Live Through This

What’s Mine Is Mine

Some of us don’t like sharing. We’re working on it.

Illustration by Ruby A.

We all learned to share in preschool, and it was easy, because really, how hard is it to share a box of crayons? But now, I place such a tremendous significance on THINGS—music, books, movies—that it becomes painful to share them with others. When I find something I really love, I become this wild beast, snapping at anything that comes near, protecting its specialness. My worldview tends to be that popular = cheap, and obscure = special. So when I love something, I worry that it will become mainstream and thus cheapened (see: Twilight). I find myself trying to live in a painstakingly curated micro-world of things and people that are all MINE. But I think I would be happier if I could be more easygoing and less ferociously possessive. So I had a conversation with Tavi and Sonja about sharing, and how it can make us crazy, but also potentially less crazy. —Maggie

Maggie: I’m so possessive that it’s unbearable. I lie when people ask simple questions like “What’s your favorite television show?” I come up with decoy interests so I don’t have to share what I really love. Probably my favorite show in the world is Babylon 5, and it’s honestly a struggle for me to say that to you. My decoy interest for Babylon 5 has always been Xena: Warrior Princess. And my decoy for Xena is Highlander. I develop these multiple layers of decoys based on how much I trust someone.

Tavi: I create decoys, but not out of possession, usually just embarrassment. Not because I’m worried that someone will think I’m WEIRD for liking The Virgin Suicides or Ghost World or The Royal Tenenbaums (three of my favorites), but because I’m worried that they’ll cry “hipster” or something, and I feel like I need to explain that Ghost World has personal meaning for me, and it’s not just that it’s a holy temple of lonelyteenrefuge for certain Tumblr circles, and I’m DIFFERENT and SPECIAL!!!!

Sonja: Well, I’m older, but I do recall going to great lengths to find special things, like clothes. I wore vintage cashmere sweaters and Doc Martens with black satin ribbons instead of laces, and people made fun of them. A year and a half later, everyone was wearing them. My personal thing, which is maybe kind of paranoid, is that it always seemed like people were copying me. It drove me insane. It felt really weird/alienating to be mocked, but at the same time copied. So I was always shifting and changing.

Maggie: God, I’m so paranoid about people copying me, which is something I’ve never admitted before. Sonja, we are mindmates.

Sonja: Tavi once used the word “brain twins.”

Maggie: Thought mirrors! Head sisters! OK, but what about when you find someone who loves your favorite thing, but that person turns out to be a MORON? It’s like, How can you be so stupid and yet love Twin Peaks?

Tavi: There was a girl at my school who I really, strongly disliked. And she mentioned Ghost World at some point, and I felt like, How could YOU be a person who has seen that movie? That movie (and graphic novel) taught me how to live! How could you have seen it and STILL be someone who sucks? I realized that people aren’t just products of their tastes. We saw the same movie, but we each focused on different parts, and gave the same parts different meanings, etc. I have some friends who like stuff I hate, and I have met people I hated who had my exact same taste. I’d like to believe this stuff really matters—probably because so much of my life is just being obsessed with stuff—but in the end, people see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear, so it all matters way less than we think.

Sonja: Once, I remember this female artist was friends with my boyfriend at the time, and he made me sick with jealousy by sharing MY MUSIC, like early Sleater-Kinney, with her. I wanted to scream. It felt like a betrayal.

Tavi: Lately I’ve been better about not being so territorial—ultimately, I want the artists I like to do well! As for older things that don’t need my support—’60s girl groups, Grey Gardens, or things that are not exactly obscure but always felt like it compared to what people in my school liked—I still want to share them with people so that my obsessiveness can be a nice thing that brings people together instead of a private interest that isolates me. Things that I like become way more meaningful when they become part of a connection to someone.

Maggie: That’s really interesting to me, because I’m kind of the opposite. I use my love for obscure things as a way to intentionally isolate myself, to enable my own misanthropic tendencies. “I hate everyone, because no one likes Deep Space Nine!” Then I find out, in fact, someone does like Deep Space Nine, and I no longer have an excuse to shut out every single person, and my whole world turns upside-down. So I just reject it and get depressed, and then move on to something else. “I hate everyone, because no one likes Fringe!”

Sonja: I have to say, getting older, you really stop caring, or at least care less. Now I’m just happy when people are into the same stuff. There is so much good stuff! It thrills me to no end that I can share, like, Sonic Youth with people half my age. It’s a huge, amazing relief. I’ve been searching for connection for most of my life. I’ve struggled for so long with very few reference points. Now I feel like I can relax a little bit.

Tavi: I think before—maybe before the internet?—it was desirable to like what everyone else likes, and now that seems to be what everyone is trying to avoid. I just want to like what I like! But it’s hard to learn more about a band I love without having to also learn about the fanbase and what being a part of it would say about me or whatever.

Maggie: Speaking of the internet, I’m wondering, Sonja, if you have any sense of indignation in terms of how easy it is for kids today to access cool stuff. No one really has to EARN their obscure tastes anymore. By “earn” I mean getting a ride after school to the scary video rental store downtown, or the weird independent bookshop that has an Anarchist Meditation section. Now the kids can just Netflix and Amazon whatever they want. There’s no risk or adventure involved.

