolas Cage, interspersed with memories of my school gymnasium, are burned into my brain and I can never rid of them). I don’t remember a lot, but I know that I never thought either movie was that good, especially The Princess Bride. I mean, at least Prancer had a reindeer and some snow.

And these bangs!

And these bangs!

Every year we would watch The Princess Bride, and every year the little tiny movie critic in the little tiny Alex body was like, “meh” (I hadn’t hit puberty yet, so I could still call myself little and tiny. If this were about junior high I would use the words “voluptuous” and “emotional”). I think that from the time I was born, fantasy stuff just wasn’t my thing. Andre the Giant freaked me out, I didn’t care about swords, and I probably didn’t get the jokes. This is why I’ve never even bothered to watch Game of Thrones. Just the names of the characters intimidate me. My husband is obsessed, and so is the entire world, which means that most social gatherings begin, middle, or end with a conversation about all the story lines from G.O.T. Spoiler alert – they’re all going to die, so why do you even care? Red wedding, red funeral, red Quinceanera – everyone will get killed off at some important life event, I’m guessing. I can only watch shows with character names like “Sarah Braverman” and “Adam Braverman,” where only one person dies on the very last episode. And even that is too much for me.

I will concede that there is something to the fact that all of my adult friends quote The Princess Bride regularly and think it’s the best movie ever. I should probably watch it as a grown-up to give it a fair chance, but I have like 14 hours of The Bachelorette to get through, so I can’t commit to that until at least 2017…

Side note: I know that there are a million quotable lines in The Princess Bride, and believe me I’ve heard them all, but how about lesser known gems found on IMDB from Prancer, like this one:

Jessica Riggs: Alright for you, Carol Wetherby! You’re not my friend anymore!

Carol Wetherby: What did I say?

Jessica Riggs: That there was no Heaven!

Carol Wetherby: So?

Jessica Riggs: [tears up] What about my mother, then?

Now, that’s some good stuff right there. Why is no one still talking about this movie?!?!

4. Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash

I can intellectually understand the importance of Johnny Cash. I’m fascinated by his story, he’s an incredible song-writer, I liked his look, and I enjoy calling someone in this world “The Man in Black.” But, for some reason, I just don’t really like his music. I know that a lot of others have this same problem with Bob Dylan – they can appreciate his talent, but don’t want to listen to his voice. I have weird ears that love Bob Dylan’s crazy vocal stylings! But every time I hear a Johnny Cash song, I get this awkward grin on my face, which is trying to convince others that I like the song because I don’t want them to know my truth. It’s a vicious cycle of lies.

My friends and I used to go on this discussion board back in college, and there was a lot of talk about music. I thought I was super-duper funny and great, mostly because my username was Jenny from the Block (an homage to Jennifer Lopez which was VERY topical at the time, thank you very much). One conversation turned to Johnny Cash’s cover of Hurt by Nine Inch Nails. Now, I was young and I loved the NIN version. I basically made fun of Johnny Cash’s version because at the time, to me, it sounded like death in song form. I have grown to truly love Cash’s version as an adult – it is heartbreaking and completely beautiful, but again, I was young and mouthy and didn’t like Johnny Cash, so I said something sassy about it. Let me tell you, I am so glad the internet wasn’t advanced enough yet for anyone to find my home address because I would not be here today to write this post. People turned on me like they were Tina Turner. Ooh, doggie. It was bad. And I totally get it! He is beloved, and I spat on their hero. And that is how I learned my lesson that I need to just smile awkwardly and bob my head when Ring of Fire comes on.

5. Lunch

School lunch tray

This one surprises me as much as it surprises everyone who knows me, since I’m pretty much the biggest fan of eating food at all times. But I really have a beef with lunch. (Admit that my pun is hilarious). My problem with lunch stems from the fact that I like eating to be an event. I know some people eat for fuel, but that is not me. Take my mom, for instance. She is a petite woman who can eat one piece of toast in the morning, and share half of a frozen pizza with my dad at night, and be like, “I might not eat again for a week!” My mom does not enjoy eating. In fact, she wishes that she lived in a world where eating wasn’t a requirement. She eats because she would die if she didn’t, and that’s about it. And it softens the blow for all the coffee she drinks.

But I am not like this. If I had my way, I would get up at 10 a.m. every day and head straight to a local diner for a giant plate of greasy eggs, hash browns, bacon, and toast. And cup after cup after cup of coffee. Because breakfast would be at like, 11, that kind of covers breakfast and lunch. If I were to create a word for those two meals combined, I think I’d go with “lunkfast.” So then around 8 p.m., I’d like to go to another restaurant, preferably Italian, and sit down to a three course meal that includes a salad, a big plate of pasta, and a dessert. And a wine pairing for every course. In between, I would force myself to drink water, but I could go without liquid completely between the coffee and the wine, if we’re being honest (and I think we are).

