It is my plight in life that I have some phenomenally intelligent friends. And those who are not phenomenally intelligent are either insanely creative or have ridiculously cool jobs that make me look like a paper pushing hoo haa. The truly difficult thing about having all these friends who are better than I am is that I am constantly reminded of how intrinsically uncool I am.
For instance, one of my dearest and oldest friends, though not a hipster or a coffee shop philosopher, has all the makings of one of those annoying NYU films students. Fortunately, with none of the ambition, nor the bon vivant attitude that is absolutely necessary if you’re going to go to pay $150,000 to go to film school. What he does have is the kind of taste in film that reminds me that at my very core I am what Maslow insists we all are: a thumb sucking six year old who enjoys Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and wishes on occasion that her husband was known only by one name, had a dark past, a rogue accent, and a mysteriously powerful job with an even more powerful bank account.
In short, I own Center Stage on DVD. I’ve been meaning to watch no less than 5 foreign films, but I dont want to have to read the subtitles. I may or may not have thought, for a brief period, that Film Noir was a Chanel scent. Maybe.
My other dearest friend works in the entertainment industry. She is painfully cool. She has bangs. She wears skinny jeans. She likes jazz music. She has one of those mini bodies that was made for people who book talent for a living. (She can shop off the rack at American Apparel and not ask the girl wearing a unitard if they carry larger sizes in the back.) Her music taste is interesting and varied. When she is around, I pretend that my iPod battery is dead, or that I don’t know any of the local radio stations.
Sure, sure you’re thinking to yourself, who cares that Caroline doesnt have good taste in music or likes bad films? And I know that it’s not that big of a deal, but truthfully I find that music and film is what people sit around and talk about. It’s become a standard by which we measure people. God forbid you watched The Good Girl and thought that Jennifer Aniston was awkward, or see Momento and have a headache for 6-8 months*.
But even that’s not it. The reason my own taste in film bothers me is because I have a theory about these things. (Har har, I know. I have a theory about everything…)
I think that our taste in music, in movies, and in books actually comes from a part of our being that we can’t control. It is the very deepest and truest part of ourselves. It’s the part of us that no matter how much therapy we have, how many raises and promotions we get, no matter how many makeovers we go through, always outs us.
Now, I’m no psychologist. (Though I think that would be the most awesome job in the whole fucking world.) But if I were going to theorizes, I might suggest that my dear friend thrives on the confusion, the lack of plan and intention, the raw and riding emotion of these films that make my head ache. Intuition from music comes not from being music, but a deep desire to find order in what can otherwise be intensely chaotic– an ability to exist in a space that doesn’t necessary make sense to everyone.
And people like me? Well, we should have born into a royal family and then been faced with an arranged marriage that meant betraying your one true love. (But don’t worry. He’ll come for me.)
You can see how this gets a little embarrassing. Caroline– the no care girl. The “do you think she is a lesbian, wait, no, she just got married” girl. I don’t want children. I dont like small animals. The hubs and I have designated times in which I’m okay with physical contact… and yet… and yet I have read every Nora Roberts novel on the planet. I ate up the Twilight Saga.
I watched the entire first season of Secret Life of the American Teenager.
The good news is that I am nothing if not painfully, painfully self aware. I go to independent theatres and torture myself with low budget films about self discovery. I read the New Yorker. And I watch shows about historical places; it’s the kind of learning that I have to force myself to do. Because otherwise I’d be in line for the Hannah Montana movie elbowing some ten year old until she cries and gives up her seat.
Here is the thing: there are people who cannot wait to get home get back into the New Yorker. There are people who see a preview about a documentary on Darfur and feel as though opening day will never come. There are people who seek intense education every single day. They are interested in the art of being intelligent.
And then there are people like me.
Good thing I am so good looking.
*It should be mentioned that “one of my dearest friends” does not endorse, nor does he think, that either of these movies are good. They were simply examples that I, the author, used to make a point. I felt as though the reading audience would have seen these movies and understood the point I was trying to make. He likes much, much weirder shit… like… David Lynch.