Sonja: I like this question, because the answer makes me realize that I have possibly matured. I think 10 years ago, I would have felt contempt or indignation. Now I choose not to participate in those sorts of judgments. I don’t do a ton of “surfing.” I only read a few blogs, because I find that the deeper I go, those old feelings—of having your identity horribly splattered all over the internet—come up. But then I found Tavi’s blog, and I felt astonishment. My mind was blown by the cultural references, especially with us being from two different generations. But I did not feel possessiveness. It was more like the clouds opening up and beams of light shooting through. (I was raised Catholic.)

Tavi: I’ve gotten a lot of Grownups On the Internet angry at me for liking stuff that was made before I was born that is important to them personally. “How could she UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE AND SUBVERSION of My So-Called Life if she was not born until 1996?” I don’t think you need to understand a thing’s cultural context to like it. The story of MSCL is kind of timeless. It’s about a girl in high school. I’m pretty sure those existed after 1995. In a way, something can be more special if it feels like your relationship to it exists outside of what people in magazines were writing about it in its day. Also, what, you can only like stuff made AFTER you were born? Quick, everyone! Delete the majority of your iTunes library!

Maggie: I think a lot of it has to do with control. Some flashy internet kid starts blogging about your FAVORITE ALBUM—you have no control over that. There’s that saying: “When you love something, set it free.” I just can’t quite get there. When I love something, I put it in a cage and don’t let anyone near it, including myself in some cases. I have this batik shirt from Indonesia that I love so much I never ever wear it. I’m afraid my love for it has become its death sentence. Why is a shirt so freaking precious to me? And why am I such a Gollum about it?

Tavi: I think one reason people of all ages get so territorial is that when they first were interested in more obscure things, they didn’t yet know anyone else who liked them, and it became kind of isolating. And then when they finally DO find other people who like the stuff they do, they want to invalidate those people’s reasons for liking it and claim that it’s not as deep or real, because those people never had to SUFFER for their RIGHT to like Riot Grrrl. I feel like: don’t we WANT people to know about Riot Grrrl? And isn’t sharing good things a GOOD THING?

Maggie: I want to talk about when your favorite thing gets commercialized, which can be torturous. I really loved the Twilight books when they first came out. I read each of them about a dozen times. This was before they became a crazy movie franchise. I don’t know exactly what the last straw was for me—perhaps the Team Edward water bottles. I do know that I can never read those books again. I can’t go to the mall again either, because it’s like Twilight Plaza these days—merchandise everywhere, screaming at me, “Your love wasn’t enough! Give me your money!” It feels really debasing. And it’s so weird, because the actual content of Twilight hasn’t changed, but my ability to love it has changed. It is gone.

Sonja: Team Edward water bottles. NICE. I think I want one.

Maggie: I guess the idea is that you’re championing Team Edward so aggressively that you need a break to rehydrate.

Sonja: When you say you feel as though you can never read Twilight again—maybe it’s just a sign of moving on and evolving.

Maggie: I never considered that! I mean, there was a summer when I did nothing but read Twilight and New Moon over and over. That’s not a sustainable love.

Tavi: Once I got an email from a girl who was like, “TeenNick is starting to show Freaks and Geeks! Zoey 101 doesn’t deserve a slot on TV next to Freaks and Geeks!” And I felt like, I’m glad that that show is finally getting some much-deserved recognition! I’m glad that someone who wouldn’t have known about Freaks and Geeks otherwise and would have thought the world was an endless sea of Zoey 101s will now feel less alone! And who is this girl to decide who DESERVES to see this show? What if I think that SHE doesn’t deserve to see it, because she’s being such a jerk about it? The world would be a better place if Freaks and Geeks were more popular!

Sonja: I’ve always been into ALTERNATIVE THINGS (still hate that term) and have felt like a weirdo as a result. In recent years, I decided to embrace popular culture. I started listening to Britney Spears and watching Six Feet Under, mostly out of curiosity. And I liked them. I guess it’s easier for me to step aside and just observe when it’s something mainstream.

Maggie: I know what you mean. You won’t get your heart broken by Top Chef. It’s just so harmless. You don’t invest your soul in it, which can be a relief.

Sonja: HUMANS WANT AND NEED TO CONNECT. So we connect through our tastes, through movies/books/music/art, etc. It’s kind of sad in some ways, because the movie is a third party we have to go through to access one another.

Tavi: I don’t want to live on a deserted island full of stuff that makes me happy and no one to enjoy it with. On the other hand, it IS annoying to go to school and hear the same people who made fun of you for liking a weird thing suddenly liking the weird thing. And it’s easy to feel like other people won’t get why Freaks and Geeks is so good or meaningful for you. But it’s way better to be obsessive about the thing you love instead of obsessive about how other people are or aren’t into that thing.

Maggie: Sonja, I want to talk about the piece you wrote in February about your deep devotion to the Wilson sisters and their band, Heart. In that article, you admit how hard it was to share Heart in 1999, when Sofia Coppola included them on the Virgin Suicides soundtrack: “Heart were MINE and they were all I had—or so I thought.”

Sonja: It’s so fascinating to investigate why you love something so much, to peel the layers back and get to the core. It shows you who you are. It made me feel vulnerable to talk about feeling jealous. My friends and I were already jealous of Sofia, ’cause we all wanted to have made that movie.