Ron Swanson breakfast

My body clock just doesn’t want lunch. Unless I just woke up, which hasn’t happened in – how old is my son? – 32 months, I don’t want to stop for a meal in the middle of the damn day. Also, as you can tell from my descriptive words such as, “giant plate” and “three course meal,” I am a true Minnesotan who has no time for small, reasonable portions. Even if I don’t finish it all, which I will, I want to see a plate the size of my lower body filled to the brim with the food I ordered. Inside, I am an 18 year old boy who just wants to know that the food will never end. Lunch can never be that big. First, every restaurant gives you cute little “half sizes” that cost almost nothing, but also make my stomach feel like nothing is in it. Second, if you eat more than that, you’re done for the day. You can’t go back to work, and if you have to, you just want to go home and nap. And now you’ve ruined the dinner you planned – Thai takeout, with at least 3 appetizers.

Lastly, lunch food is just not as good as breakfast or dinner food. Grilled cheeses are amazing, but nothing else is as satisfying. Salads? I mean, fine, but let’s be real. Tacos? Only if I can have 4. Any less is just a taco tease. Food trucks? Sure I’ll wait in this long ass line in the heat for your tiny basket full of meat that is too hot and too messy to eat until I walk all the way back to my office and spill it on my work clothes because I stacked too many sauces on the side. Go to hell, lunch.

6. Most YouTube videos

I have a problem with commitment – commitment to watching something for more than one minute that might be boring or dumb. This commitment issue does not apply to television, ironically, but it does apply to movies and YouTube videos. I can’t explain this other than that television is like the love of my life that I want around all the time, and movies are like a friend I forget about who is really fun when she comes into town, but when she leaves I’m happy she lives somewhere else. At least I get excited about certain movies, and can’t wait to go see them. A perfect example is Jurassic World. I inexplicably enjoy being scared by some giant-ass dinosaurs and I also happen to like theme parks. Put them together and I want to pay $15 to watch it. And I did do that. And I mostly didn’t regret it. Except a little, at first. I can talk about that a different time.

But this isn’t about movies. This is about very short videos on the YouTube. There is a part of my brain that just doesn’t want to watch a short video about anything, and it always takes over. It’s not like I have an ultra important job that doesn’t allow me to take 2 minutes and 44 seconds to watch a Kid President say something really funny and wise about society, because I do have that time, I just would rather spend it not watching that video. The catch is that if I did watch the video, I would probably watch it and tell everyone else to watch it too, but I can’t muster up the interest to press the Play button.

Part of the problem might be that when I do click “Play” there is suddenly an ad for a truck that lasts triple the time of the video and I want to start screaming “Noooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!” at my computer screen because I hate ads so much. That is problem numero uno. Next is that in true Alex form, if it doesn’t get to the good part in the first 10 seconds, I’m already daydreaming about what I’m going to eat for dinner and by then you’ve lost me. Lastly, I never go searching for YouTube videos to watch (unless they feature Julie Andrews and then I do sometimes go searching), so 98% of the time they are sent to me in an email by someone, or a person is standing over me while I watch it. Both of these scenarios force me to have some type of reaction that I usually don’t genuinely have. I know said person pictures me falling out of my chair laughing, which I won’t, so then I become a disappointment. And who wants to be a disappointment?

So, there you have it. Those were my three compelling reasons that I don’t really like YouTube videos. The caveat to all of this is that when I want and/or need YouTube, like when Taylor Swift makes a new music video, or when I need to watch every Madonna music video from the 80’s, or when celebrities read mean Tweets about themselves, or when I write this blog, then I don’t hate it at all. I love it so much. I’m a Gemini, y’all. Get used to it.

7. Current Madonna

Madonna 80's

I will start this out by saying that I used to really love Madonna, so I almost deleted this entire paragraph about 15 times. I listened to my sister’s cassette of the self-titled album Madonna over and over and over and over again. I was mostly obsessed with Borderline and Lucky Star. And I still love both of those songs. Papa Don’t Preach is amazing, and Live to Tell is still one of my favorite songs of all-time. Dick Tracy the movie and Dick Tracy the soundtrack? Don’t get me started. Both were beyond. I owned Erotica and my dad thought that between a Madonna album that featured pictures of her holding a whip, and my love of thunderstorms, that I was clearly depressed and should be seen by someone. I assured him that, no, I just liked the album, and that rain makes it more excusable for me to stay inside reading and watching TV all day. (But I probably should have taken him up on that therapy offer, now that I think about it).

It’s also more than fair to acknowledge that she is incredibly talented, sings catchy songs, and opened the door for bad-ass women pop stars who are comfortable with their sexuality. I am all for her little outfits, I don’t think she’s too old to do what she does, so on and so forth.

