When I was younger I lacked confidence and did not wish to distinguish myself by seeming to dislike things that were popular among my peers. As I grew older and mouthier I came to believe that those things which I feared might make me seem weird are really quirks, and quirky people are loveable and revered, and therefore I am loveable and revered.
To start with I’ll just throw this one out there: I hate camping.
Wow. That felt good. I’m going to say it again.
I hate camping.
I trace the source of this distaste directly to the large number of camping trips of my youth, when at the insistence of my stepfather every family trip was a camping trip. By family trip, I mean myself, my mother, and my stepfather. Just us. And by camping trip I mean us, in a tent, in sleeping bags, for a week, in the rapidly cooling early fall temperatures in the Northeastern United States and some parts of Canada.
I will not say that there were no magical moments. I recall very fondly the camping trip to Maine of my sixth grade year, when we canoed to our picturesque campsite and discovered very quickly that our site was the favored path of a large moose who came through at least once a day and made his way to the river’s edge, drank, and ambled back into the woods. Magical.
But every moose encounter or pleasant view is offset by multiple other encounters that are so much less magical. Waking up on a deflated air mattress, my sleeping bag saturated by a puddle of frigid water that had seeped into our tent, for instance. Being splattered in the eyes with insect repellant. Schlepping a bucket of cold water to the camp site and washing our pans and utensils by hand. Days without properly bathing. Horse flies in Canada flying away with pieces of my flesh.
Friends, I have earned the right to not like camping.
I’m also going to throw this one out there: I hate sports. I don’t understand the rules of most sports, I don’t get the stats, and I don’t understand die-hard sports fans who beat each other up. I do like the Saints and had a fabulous time at one of their games back in the fall, but I would attribute that to my love for the city of New Orleans. I do also enjoy the Olympics, although I’m sure I love the games more for the lessons in multiculturalism and world geography.
Here are a few other things which I am sure I am alone in hating:
Citizen Kane. I am a classic film fan of the most annoying type. I’ve seen more movies from the 1930’s than I have seen of new releases of the past ten years. I’ve spent a lot of time on classic film boards and I know the deal: I am supposed to love Citizen Kane and think that Orson Wells is a genius. Instead, I found the movie mediocre and Wells’ directing style leaves me cold – and believe me, I’ve tried a number of his movies.
Sake. I know that this is supposed to be a part of the sushi experience, the communal sharing of the little bottle of warmed sake with my dining companions. I can’t ever take more than a few tiny sips of this liquid which seems to me a concoction of rubbing alcohol and water. I’ll stick with my Kirin.
The Ramones. Ugly, talentless, and tone-deaf. Yep, I said it. I wouldn’t have said it to the crowd I ran with in high school, but I’m saying it now.
And now I ask you, friends, what do you hate that everyone else loves? Tell me. I promise – no judgment!