IS THIS THING ALIVE OR DEAD?
Sharing a thing you really love with someone is always a sketchy situation; it forces you to see everything under a harsher light. Will they like it as much as you did? If they don’t, will it change the way you feel about them, or take away your passion for this thing that’s become a part of you?
Let me back up a bit. I was a really big fan of LOST. Like, a really big fan. Like I blogged about it, and debated on forums, and edited Lostpedia. And then I went to Oahu and toured around the filming locations. I might also have a Dharma initiative jumpsuit that says “Kate” on it that I wear whenever I work on my car.
Over the years I’ve had this exact conversation with multiple people:
Me: …it’s like on LOST, when—
Them: Oh, I never got into that show (insert “I’ve been meaning to check it out,” or “I saw an episode and I had no idea what was going on”).
Me: Oh my God, it’s the best show of all time! But you can’t just watch one episode, it fills in a complete picture one pixel at a time throughout the series. You have to watch it so we can talk about it. I can’t tell you anything! Except that it’s like 121 movies that are beautifully acted and written and directed, and there is so much symbolism and philosophy and science involved, and everything is woven together with all these brilliant literary references and all these common threads between world religions and island myths, and a lot of people didn’t get the end, but It was actually perfect if you paid attention and didn’t cling too hard to your theories. It’s amazing!
The results have been mixed. This couple I was really close friends with hated it. They couldn’t even get past the Smoke without declaring it a total cop out (apparently they expected something tangible and had no patience). I was so disappointed in them. Note the tense I used when describing the closeness of that friendship.
Another one of my very best friends watched it, and she was indifferent. For her it was just another show to marathon through while she did her normal stuff around the house. She had no theories or new perspectives, and hadn’t done any of the tangential research on the easter eggs that I had obsessed over. I suddenly looked at it through her eyes, and I felt like she had gutted it. There it was on the ground in front of me: a bunch of pretty faces, an unusual storytelling order, and some obscure mystery that didn’t really matter. I vowed to never show her anything I cared about again, and walked away scarred.
Recently I faced my fear and got Dain to commit. It was a terrifying test of our relationship. I watched him watch every episode, agonizing over his neutral facial expression, resisting the urge to point out all the things. Finally we got to the end, and opened up the box to check on Schrödinger’s cat. It turns out Dain is awesome at LOST, he totally gets the appropriateness of that reference, and we’re going to be very, very happy. Thank. God.