I suspected I had a problem when, at my 26th birthday party, I told a group of friends, “I never knew Richard Gere was so hot when he was young. I just watched An Officer and a Gentleman – what a great movie!”
They all looked at me like I was nuts. Was I really just now watching An Officer and a Gentleman? Worse, did I just realize that a movie starring Richard Gere existed pre-Pretty Woman?
Yes and yes. I’m not proud.
I confirmed I had a problem this week, when I found myself watching – and enjoying – the first two Harry Potter movies, and finally understanding the phenomenon. I had never read any of the books, nor had I watched any of the movies. In fact, two weeks ago, I probably couldn’t have told you anything more than they have something to do with magic and this nerdy looking kid with glasses.
And now I’m getting ready to watch the third movie. For a brief moment, I considered trying to watch all the movies in time for the final movie that opens tonight. But alas, I have a job, and couldn’t think of an illness that would allow me to call in sick for two days but still write a blog post about how I watched all the Harry Potter movies in a two-day period just in time for Thursday’s opening.
Sigh. Being employed is hard.
The fact that I am just now a huge fan of Harry Potter and An Officer and a Gentleman is indicative of a larger problem that I have:
I’m culturally inept. And, I am late to everything.
You know early adopters? For example, the people who lined up for days to get the first iPad? Or the people who fall in love with a band before they are No. 1 on the Billboard charts?
I am not one of those people. I find things to be cool just when they are going out of style. I learn about trends when they are smacking me in my face everywhere I turn. My getting involved in a trend is a surefire sign that the trend is near its completion.
My recent Harry Potter experience got me thinking of things I’ve been late to in my life. I realized a list was in order. So here’s my list of things I’ve been late to/examples of my cultural ineptitude:
An Officer and a Gentleman – As previously mentioned, but let’s just say that this movie represents all classic movies. I hardly watched any movies growing up, so if you are having a conversation with me, just know that about every movie reference or quote you say is going to be lost on me. Unless, of course, the quote is from any of the following movies: Dirty Dancing, Jerry Maguire, P.S. I Love You or any romantic-comedy starring Jennifer Aniston.
Harry Potter – As previously mentioned, but really, how did I miss this one?
Lady Gaga – I remember being excited after discovering Lady Gaga, only to find that “Bad Romance” was No. 1 on the Billboard charts and my friend Cameron had already attended her concert. Really?
Ballet flats – Just when I finally built up my collection of ballet flats – you need a brown pair, a black pair, one for fun, one for work, another pair that looked comfortable online but really are the most uncomfortable pair of shoes on earth, which is so unfair because they are FLATS for goodness sake – everyone decided ballet flats are so last season. Ugh. It also took me entirely too long to get on board with pointed toe shoes. I thought they looked like slices of pizza on your feet. Now I love them. Probably just in time for the rounded toe to come back. Typical.
Shopping for pleasure – By this, I mean not just shopping because you need something. Shopping for the experience of shopping, of looking at things, considering what you may want to purchase in the future.
On the way to the lake the other day, my sister asked if we could stop at the Hallmark store. I didn’t need anything, so thought about just staying in the car, but went in to keep her company. First of all, have you guys seen Hallmark stores lately? They are crazy! This one had WAY more than just birthday cards and Christmas ornaments (which is about all I associate Hallmark stores with). This store had shoes, jewelry, purses, candy, luggage, snow globes, coffee cups and so much more. Oh, and cards. By the time we walked out of the store, I had a list of things that I wanted that I didn’t even know I wanted: a Vera Bradley large duffel bag, a pair of Rainbow flip flops, a gorgeous Hobo blue wallet/purse, a business card holder, scissors with a pretty polka-dot design on the handle and a charm bracelet (because how cool would it be if I had a charm bracelet – and people bought me charms to go on it? I mean I could have an ice cream cone, or a book, or a beach umbrella. Never mind I don’t really like charm bracelets. That’s irrelevant). Oh, and I can’t forget, a kaleidoscope. Because who doesn’t want a kaleidoscope?
Okay, maybe I’d be better off if I didn’t jump on board the “shopping for pleasure” bandwagon. For the record, I only bought the duffel bag, the sandals and the business card holder. That’s restraint people.
Blogs – I first heard about blogs in 2003 during one of my first college communications classes. My professor said, “There is this new phenomenal called blogs, and you should really pay attention because they are going to be huge. Just wait and watch.” I remember thinking, in my sarcastic 18-year-old voice, “Whatever. I doubt it.” Ummmm. This is embarrassing.
Sex – Speaking of embarrassing, you guys know I don’t talk about sex a lot here, what, with my mom and half my company reading Simply Solo. Oh, except this post from last year. But I do have to make a quick reference here – who knew sex could be so good? Until recently, I had always empathized with the stereotypical married mother on TV who pretends to have a head ache to get out of having sex. I just wasn’t that into it. I mean, sure, sometimes I could get on board. But most times, I would easily turn down sex for a good night’s sleep. Or a bowl of ice cream. Let’s just say, this has changed in the past year.
Making bacon – Which sort of sounds like a euphemism for sex (henceforth, having sex will be referred to as “making bacon” on this blog. You have been warned.). Tuesday night, I cooked bacon for the first time in my life. My friend Dawn purchased me two HUGE tomatoes at the Hanover Tomato Festival last weekend. Not knowing what exactly to do with them (I don’t cook, like, ever), she also loaned me bread, bacon and lettuce to make a BLT. Okay, people, I know, I need to go to the store and stop mooching off of my friends.
THE REAL LESSON FOLLOWS: When I was cooking the bacon for my sandwich, I realized I have never made bacon before. I’ve watched plenty of people make bacon, and I’ve eaten it here and there, but have never made it or acquired a taste for it. Bacon was always one of those forbidden foods when you’ve spent your entire adulthood watching your weight. Bacon, Five Guys, fried chicken, cinnamon rolls and country fried steak are also on that list. But I gotta tell you, that sandwich was amazing. So good that I ate another the very next day. So let’s just say I finally get Baconmania. About two years after Baconmania was declared over.
MySpace – I had just completed my MySpace profile and gotten the layout just right (remember layouts?!), when everyone moved to Facebook. What a letdown. But I will say, with my job in public relations, I’ve rectified my lateness on social media trends. I’ve always been very proud that I joined Twitter in the summer of 2008, and I’m still going strong, while many are just now getting started.
How I Met Your Mother – For years, people told me what a great show this was. But I couldn’t get past the fact that Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer was on it – I never liked her. And, it was on CBS, and we ALL know CBS = old people. Late last year, HIMYM reruns started to run on Lifetime. And I became hooked. I now spend evenings changing from Lifetime to WGN to Fox to catch as any episodes as possible. This show has definitely supplanted Friends and Felicity as my favorite TV show of all time.
Are you ahead of the trends or are you a late adopter like me? I’m looking to expand my horizons a bit – anything you think I should try?
And don’t believe I love lists? Here’s a list (haha) of some other lists I’ve written for the blog: