I’m paraphrasing from High Fidelity but is it more important what you’re like or what you like?
That is, is it better to help out in soup kitchens and own Christina Aguilera’s back catalogue or to be a bit of a bastard but have a picture of Wes Anderson’s face tattooed on your arse? Okay, bad example but you know what I mean: can you judge someone by their pop culture tastes?
I ask this question because I was recently discussing just such a subject with a friend who has a new boy on the scene. By all her accounts he is sweet, nice, funny and something of a hottie. And, sure, he doesn’t own a velour tracksuit, beat her or, you know, share Pete Doherty’s idea of a good time (as far as I know) but he does own a lifetime’s supply of Friends DVDs and listen to what said friend somewhat accurately describes as “middle of the road crap”.
Naturally my friend has some concerns.
For one thing, the relationship is still in the relatively new stages. Meaning that if Friends and Feeder are getting a run now, how long until Two and a Half Men and James Blunt find their way into regular rotation?
Personally I believe in vetting the hell out of boyfriends. Favourite books, movies and TV shows are the questions I drag out long before the “is it now or has it have been…” big one.
At least that’s in theory.
In practice my boyfriend does not particularly care for ninety per cent of my music, seventy per cent of my movies, at least half of my books and, in general, does not really care for TV. I, on the other hand, read re-caps of TV shows I haven’t even seen (don’t judge me- www.televisionwithoutpity.com) and once had a reputation for turning up to parties and replacing the host's music choices with Kate's Krazee Hits.
By contrast to existing boy, the biggest nutbar I have ever gone out with (a boy who once said “not… physically” when I asked him if he was cold) had the best CD collection I’ve ever seen. Sure, he later proposed turning our months worth of emails into a book and publishing it but he also got me into The Smiths.
So, no, I will never stop struggling under I get my boyfriend to admit he does actually find Family Guy highly amusing and that the work of J.D Salinger has its place. But, at the same time, as I’ve grown and um, matured, I’ve come to realise that an indifference to (dare I say it) the work of Ricky Gervais is not the deal breaking equivalent of "I don’t really care for black people..." Or at least not quite.