Sometimes I wish I had it in me to be a better friend. I know I'm not a very good one, I mean I'm there to listen and I can commiserate with the best of 'em, but once the clouds have passed my usefulness kind of comes to an end. I don't know what to say or how to say it. Beyond the basics of greetings and status checks I'm pretty much lost. I don't know how to move things along, how to create a conversation the way that other people seem to do. I don't have a lot to talk about.
I'm not, it turns out, a very interesting person. I have a few hobbies, but even within those I have a pretty narrow band of interest and beyond that I get befuddled. Throughout my existence I've either been too poor, too busy, or too religious to form the kind of bonds other people do with their hobbies. It astounds me sometimes. A lot of times it makes me envious. Mostly it makes me boring.
Ask me about a movie, 95 times out of 100 I haven't seen it. Even the (Apparently) best movies in the world have escaped me. I've never seen Pulp Fiction, or Reservoir Dogs, or The Boondock Saints. I've never seen End of Evangelion or Porco Rosso or More than like a half-hour of Princess Mononoke. I've never seen any of the Iron Man movies, or the Captain America: The Winter Soldier, or Thor: The Dark World. I've never seen Citizen Kane, or The Day the Earth Stood Still or Dial M for Murder. I've missed out on a lot. I'd be here for a solid year if I continued to list the movies I haven't seen. I think a pretty solid rule about this situation would be, if I haven't mentioned it before I more than likely haven't seen it.
The same goes with TV shows. I've seen and liked most of Sherlock, but I've only seen one episode or so of Elementary, I haven't seen most of Lost, or Twin Peaks, Or Friends, or Seinfeld or Two and a Half Men or Downton Abbey or Once Upon a Time or Arrested Development, or Firefly or Big Bang Theory. I tried REALLY hard to watch Doctor Who. I couldn't get into it. I KNOW about it through reading and Wiki-Walks and Memes, but I haven't seen it. I haven't had the time, or the interest, or the ability to watch these things and because of it there are times when I just have nothing to say to people who assume anyone who has hit a certain age has grown up with them.
Don't even get me started on video games. My friend Manna has heard "Oh, I've never played that." out of me so many times he probably mouths it whenever he asks me about a video game title. I've played video games, I enjoy video games. I just haven't played very many and am not very diverse in the titles I enjoy. If you enjoy video games and assume I do as well, our conversations are going to more than likely be pretty darn frustrating.
The same goes with Music, or Art or Books. I like them all, but in very narrow strokes and I tend to enjoy things that or either too popular for "Real Fans" of the mediums to enjoy or not popular enough for most people to be able to relate too. ( Am I a hipster? Nah, couldn't be.)
I feel (Surprise, surprise) guilty and paranoid about these things. I feel as if I've failed others when I don't know about the stuff they enjoy and I've got so much to catch up on that the sheer volume of it actually, literally frightens me. I'm not being figurative here, I feel literal fear when I think of all the media I absolutely MUST catch up on to mirror the interests of my friends. I will never catch up. I will never broaden my interests that much. I will never, ever be good enough.
I've lost friends over this,not talked with people I genuinely like because I've been afraid that I'll be too boring or not hip enough to their particular jive. I've been weak, stupid, and a bad friend. I'm afraid that this will be one of the things that eventually chases everyone out of my life. Not the only thing by far, but one aspect of it. I don't know if I can change. I'm making the effort, I really am, but in the end I wonder if I'll ever know enough.
I wonder if I'll ever be good enough...