December 25, 2014, 8:20 AM
I am going on a Christmas morning hike with my parents and I am fighting with my mom about Friday Night Lights. We’re not fighting over Saracen versus Riggins (but: Saracen M-F and 33 on the weekends, obv), we’re not fighting about the famously flawed second season, and we’re not even fighting because it’s 8:20 AM in the morning and I’d rather be in bed.
Nope. You wanna know what me and my dear mother* are fighting about? We are arguing because, despite my five-year-long campaign and numerous passionate overtures, my parents steadfastly ignore my recommendation to watch FNL. I am tired of my recommendation falling on (almost literally) deaf ears. So I throw my hands in the air, I smdh so hard my sunglasses jiggle on my nose, and I decide as I’m sashaying away from them to coin a word for the feeling I have: Recommendation Fatigue.
Lemme back it up a little bit: I am a maven. I consume more pop culture than almost anyone I know IRL (but still probably pittance compared to some people I follow on Twitter/other Thelma writers). Yesterday alone I finished watching The Fall S2 on Netflix (meh) and the latest episode of Banshee (bananas), read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins in its entirety (captivating), and knocked out a couple chapters of The Violinist’s Thumb by Sam Kean (look for me regurgitating factoids from this for months in the hopes of impressing you). In this small sample alone — and this was a casual Saturday for me — one might be able to conclude that I have versatile, relevant, and au courant taste in pop culture. And one would be right.
In a TimeOut interview, spirit guide and human North Star Amy Poehler said: “Any time you talk to anyone about something that they love, they’re, like, their most beautiful. It’s a cool gift to get to talk to people about what they love.” This. Yes (please). You should be so lucky to see the evangelical zeal I have when asked to talk about any of the books on my Keepers shelf or the way I positively light up when discussing the metanarrative on The Good Wife (and you already know my feelings on Taylor and Kanye).
This is really all I** want: to share the things I love with the people in my life.*** I don’t share these things so you will love them outrageously like I do, though that’d certainly be convenient. I do this because it’s a way I can feel tangibly connected to you, and also because you probably asked me for a recommendation. But every time I do recommend something to someone and they don’t listen to me — or worse, “discover” it for themselves some time later as if by divine intervention — both my enthusiasm for the thing and my desire to recommend it diminish. Recommendation Fatigue runs rampant — recommendation rigor mortis is setting in.
I don’t like this outcome; neither me nor the recommendationee nor the recommendation win. This will not stand, man. It is invalidating and makes me want to bogart all of the cool shit to myself, leaving you bereft and adrift in the paradox of choice. HELP ME HELP YOU. Let me Book Sherpa™**** for you. Allow me to guide you through the tsunami of pop culture to the promised land. And if my recommendation is so off, well…I’m sure there’s a BuzzFeed quiz for that.
My parents are now watching FNL. They love it. See? Magical things happen when you take my pop culture advice. Like Coach Taylor’s wisdom and Tim Riggins’ hair. You’re welcome, Mom and Dad.