Maggie: It’s true. It can be so hard. And yet, some people seem to do it so easily, which is why I wanted to include Tavi in this conversation. Tavi’s all over the internet, just sharing her heart out. Tavi, how do you do it without losing your mind? Doesn’t it hurt to share so much?

Tavi: I’ve never felt too precious about sharing something I like on my blog or on Rookie, because it’s just a natural extension of what I’m into at that time. It’s funny—sometimes I’ll see someone I don’t like post a link on Facebook to a YouTube video of a song I LOVE, and I get all, “Since when do YOU like [X band]? You don’t understand them like I do! You are not worthy of that link!” Then it occurs to me that, technically, they could’ve learned about it from my blog, or from Rookie, and then I feel like a big dummy, and also an asshole.

Maggie: To me, Rookie feels like a self-selecting community, very tight-knit and intentional. Like a raft on the Internet Sea of Overshares. I think once I start trusting people more, sharing will be easier, and I’ll realize that mindmates are everywhere. Especially here with you. ♦

187 Comments

  • Hazel June 4th, 2012 7:19 PM

    Really feeling this conversation guys. Overall, I love sharing things. The reason I started a blog wasn’t to be like “look at all this cool shit I love and know about!” it was more like “i love this, I don’t think it’s getting recognized, I want to share it with you (my readers).” But sometimes I get really snotty about things. Like, I grew up listening to The Jesus & The Mary Chain and New Order and stuff because that’s what my parents were into. It makes me mad when kids my age think I learned about all this cool music through, like, Sophia Coppola movies. But, really, who gives a fuck how long I’ve known about something? I guess me, a little. It sucks but sometimes when I’ve held something that close to me since I was young and people don’t believe me it’s lame! I want recognition for being into something before other people, but that’s the stupidest most pretentious thing to want. I’m a loser, is what I’m saying.

    • farawayfaerie June 5th, 2012 11:13 AM

      This happens to me too..my parents were highly influential in terms of my music taste, on long drives my dad would tell us it was time for our ‘music education’ and then play David Bowie and The Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac and every other amazing rock band from the 70′s and 80′s. This music was so personal to me, but NOBODY knew who I was talking about, except then suddenly someone would be listening to a song that I really loved and had been raving about for years and I could remember the exact holiday that I totally overplayed that song but could still listen to it a million times more, and they’d be like, “Oh, do you know The Velvet Underground? I just downloaded their full discography, what songs do you recommend?” Oh, I could just die thinking about it…but great that they have learned the wonders of Lou Reed right??? :/

      • BritishFish August 8th, 2012 3:25 AM

        Same exact thing! I got my music taste from 20 hour road trips with my dad and that probably is what got me into singing.

        Love live Fleetwood Mac and everything else that is amazing from The Mamas & The Papas to Iron Maiden and everything in between.

    • AnguaMarten June 5th, 2012 3:38 PM

      same! i grew up listening to nirvana, social distortion, the red hot chili peppers, rancid, all this 90′s alternative stuff. like, i would be singing along to “smells like teen spirit” in the car on the way to pre-school. and so when i found out nirvana was, like, a thing, and 90′s alternative music was a thing, and there were all these douchey fourteen year olds i didn’t like who were into it… it was weird. i mean, i have always been aggressively anti-mainstream. like in fourth grade, i would talk all about how much i hated the jonas brothers, when surrounded by girls who loved the jonas brothers. so the idea of there being other people who liked my stuff, and of them being so ridiculous, was really hard to deal with.

      then i joined tumblr, which quickly shattered any illusions i had that i was a special snowflake. at first it was shocking. then it was unpleasant, because the people who liked the music/clothes/books/shows/movies i liked were just as inane and moronic as everyone else i knew. and then it was kinda nice. it was kinda nice to be surrounded by people who loved stuff as much as i do.

  • allycat927 June 4th, 2012 7:23 PM

    so accurate… except my special thing i’m possessive about is ROOKIE!

    • mar9ar3t June 5th, 2012 3:59 PM

      Hahaha good thing I got over my overpossesiveness enough to share it with you :)

  • caro nation June 4th, 2012 7:25 PM

    This is EXACTLY how I feel about Rookie. But I also feel welcome.

    • caro nation June 4th, 2012 7:40 PM

      And Tavi, since you are a bit of a cultural icon, whenever YOU post about something, it pretty much belongs to YOU. If you click on some of the blogs linked to here on Rookie, you’d be surprised how many girls hang on your every word and recommendation. I do feel affection for the weird and wonderful is what connects much of the Rookie community, but I never got over our shared adoration of Ghost World. It felt like I’d been robbed.

      The other point I feel needs to be brought up is that much of the forces that subliminally drive people to certain aspects of culture are based purely on that book/movie/band’s status in culture. Pre-internet, people created vast and iconic countercultures out of either hatred or love, but now that people HAVE ACCESS to stuff that is customarily considered edgier and stranger, THE STUFF has littler importance and the image that goes along with them is what’s stressed. That’s sort of the whole hipster philosophy.

