Have you ever watched Billy on the Street? If so, you know when he walks up to people and is immediately turned off by what they say, and then storms off? That is how I internally felt talking to 99% of new people in life when I was little. Perhaps because I was a shy kid, or because I’m not that into social interaction.I have never been one to run out and make new friends. My lifelong friend was only introduced to me because our moms happened to give birth a month apart, and my first friend ever made in school was because my mom pushed us towards one another by asking her name. Then I found pop culture and all its glory. That is how I learned to connect to people, because it’s an easy route.
Religion is too testy. Plus, my mom didn’t force her Catholic upbringing on us. She already had to endure that shit and wasn’t about to make us kneel and rise 400 times on a Sunday morning. And sports, um…I was raised by a woman who never watched a game of anything in her life. The closest thing I came to ever loving sports was a third grade fascination with the greatness that is Michael Jordan in Space Jam. But the wonderful world of everything else like movies, television, music and the fads of the 90’s? Yes please! Those have always been the backbone of starting anew with someone. A simple, “Cool shirt,” can easily turn into a long conversation about this and that, and pretty soon – they’re one of the only people you still care to notice on Facebook as you scroll past the countless others you’re still friends with on there as to not appear rude for defriending. Um, just kidding – love you all – smooches.
Anyways, pop culture has always been my go to conversation topic with people because it’s simple and I loathe drama from the first row. I say that because I am a sucker for gossip and shit, but when it’s like all up in my face…no bueno. I’ll take a balcony seat though. Back to pop culture and its simplicity. How I love to meet people who share my undeniable love of my favorite thing in the world; television. TV is my number three necessity to live. Darn those pesky having to stay nourished and breathe things. After that it’s music and that, my friends, is where most of my connections came from.
Middle school bonds were bred on boy bands, and in college it was a new set of boys. Fall Out Boy is the seed that was planted for me to make any sort of connection. Wait, what about high school? Oh, I loathed any new person who tried to come into the circle in high school. Ugh, why did we need THESE new people? Back to college and Fall Out Boy. Be it in line at one of their shows, or in line for a band that was six-degrees of separation from them – all my friends in college can be summed up in a little jingles about sugar, dancing and trying to die in a parking lot – whatever the hell it was Pete Wentz made Patrick Stump ramble on about. They all started with that one band and today, it’s weird because I could care less about when they’re touring or releasing, but I’m still connected to those people I met in lines, slept outside with and so forth and so on.
Once I realized pop culture was a way in with people, I no longer had that internal feeling to flee once they said, “Cool shirt,” or tried to talk to me. Ha, I’m not saying I’m a social butterfly by any means, but now I know that I don’t have to just sit and stare at someone with a cool shirt, I can let them know and if something comes of it, so be it. See, starting a conversation because you like the same things is just the beginning of something and when your love of that thing fades – you don’t necessarily have to get rid of the people that came along with it. I mean, you can. That’s totally up to you but the fact is that connecting with people based on a common interest is a definite, but it doesn’t have to be what keeps you bonded for life. It’s just the kick off point. But if you so happen to start to grow apart, it’s fine and natural and you know what, that just means it’s time to move on and comment on another shirt.