I’m That Guy but I don’t want to be.
Ever since Covid hit the water cooler hasn’t been the same. There isn’t a communal area where adults congregate to talk about pop culture television. These are the conversations that allowed me to learn about what was going on in normal people’s homes. They would talk about shows and movies that I had never heard of and I would secretly Google the show and find a few interesting bites about the director or where they filmed it and the next time the group would bring it up, I could slip in a comment. It made me seem like I knew what was going on. But I don’t and that makes me stupid.
It was the same with sports. I’d find out that a co-worker liked baseball and I’d find out his or her favorite team and, before heading into a meeting, I’d look up the last game, pick a fact, and get the conversation started. But since the global pandemic, I’m not casually around anyone anymore. My coworkers and I don’t have time before meetings to chew the fat nor do I see them heading out into the parking lot and get roped into a casual chat. I mostly talk to my six-year-old and it’s mostly about trucks and farting.
March 2020 until now I’ve been left to my own devices for entertainment. I hate being that guy. It’s not a ruse.
I don’t like shows, movies, or sports. I used to enjoy all of them. But as I have gotten older I learned that they can’t hold my attention. I had a therapist tell me I had adult attention deficit disorder. But I don’t think that’s it. I just find that stuff goofy. The shows are overacted by people without talent, movies are plotless beautiful people waiting for explosions, and sports are advertisements with a little game going on in the background.
Recently, I had a coworker ask if I like a show. My response was that I had never heard of it. This seemed impossible to them since the show is a huge hit.
They asked if I was a movie guy. I said I was not. They then asked what sports teams I liked. I had to reply none. Then came the question that I feared would be next; what the hell do you do? I couldn’t answer. I don’t read or write nearly enough as a writer should and I’m not into exercise. I have no clue what I do to fill up my time.
Thirty years ago, this would have made me seem like an astute gentleman who quietly spends his time reading the paper with his feet up while sipping an herbal tea. But now it just makes me look stupid. I come across as having no clue what’s going on in the world and the truth is I don’t.
I’m not on social media and I don’t watch anything. It makes me look like a deviant, a special new kind of sociopath that is either really good at pretending he doesn’t know about those things or spends too much time by candlelight sharpening metal objects and chanting in a handmade shack down by the creek night after night.
I don’t embarrass easily and so if I get called out for not knowing something obvious in pop culture it doesn’t bother me the least. But what I don’t enjoy is being the social pariah. If everyone else has so many obvious things in common why bother talking to the guy who hasn’t seen Star Wars since Return of the Jedi? Or who has never watched a single minute of Game of Thrones? Or who hasn’t watched a Super Bowl since 2013? That’s what you get known for. You become “That Guy”.
I’ve become a joke, a freak, a weirdo at work, with my friends, family, and even at home. I promise I’m not doing it for attention. I used to watch TV, movies, and sports when I was younger and I definitely paid closer attention to pop culture when I was younger. I no longer find any of that interesting. I don’t find it as well done. It feels over-commercialized and forced. It seems, as if, what became popular before was art that was relatable.
Now everything is supposed to be relatable before it’s art. I’m not nostalgic for what used to be at all. I don’t find what is happening now half as interesting.
Maybe that will change again as society changes. We’re going through a lot as a country and as a culture and that usually equals art at some point. Maybe then I’ll go back to paying closer attention to pop culture and TV. As soon as I finish my shack by the creek, anyway.
This post is republished on Medium.
You Might Also Like These From The Good Men Project
|Compliments Men Want to Hear More Often||Relationships Aren’t Easy, But They’re Worth It||The One Thing Men Want More Than Sex||..A Man’s Kiss Tells You Everything|
Join The Good Men Project as a Premium Member today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
A $50 annual membership gives you an all access pass. You can be a part of every call, group, class and community.
A $25 annual membership gives you access to one class, one Social Interest group and our online communities.
A $12 annual membership gives you access to our Friday calls with the publisher, our online community.
Register New Account
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Photo credit: Shutterstock