      When you’re young, I think it’s so much easier to define yourself by your taste, and it’s hard to look past people’s exteriors. But some books/movies/music (I’m gettin’ HEARTFELT, HERE) so aptly exhibit who you ACTUALLY ARE, they (dare I say it) SPEAK TO YOU. And that kind of love should not be dictated by superficiality and apprehension.

      I’m so glad you did this post.

  • Jordana June 4th, 2012 7:26 PM

    I think Sonja’s point about humans needing to connect is really true! It’s like when you like a band, and you tell a pal, and then they enjoy that same band — it’s hard to distinguish whether it’s genuine or whether they’re doing it to be your friend. In the end though, I don’t think it really matters.

  • RockHatesMiriam June 4th, 2012 7:28 PM

    I totally feel ya on the ‘people mocking you about liking something and then a year late it’s suddenly cool’ thang. When I was 11/12 I starting wearing doc martens and everyone laughed at me and called me a ‘wannabe goth’ and now, when I’ve been put off DMs for life, they’re all wearing them… High school is so frustrating sometimes!!

    http://www.pompandceremony.blogspot.com

  • missblack June 4th, 2012 7:30 PM

    I totally GET THIS. A couple of years ago I loved Regina Spektor’s music so much that I didn’t even speak her name out loud for fear of, I don’t know, ruining her? Making the music less special?
    And then I started sharing my interests and I made my friend watch 50/50 with me and she fell asleep during it and then told me that she thought the movie was “really weird” and I was, like, crushed. Sigh.

    -kelsey

    Little&Trivial

    • isobele June 4th, 2012 8:40 PM

      aha, im sorry but I just got kind of freaked out / excited because im watching 50/50 right now, and then I read this XD And thus far its awesome and not weird at all, but funny and heart wrenching, and bald joseph gordon levitt full

      • Kathryn June 5th, 2012 12:18 AM

        I just need to pop in here real quick and say that I watched 50/50 the other day and that my two biggest celebrity crushes are Joseph Gordon-Levitt and 90′s Dicaprio and ugh lyyyfeee

    • radio1radio June 4th, 2012 8:58 PM

      Oh man, Kelsey, I relate so much! Regina was MINE for years and I rarely spoke to anyone about her. Now she’s touring again and everyone in school is freaking out about it. I’m trying so hard to relax and share in the Reginabuzz but part of me wants to scream I’VE LOVED HER SINCE SOVIET KITISH!!! Sharing hard :)

  • rainymouse June 4th, 2012 7:31 PM

    Searching for things on the internet is actually very scary! Have you ever visited a potentially dangerous website? Shit’s intense.

    • taste test June 5th, 2012 4:43 PM

      this made me actually laugh out loud. that doesn’t happen much. way to go.

      it’s sort of true, though. I had to stop using my laptop because it got a rootkit I couldn’t remove without, like, formatting the hard drive. I am 90% sure I got it looking at sketchy websites trying to find an obscure song again.

  • erin June 4th, 2012 7:36 PM

    I went through a short phase last year, when I really started developing my own style, where I’d kind of smirk to myself in my mind and I really had this idea that I was better than others because I liked this band and I wore skirts when everyone else wore jeans. Somewhere along the line I realized how stupid and mean that was and every time I started thinking that way I stopped and scolded myself. I’m no better or worse for liking things others don’t. Sometimes I feel a little shocked when a blogger I like mentions an album I’m liking, but I try not to get mad. Everyone has a right to like things. It’s actually nice to see bloggers around the world and Rookie writers talking about why they love the same things I love. Like, despite the fact that my friends die with laughter at the thought of me making friends in college (great friends, right?), I can find people out there who might be similar to me. That feel the same way and value similar things. Great article, guys.
    http://keepingupwithunstuck.blogspot.com/

  • R. June 4th, 2012 7:39 PM

    Oh my lord Rookie you’re a mind reader. I feel you on this 100%. I do not like sharing either, at all… so this was somewhat comforting.

  • Whatsername June 4th, 2012 7:44 PM

    I’ve very recently started to stop acting like that {“i hate that cuz it’s too mainstream and if i don’t like you it’s impossible for you to like my music and fashion and stuff”}. IT’s difficult, but when I really think about it, that kind of mindset is immature; it’s better to be more open-minded and happy when you find people with similar interests.

  • EmilyJn June 4th, 2012 7:50 PM

    Ha this was so great, and I can’t stand the hipster stereotype because it’s like someone took all the things I love (Wes Anderson films, old cameras, bikes, certain clothing styles) and turned them into a big negative stereotype/cliche overnight.

  • FlowerPower June 4th, 2012 7:50 PM

    I couldn’t agree more, with each of your statements. I try to make myself some “unique” person, who is different from anyone else, but when it really comes down to it, that’s impossible. Yes, everyone is different, but some people have a lot of similarities. Unfortunately I haven’t found those people in my life yet, who have similar tastes, so that’s why I do all my thrift store shopping solo :( I’d hate to live in a world where everyone shops at thrift stores, or makes DIY jewelry and such, but then again I want a few people in my life that do.
    ✿Caroline✿
    P.S. Look it’s Tavi:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1toSU5KItF8
    I really hope this documentary about older women’s style is made. It looks super interesting.

