Discussion: Sharing Pop Culture

Do you guys know about that hokey Five Love Languages thing? It’s actually pretty interesting, albeit a bit oversimplified. It’s basically about what it is that makes you feel loved and how you show your love: through acts of service (doing things for the other person), touch, quality time, words of affirmation, or gifts. There’s a quiz on the site for it, if you want to sign up, but the questions are really easy to see through, kind of like the Harry Potter house quizzes where it’s like “Do your friends call you:  1) Conniving, 2) Brave, 3) Clever, or 4) Nice?” Still, it can actually be a pretty helpful lens through which to evaluate relationships. Like, if you feel loved by receiving gifts but your partner doesn’t like giving gifts, that could be a problem.

However, I feel like my love language, for how I express my love, is sharing my favorite pop culture with people I care about. Recommending books, movies, TV shows and music that I think the person will enjoy too.

In some ways I truly feel like I’m a composite of all the pop culture I’ve consumed and loved in my life. I make a lot of references and real world scenarios remind me of scenes in books and movies or lines from songs, rather than the other way around most of the time. As a result, I feel like it’s difficult for someone to really get me without having seen a large quantity of my foundational pop culture. A couple of my very closest friends grew up with a lot of the same books and movies, and that helps us communicate.

Now that I’m in a new relationship, I’ve been making John watch all sorts of things. Initially, we got off to a rough start, as I tried to identify something he would really enjoy. My first attempts (Arrested DevelopmentThe Magnificent Mrs. Maisel, and Ms. Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) were not great successes. He didn’t dislike them, but he wasn’t enraptured either. Through trial and error, I’ve figured out that he likes comedy the best, particularly anything off the wall, puntastic, and a bit (“a bit?,” he asks, so a lot then) dirty; he also doesn’t like when he has to wait for the show to really hit its stride (which explains the Arrested Development issue).

Finally, I found hits with Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The latter actually made him laugh so hard he cried on at least one occasion. This gives me great joy. I’ve got a host of other shows and movies in my head to try him on after that, and I find so much pleasure in introducing someone to something they truly love and will share with others. It also really helps me feel like I understand him a little bit better, as I figure out what things make him laugh and what doesn’t.

He would like me to point out that he is not, in fact, an uncultured swine. He’s been sharing Golden Girls with me (which is hilarious btws), and will probably teach me to like at least a few documentaries. Maybe. We’re working from a pretty different base of pop culture, and he enjoys some comedies that I super do not (South ParkFamily Guy), and he doesn’t care for romcoms. He’s wrong, but I will win him over to the romcom side.

He’s also a muggle. The less said about this the better. *glares fiercely*

Fellow bookish people, do you find that you’re the same way? Do you take it as a personal challenge/achievement to find something your boyfriend/girlfriend/friend will love as much as you do?

P.S. Yes, I am going to make him watch Parks and Rec at some point. Why do you ask?

2 responses to “Discussion: Sharing Pop Culture”

  1. Heather says:

    Giiiirl, I didn’t realize you hadn’t watched Golden Girls! I totally would’ve recommended that to you because it’s amazing. Sophia and Dorothy are my favorites, to the surprise of no one. lol!

    Yes, I definitely try to find things others will like 🙂 Since becoming a librarian, I’ve noticed the way I read has changed; even if a book isn’t for me, I can still think of readers who will love it, and when I’m super loving a book, I think about who I’m going to recommend it to. It’s also why I hate the question “what is a good book to read?” without any other context. What’s amazeballs for me may not work well for you, but I bet I know of something you’ll enjoy if you give me a little more info. It really does help you get to know someone better!

  2. After 30 years of marriage, my husband and I have reluctantly decided that our tastes are almost completely incompatible. Every once in a while there will be something like The Gilmore Girls, which we both love, but then he’ll go back to Breaking Bad and I’ll be watching anime, and we just have to enjoy each other’s company while wearing earphones and using our own laptops.
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