September 12, 2014

7 things you do that YOU WON'T BELIEVE you used to hate

This piece is not about 'you' but me. (Joke's on you. I already got your pageview for my stats.) And of relevance to the great changes happening in my life—completing a master's degree, flat hunting, friends moving away, vocation re-focusing, starting a new service at church—this has none. So, for the fifth time, here's seven things. I've omitted cantaloupe from this list, but I didn't use to like cantaloupe.

1. Preferring button flies
Buying clothes in central London poses challenges not found at the Old Navy in Danada West. Chiefly, all pants (trousers) are slim fit, and they're usually secured with button flies rather than zippers. I shuddered at these inexcusable conventions when first I dredged the TJ (TK) Maxx by The Gherkin. Now, I'm prone to tear at the zipper on my monthly-disintegrating jeans from Primark. Alas, if I owned trousers of consistent fastenings I would not suffer this cognitive dissonance, but I now prefer button flies just 'cause more of my pants use them. And because of additional Pavlovian conditioning, I now perceive straight-cut jeans as bell-bottoms. Crikey.

This is almost as good as the lip sink I shopped.

2. Liking films with no plots
This goes with difficult and opaque poetry and much borderline hipster nonsense. I don't know what happened, you guys. You go from watching Adam Sandler's Jack & Jill ironically, and soon you're hunting through the Guardian to see what's doing well at TIFF. I'm only parroting other authors when I call Thomas Jefferson a 'sphinx' and Julian Assange a 'cipher', but there is no excuse for my curating the Wikipedia page on post-irony and getting excited about normcore. The worst part about sinking into these warm, murky waters is that I want to swim in them. I still ponder Rick Alverson's character study about a guy just kinda living; I never stop thinking about The Comedy and am genuinely excited for his next project. In interviews, Alverson is the epitome of a self-important and self-styled auteur, and I hate that I love the work he's doing.

3. Letting my computer get scratched up and messily annotating texts
Hazards and habits of doing archival and library research. There's no time for OCD at Kew or St. Pancras when you're working in the brief overlap of your waking hours with their opening hours, feeding on the precious information that sustains the life of your mind. That is, there's no time for OCD with your own items. I wouldn't dream of damaging their materials. That's a felony and a war crime.

4. Doing the Indian head nod
I have not visited India. I have no friends from India. I'm not into Bollywood films. I find this expression of ambiguity annoying. But now, if I'm not politely nodding along to the banal ramblings of recent acquaintances, this is the most common way I shake my head.

5. Pointing with my middle finger
I'm not 80 years old. I'm not unaware that extending the middle finger is an offensive gesture. I'm not into flipping off strangers. I find using the middle finger for any purpose socially disquieting. But now, if I'm not throwing both my thumbs up in over-eager greetings and farewells, I'm using my middle finger to navigate everyday life.

I have no idea what this means.

6. Keeping ticket stubs
Colin Stetson, Deltron 3030, Neil Hamburger—these are some of the artists I've enjoyed seeing and whose show's ticket stubs I've saved to use as bookmarks. None of these ticket stubs are narrow and long enough to be useful bookmarks, so I must be a hoarder. Hoarding is having one corner of one drawer stacked with six more slips of paper than you'd like, right?

Stan Lee or Alex Trebek?

7. Drinking white wine and multiple cups of coffee
Neither taste good or are good for you. Both are addictive but not addictions of mine. I suppose the subpoint to this one, and this whole list, is that I've shrugged off trying to understand "even the most minute and obvious aspects of everyday life." It's all good in the hood, and it's all right 'cause it's all white. I hath been brought here safe thus far, and that'll do, pig.

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