  • PZ June 4th, 2012 7:56 PM

    I totally get this whole feeling. It was a revelation for me when I discovered that liking the same things as someone else wasn’t a guarantee that you would become best friends or even that they would be a nice person. Like how could we both be soulmates with this band and yet not be each other’s soulmates? It seemed incomprehensible. Another weird sort of sucky thing about sharing your very favorite, personally meaningful, blahblahblah songs and movies and books with people for me is that once I share it and totally bond with someone over it that I then kind of associate it with them forever. Which is fine and actually pretty neat unless the relationship goes sour and then I end up cringing when that song comes on shuffle. Not cool.

    • Moxx June 4th, 2012 8:40 PM

      I’m pretty sure I ruined a bunch of music (Judy And The Dream Of Horses, Sunday Morning, Lady Stardust for sure + a fair part of glam rock, because we used to say stuff like “that’s your song” and “if you were a person you’d be this song”, etc. But then stuff happened and I think we were seriously mistaken, again it’s not liking the thing which makes you ~*~soulmates~*~ or whatever, but what it means to you that makes you have thoughts in common) for someone, but in this case, I honestly think that they deserved it and am really kind of happy about it (bad, I know).

      Not so nice when you’re on the other end, though.

    • Moxx June 4th, 2012 9:30 PM

      Like I used to be friends with a girl who I shared my favorite books and music with, and later I stopped talking to her because she was pretty terrible to me.
      She proceeded to tell everyone that I was terrible, steal my friends, blame me for things, etc. For years, and it sucked.
      And then people were like “oh, she’s so cultured! She reads actual books! Wow, she has such great taste!” and it used to drive me absolutely crazy but then I realized I wouldn’t have to care about it after school was over, so why should I care about it now?
      Plus, while other people might not know it, I know that she thinks my taste is great (or else why would she be following it so closely?) and is probably envious of me if she went through so much trouble to get people to be terrible to me and if she wenr and basically read every book I had ever suggested to her.
      So I am flattered and also amused. What you know is more important than what other people think they know about matters which concern you.

      • Moxx June 4th, 2012 9:32 PM

        Zjdnsnsnnjsjajsj I posted in the wrong place and didn’t give justifications and am making too many separate comments I apologize right now I am basically vomiting words onto my keyboard but not really aaaaa so many things to say and they won’t arrange themselves in my head

      • Moxx June 4th, 2012 9:35 PM

        Ok I am sorting it out
        The one about the girl was supposed to explain what it’s like to be on other end but also why you shouldn’t let it upset you so much because wit means that the person clearly thinks about you a lot and thinks your taste is good enough to copy.

        • Moxx June 4th, 2012 9:37 PM

          By the way PZ: sorry for crapping up your thing by replying 83748 million times.

        • Moxx June 4th, 2012 9:38 PM

          I feel like these comments I just posted are like pages of a journal recording my descent into madness or something

        • Moxx June 4th, 2012 9:40 PM

          Ok, that’s it.
          I’m done, I’m sorry and I’m going to take a break from commenting now or else I think my brain is going to melt even more.

        • Maggie June 4th, 2012 10:40 PM

          I am CRACKING UP reading this descent into madness

        • PZ June 4th, 2012 10:45 PM

          Haha, don’t worry about it! Feelings are messy and weird and make us prone to word vomit. Fact o’ life. Plus all that stream of consciousness stuff is great to get things off your chest.

        • saltwater June 5th, 2012 12:02 PM

          i love this crazy stream-of-conscious commenting style AND also your story about the girl because ohmygod i can relate.

  • Alannah June 4th, 2012 8:01 PM

    I feel like this all the time. That I can’t share the things I love to other people because then they may claim it as their own. But then again, knowing that you showed them that band or movie or whatever and for them to love it feels pretty cool too.

  • Eryn June 4th, 2012 8:08 PM

    You’re all so self-aware. And I love this. I relate to every perspective. I remember in elementary school there being a large competitive need to be the one who loved some certain something the most, almost protective, when really the thing/person we were loving was really popular and we probably only loved it because it was popular in the first place. I think in high school I feel more like sharing my loves and learning about new things from interesting people. But there might still be that underlying protectiveness. Probably because we become so invested in the things we love.

  • meels June 4th, 2012 8:13 PM

    This article is my life exactly.
    “But it’s hard to learn more about a band I love without having to also learn about the fanbase and what being a part of it would say about me or whatever.” – tell me about it!!

  • ellthemighty June 4th, 2012 8:14 PM

    I think it’s also that when something obscure that you love becomes mainstream, it suddenly becomes open to criticism from everyone in the world who doesn’t GET it. Twilight is the best example of this because the first time I read it, in like 2007, I loved it and gave it to my best friends. Then everyone else got wind of it and suddenly people were making fun of something that had previously been special and different and cool. (I re-read the first half of Twilight recently and am now unutterably embarrassed by my prior love for those books).

    • anonymouse June 4th, 2012 10:41 PM

      That’s what happened to me; I read all the books and liked them, my friends obsessed over them, and Bella and Edward and Jacob are all obsessed with each other, which brought me into this weird obsession spiral. Now I’m super embarrassed at even the thought of liking those books, I don’t know though cause being into Twilight and Harry Potter and stuff helped me evolve my reading practices as I grew up. Now I’m the “bookish” girl, I read all these classics and realize how without those cheesy, badly written books I read as a kid, helped me reach this point where I am now reading awesome books, and I don’t feel compelled to be ashamed to like reading or writing.* But still, ugh Twilight…
      *It could also be that I am no longer friends with anyone from that time.