With all that said, I think she’s just pretty annoying sometimes, and she hasn’t made good music since the 90’s. She has a weird accent that came out of nowhere, insane muscle arms that make me vomity, and she does things for shock value that don’t really need to be done. Remember the Sex book? That was so weird. They’re just pictures of her doing sex stuff. I’m all about being open with sexuality, but either make it tasteful, or make it straight up porn. Don’t try and do both.

I hope Madonna keeps performing Vogue until she’s 90 years old, because she makes so many people happy and she’ll still look hot – I just don’t personally want to watch it. Unless she brings back the cone bra. I do like the cone bra.

Madonna cone bra

8. Champagne

jay-z_champagne

I like having fun as much as the next girl, and part of fun for me most always involves drinking alcohol. I’m not a drunk by any means, but the taste of alcohol on my lips just makes me happier and funnier and more comfortable and less stressed and more relaxed and a better mother and wife. But I can stop anytime I want.

So, let’s set the scene for something classy and fun, like a wedding: everyone looks lovely, a trio of musicians in matching suits are playing light jazz, a bride and groom just got married and want to make a toast. What do they hand to everyone? A beautiful, sparkling, cheerful flute of champagne. Every rational and joyful person is like, “Yummy! Lucky me!” and I’m like, “Ehhhhhh…I mean, I’ll drink it, but I wish we were toasting over a gin and tonic.” Unlike most of these other things I’ve mentioned, I desperately wish I liked champagne. There is nothing sexier than a bottle of champagne getting uncorked  and carefully poured into everyone’s glasses just full enough not to overflow. I love watching it, I just don’t really want it to go down my throat. (Where is all this sexy champagne talk even coming from? This is getting inappropriate!) Sip #1 always gives me a headache, which must be psychological. I wonder if in a past life someone would punch me in the head every time I took a drink of champagne. I feel like that’s the only explanation for my distaste. And I’d love to find that past-life asshole, because he or she has caused me a lot of grief in this life. Where is Shirley Maclaine when you need her? Sip #2 is an effort. And by sip #3, I’ve ditched it on an empty table and have switched back to wine.

The only exception to this rule are mimosas. While not my favorite breakfast-time alcoholic drink (I would take a hearty Bloody Mary with a beer chaser any morning), it is a close second, and it does taste delicious paired with a salty egg or potato.

You guys, I can stop anytime I want.

9. Community

Community cast

When I was a kid, the Thursday night line-up on NBC was a big deal. My family got Burger King on Thursday nights, and we would eat on TV trays and watch the Cosby Show (before we knew we weren’t supposed to like Bill Cosby). And then I probably ate dessert while A Different World was on. Then I had my after dinner aperitif while tuning in to some Cheers. Then I passed out while watching whatever throwaway they aired at 8:30. And it was the best night ever. Then in my teens, there were all sorts of solid combinations that included shows like, Mad About You, Friends, The Single Guy, and Caroline in the City (the clip features Julie Andrews, so watch it). Then there was a lull, until about 10 years ago when Thursday nights made a comeback with shows like 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, and The Office.

And in the middle of all this joy was Community a show that had a huge cult following. And while I regularly watched it, and found many things funny, I just couldn’t fully dive into the Community fan pond. And I felt embarrassed about this, like I was missing some important inside joke that only people smarter than me understood. But I’m smart at TV jokes, I thought to myself! Get it together and focus, I says to myself!

This is actually really funny.

This is actually really funny.

After dutifully watching it for like 3 seasons, it finally dawned on me that I simply found most of the characters so irritating that it ruined the weirdness for me (see the section entitled Seinfeld). I loved Joel McHale as the host of Talk Soup, but on Community he was the asshole popular one who took his shirt off all the time for no good reason. And I just thought that was creepy. And while I like Gillian Jacobs and thought she was AMAZING on this season of Girls, she was a tad too whiny for my taste on Community. Chevy Chase is super crazy in real life and sometimes when I know that, I can’t think of anything else. Alison Brie and Yvette Nicole Brown were both pretty cute, but Danny Pudi as Abed had a schtick that I didn’t particularly care for, unless it was paired with Troy’s schtick, which was the only schtick I approved of. Donald Glover was the opposite of annoying – he was hilarious and perfect. (Remember when he wrote that intense note on Instagram? That was not hilarious. But it was fascinating).

I finally realized that I wasn’t missing the inside joke, I just didn’t think the joke was as funny as everyone else thought it was. And that’s okay. Sometimes you just have to move on. (This applies only to television. In real life, never let go of anything or anyone until the police are involved).

10. Crafting

I have nothing more to say than “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” If I need something, I will buy it. The end.

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2 Responses to “All The Things You Love That I Hate”

  1. mthep July 14, 2015 at 9:44 am #

    jerry seinfeld was an ass, and his driver was a creeper. JLD was the best part of that show, and veep is a gift to all mankind.

  2. Alex July 14, 2015 at 9:49 am #

    I love you. Thank you for sharing important life moments with me.

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