Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Judged Your List.

Social Networking sites make me nervous.  However, it's not ex-boyfriends or enthusiastic girls I can't remember from church camp who give me anxiety.  Oh no.  It's listing my favorite movies.

The other night I was enjoying a bottle of wine with my husband.  Ever since we got rid of cable a couple of years ago, we have wonderful marathon conversations that often turn to trivial things after we're done debating current events or our friends' love lives.  (The fact that we still do this after ten years is a good sign I fell for the right person.)  On this evening, I decided to try and quiz him.  I took out the iPad, turned to my Facebook page and asked him if he could name ten of the fifteen movies I'd listed under "Favorites."  He knows me better than anyone, after all.  He was game and enthusiastically started rattling off films.



"You love that movie!"

"I haven't watched it in forever.  Try again."

"Okay, Monsters, Inc.  That has to be on there."

I made an obnoxious buzzer noise.

"No way.  This list is bullshit.  Okay, Pulp Fiction."

At this point, I began to realize that my poor husband wasn't going to get ten out of fifteen because my list was bullshit.  Over the next few minutes, he did get several obvious ones but things got heated when he suddenly thrust his fist in the air and whooped.

"I got it!!!!  Grease 2!!!!"


"How can you expect me to play this game if it's a lie?"

Despite the fact that he looked like he wanted to strangle me, I calmly tried to explain to him that while I've watched Grease 2 hundreds of times in my life, I wasn't going to put it on a Social Networking site.  Why?  Because I know it's not a good movie and yes, I'm slightly embarrassed and oh my goodness why is it all so HARD?!

The next day I took stock of my choices with the gravity of a terminal millionaire choosing the heirs to her fortune.  In today's world, you are asked what your favorite movie is on almost every site.  Does the answer really mean anything?  What does your love of The Lost Boys have to do with your reviews on Yelp?  Will someone really unfriend you on Facebook if you publicly admit your affection for the oldie love romp, Something's Gotta Give?  I don't know.  It shouldn't matter, but somehow, to me, it does.  I've put more thought into my favorite movie list than my résumé.

It's not that I'm worried what someone else will think.  It's more that I need the movie selections to be right for me, as if, collectively, they represent me as a person.  No pressure, right?  But, then again, the favorite movie conversation has long been my preferred method of sizing people up.  Since I was old enough to obnoxiously judge people, I've found myself drawn to or repelled from others based on mutual likes or dislikes.  This is way easier than taking the time to get to know them.  I can remember discussing movies at recess while playing My Little Pony and later debating films around the keg in college.  I just couldn't see myself dating a guy that loved Waterworld or being besties with a girl who refused to watch horror flicks but swooned over Pretty Woman.  Many of my relationships began through a mutual adoration of a certain film or band.  Sometimes it's a good barometer of how similar you are as people.  Sometimes it's not.

But, back to Facebook.  In the old days, when we were sizing each other up in person over late night waffles or afternoon coffees on the quad, our favorite movies could change day to day.  Some days you might be feeling The Matrix, while other days, The Breakfast Club might stumble out of your lips.  There wasn't a magical device that showed you what movies you have in common with the object of your girl crush or boy obsession and you couldn't run home and look up someone's profile on Facebook hours after meeting them.  Oh, her favorite TV Show is Law & Order. I don't think this is going to work out.  And, then, there's the inevitable list jealousy.  I will cop to clicking on a friend's page and having envy over their picks.  The Big Lebowski!  Why didn't I think of that?!  Should I alter my list?  Arrrgggghhhh!

But, changing my stupid list because of someone else's is too close to that time I put When In Rome's "The Promise" on my answering machine to impress a boy with floppy hair. Lame.  Ridiculous.  Kind-of hilarious.

For now, I have listed movies that I watch over and over again because that seems to be a pretty good indication of my love.  I defiantly left out Grease 2.  (Take that, baby!)  I try not to think too deeply about things or change my list very often because, let's face it, there's a thin line between quirky and crazy and right now I am cartwheeling on it.  Will my list ever be 'right'; will it ever be a perfect representation of who I am, of the secret, awesome ME inside?  Naaaah.  But, I'll keep trying anyway.

*photo by mag3737.