    • Kathryn June 5th, 2012 12:24 AM

      SAME HERE. And also with the Hunger Games. Except I still like the Hunger Games anyways.

      I spread both of those series throughout my friends and I had this lame feeling of being proud that I was like, the first one or something, even though obviously I wasn’t. And then when everyone else jumped on the bandwagon I secretly was all “HEY WAIT YOU SHOULD THANK ME I DISCOVERED THAT.” But really it doesn’t matter if someone finds something first. It doesn’t mean I like it any more than the next person.

      • Kathryn June 5th, 2012 12:39 AM

        for the record I am also very embarrassed now to say that I liked Twilight, but that’s besides the point! Also, sorry for commenting a bajillion times.

  • northernground June 4th, 2012 8:17 PM

    You guys, this was awesome. Now I don’t feel so guilty for lying about my favourite movie. (My favourite movie is Mr. Bean’s Holiday- and I refuse to admit that to anyone other than my mom and the Internet…)

    • unicorn-rhapsody June 4th, 2012 8:54 PM

      In the internet it feels so much easier to share things with people. It’s like on TUMBLR anyone can be a potential friend but in real life it’s like ‘How can YOU like Patti Smith and the Sex Pistols?!!’

    • Claire June 4th, 2012 11:04 PM

      Uh, Mr. Bean’s Holiday is the shit. “CANNES!”

  • Hayleyandflora June 4th, 2012 8:24 PM

    When I entered freshman year, (I’m a junior now), I started wearing high waisted shorts and all these girls came up to me and asked me if I were trying to dress like my grandmother. Two school years later, they’re wearing them themselves…

  • isobele June 4th, 2012 8:28 PM

    I know exactly what you mean I always feel insanely jealous when I see something that I love and that feels very personal to me being discussed by people that I dont think I have a lot in common with. Earlier today I saw someone say how they were excited to see emma watson and logan lerman in a film together (perks of being a wallflower) and I suddenly felt really angry that people were talking about the new film comming out when the book has meant so much to me for years. I know its stupid, and im glad that more people will now love these things through the publicity- but I still cant help feeling very protective.
    But im so thankful that you guys at rookie share your favourite books and films etc so openly, because otherwise I might not have ever watched freaks and geeks, or read the virgin suicides, or even heard of wes anderson (which im kind of embarrassed about now. why am I so uncultured!) So thankyou for introducing me to so many of my favourite things :)

  • Maggie June 4th, 2012 8:33 PM

    I’m intensely glad to see people participating in this conversation. It’s such a relief… like what Sonja said about craving connection.

  • anisarose June 4th, 2012 8:34 PM

    I don’t have any possessive connections with my TV shows or movies because my friends are as “mainstream” as it gets and they scoff at everything I share (cue the tiny violins) but in middle school, I got really mad when people wore what I wore. To give an example, I was the first person to wear a high-waisted skirt to school (it was 2008) and I absolutely loved it but I got a lot of criticisms from people, including my friends. Then when everyone caught on the trend about 6 months later, one girl, who I’m not friends with anymore, got upset that I was saying that I was the first person to wear high-waisted skirts because she claimed to have worn one before me— but it was too big so she had to wear it around her waist. Long story short, she did the same thing with my homemade duct tape/gum wrapper hair bows and a design that I had made up and doodled on everything so after a few more bossy spells with a lot of people, I’m not friends with her anymore.

    http://anisarose.blogspot.com/

    Just re-read that and it sounds overly sassy and judgmental but I don’t want to edit :)

    • Kathryn June 5th, 2012 12:28 AM

      Exactly! I subconsciously feel like people are copying me. Like I cut my hair really short and then some other people did too and I think it was actually a coincidence but I secretly thought they were copying me.
      In seventh or eighth grade I think I was the first person to wear a romper and everyone was like “WHAT IS THAT JUMPSUIT THING YOU ARE WEARING?!” And then of course now it’s like a normal thing.

      • Kathryn June 5th, 2012 12:29 AM

        I live in a very small town, by the way, so most of the girls in my grade at the time thought that rompers only existed in the pages of ~seventeen magazine~ i think.

  • Steve June 4th, 2012 8:35 PM

    I totally understand this, but I’m the complete opposite – I LOVE sharing everything! To the point that it annoys people! I will constantly try to lend stuff (music, shows, etc.) to people, who are usually like, “Uh… no, that’s OK, I’m gonna buy it myself…” And I’m super happy when something I did/liked long ago becomes really popular, because it validates me having wasting all my time on it.

    I think the problem for a lot of people is when something that was rather obscure gets really popular, it usually finds a big ugly fanbase. And then, if you mention in passing that you like that thing, people will either think you’re jumping on a bandwagon, or that you’re one of these wild fans. And THEN you’re given the choice to be mature about it, or just whine about how you were into said thing long before everyone else.

  • SweetThangVintage June 4th, 2012 8:35 PM

    haha I think the only way I get possessive with things I like is when other people post about them and I HAVE to comment like I really know what I’m talking about, just to let them know that I am the expert here!

  • Claire June 4th, 2012 8:36 PM

    This is so on point. Whenever I hear someone – someone who I perceive as having mainstream tastes – talk about a movie/artist/book that I practically live for, it catches me off guard and kind of pisses me off, I guess. I compartmentalize the hell out of things, so I automatically think, “No! You’re supposed to play volleyball and read Twilight and hang out with your lax-bro boyfriend! How could you possibly know Sid & Nancy, or Patti Smith, or Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance?!” I hate that my sense of self is so dependent on cultural reference points, but I guess that’s not necessarily a bad thing if it’s “done” correctly. Hmm.

  • LuxOrBust June 4th, 2012 8:38 PM

    this article just helped me come to terms with some issues from my teenage years, im now 24 and feel a little load lifted.
    Feels good.

  • unicorn-rhapsody June 4th, 2012 8:41 PM

    I feel so much better with this article! I totally had that Ghost World moment! ”How could you have seen it and STILL be someone who sucks?”
    ‘How is it possible that you like Hole and still be a mean little valley-girl brat?’ I feel less meaner and I’m glad I’m not the only paranoid pseudo-hipster who hides Sonic Youth to death…

  • Sonja June 4th, 2012 8:44 PM

    this is a great conversation – thank you for sharing your thoughts on this !…ohhh and when i was talking DOCS way up above..i’m talking 1987…and now that i’m TWICE everyone’s age…sharing hasnt been a problem for a long time. I love to share (e.g i’ll give you the sweater off my back if you like it *that much*)…but then again..isnt it easier to share with friends? hmm. i’m still protective but i am more protective of MYSELF..not so much the things i love..i’m happy to have that movie to pass over to a friend/acquaintance…but i’m definitely more into self-preservation. it’s hard to articulate but i hope you can at least get my drift.
    AND! part of why I love Rookie so much is b/c it is all about sharing. Can you feel it? That’s why we are all here.

  • marit June 4th, 2012 8:48 PM

    i know how you feel. especially about being possessive in general – i am terrible at sharing, but it’s something i’m really trying to work on!
    :)
    marit

  • mwong1025 June 4th, 2012 8:49 PM

    Egh. I know exactly what you guys are talking about. These days most people are more concern with being “hipster” or “cool” that they would just like something so they can be cool. I usually get so protective that when someone ask my what my favourite TV shows are, instead of saying
    Sherlock or Game of Thrones I would just say I don’t watch a lot of TV which is completely a lie. Never much a person for sharing and I feel so selfish, but sometimes I just can’t love something anymore when it gets so overrated and commercialized.

    Plus, I don’t think I can live with myself if any Sherlock water bottles start popping up.

    http://www.style-abuse.blogspot.com

  • Moxx June 4th, 2012 8:50 PM

    Honestly I really did feel like this about the things I love at some point, but then I realized:
    - people like things for different reasons, and this tends to matter more than the actual thing
    - It’s not fair to “question” people about how or why they love something in order to judge if they are worthy or not because it sucks when people do that to you (especially when you’re a teenage girl)
    - I like some uncool things (not even ironically cool or whatever) and this usually solves the “people only like this thing I like because it’s cool now” thing. People who like things because they’re trendy have no tolerance for the uncool.
    - If people like the same things because they ~feel the same feelings~ about it, yes! I want to talk to them about it!

    + my dad, who was a teenage nerd/geek in the 80s, said something which helped.
    He said that when he was my age, people made fun of you very openly for liking anything that was even a lttle off the beaten path. Sure, maybe now people don’t give the same importance to stuff or have easier access to it, but that isn’t necessarily bad. This means more people to relate to, and you can always figure out who likes the things for the same reasons you do and shares ideas with you.

    • Moxx June 4th, 2012 8:52 PM

      By “especially when you’re a teenage girl” I meant that people tend to do that more to you and take you less seriously if you are both young and a girl.

      • Moxx June 4th, 2012 9:08 PM

        Urk I write too much but (P.P.S.):

        I don’t think it matters how somebody came to like or discover something.The important part is that they had the curiosity to continue to go after this thing and others like it because they enjoyed it.
        What bothers me more than the person who discovered band X through guitar hero and then proceeded to look for similar music and build their taste is someone who has their perfectly picked out taste handed to them and who doesn’t look for things which mean something to them on their own (like that guy that you gave 3 albums from band X to and he said he absolutely loved them but then never looked for more of their work or anything like it and never gave you actual feedback/opinions about the band he supposedly adored and he basically feeds off other people’s sharing of things. THIS IS THE NIGHTMARE, worse than the person who is like LOL I AM SO COOL I LIKE BAND X GUISE because you know you don’t like band X for the same reasons as this second person so who cares.)

        True story: a guy I know started out listening to Metallica when he was 11 because of guitar hero, which is a common thing that happens, but then he looked for things similar and things to like and why he liked these things so that he could find more.
        Now he seriously has the most developed taste in music, looks for stuff, shares stuff with you, explains why he likes things.
        To be honest, I don’t like Metallica. I think it’s kind of bleh and sort of crass, but I think it’s super important because it’s a stepping stone or starting point for so many people. Everyone starts somewhere.

        • bedazzledbandannas June 5th, 2012 11:39 PM

          yes! I totally agree with this point (about the person who found band X through his own searching being more entitled to saying they like the artist than the guy who had band X’s music handed to him).
          I also get the same type of feeling in a different situation; I’ve always tried to not be snobbish and look down on ‘mainstream pop’ and for the most part, I like a lot of it myself. but I still always get really irritated when I skim through someone’s ipod and it is literally completely made up of chart hits from the last few years. not because it’s bad music – again, for the most part, I like it myself! but because to me it shows that the person has made NO EFFORT AT ALL to look for music themselves. in the same way that your guy had band X’s cds handed to him, my example had his entire music collection handed to him by Billboard.
          again, nothing against mainstream music! if my person’s entire ipod was just katy perry’s complete discography, I wouldn’t judge them, because her complete discography wasn’t ever popular, just her singles – therefore, they did some of their own work.
          it also annoys me when people suggest to me that my own music collection was heavily influenced by my parents’ tastes, as if the only reason I know pre-1995 bands is because they have played them for me. it’s not! I find the bands through my own searching, and if it turns out that they own their album, I’ll borrow it – but please don’t dismiss my love of the band as something that was just handed to me!
          anyways, rambling now.
          also, your stream-of-consciousness comments above were very entertaining. (:

    • taste test June 5th, 2012 5:11 PM

      I have totally reminded myself I like uncool things too!! haha, now I feel less crazy. it’s like an ego-deflator to keep you from acting pretentious when you’re tempted to. it’s impossible to act like your tastes are superior to anyone else’s when you remember that, say, last night you spent far too long listening to that ponponpon song on repeat. not that I’ve done that or anything. *shifty eyes*

      and I also agree it’s important to find things that mean something to you instead of waiting for your friends or hip music blogs or whatever to hand things they say are cool to you, and that it doesn’t really matter how people find things. I found one of my favorite bands ever in- wait for it- a back issue of American Girl magazine when I was like 12. and not only do I still love them, but finding them was one of the things that got me into Alternative Music because it led me to bands they’d toured with and bands they said they liked and stuff.

      so yeah. high five for your comment!

  • Cruicked June 4th, 2012 8:56 PM

    Two years ago when I was 13, I was wearing my Breakfast Club t-shirt and while I was paying for something in a Waterstone’s the cashier guy was like, “Psh, The Breakfast Club. What do YOU know about The Breakfast Club? You’re too young!” And I was just like “I love the Breakfast Club! John Hughes!” and it was so weird because I love it and I hadn’t thought for any second that I was too young to enjoy it. Like, he had no idea what it meant to me but OBVIOUSLY I was too young to GET it or something. Maybe he thought I was like 8 or something because people always think I’m younger than I actually am but whether or not I was going to highschool or whatever (and I was because Scotland) why should I be too young for it? It really got to me. Clearly.

    Also, I read The Hunger Games when it came out and read the sequels the day they came out so I was a fan of it long before te film was announced. Even when they announced they were making it into a film I told everyone how happy I was because it was one of my favourite books but it wasn’t until months later that it became popular that people even listened to me. It really annoyed me but I just got over it and leant my copy to anyone who expressed any desire to read them before the film and instead being a moping hipster about it and not sharing it with anyone, I got to look forward to the adaptation with my friends/siblings/siblings’ friends and talk about how awesome the story is and how it sucks how the books got worse and that was much nicer than being bitter about it.

    • Claire June 4th, 2012 11:00 PM

      Ugh, your Breakfast Club thing reminded me of something that happened to me pretty recently. I was at a café and noticed that the twentysomething barista was wearing a Violent Femmes concert tee, so naturally I complimented him on it. He just sort of scoffed at me and said, “How old are you, anyway?” I told him I was 18 and kicked myself for not being able to think of a decent retort. Like, really, barista guy? Just because I’m like 10 years younger than you, I’m automatically not allowed to know “Blister in the Sun”? Ugh.

    • Kathryn June 5th, 2012 12:43 AM

      I did the same exact thing with the Hunger Games. But the thing with this weird phenomenon of NEEDING PEOPLE TO KNOW YOU KNEW ABOUT IT FIRST is actually probably the reason I’m commenting. To say that I read it long before the movie. Which is embarrassing.

      omg I’ll stop commenting now

    • karastarr32 June 6th, 2012 12:32 PM

      I was wearing my “Boys Don’t Cry” tee today out in London and I saw SO many twentysomethings look at me and do the whole ‘oh look at that spoilt brat wearing her concert tee, oh wow I bet she thinks she’s *so indie* doesn’t she’ look and I was like can I not just wear my shirt?
      Also AHHHH SAME EXACT HUNGER GAMES THING HAPPENED TO ME!!!!!!!

  • Cruicked June 4th, 2012 8:58 PM

    Also, liking things is involuntary so whether something is massively popular or basically unheard of you can’t help liking things, no-one can.

  • diny June 4th, 2012 9:05 PM

    hey, Maggie! i live at Indonesia. and my town, Yogyakarta, is famous for the batik stuff. many times, i avoid to wear batik stuff because everybody wear it here.
    and Tavi, i know what you mean. there should be ONE GIRL who like a thing. and if there is another girl pretend to like it, we’re kind of, “what the hell she is doing. it should be only ME who like it.” and then we feel so special.
    Sonja, i say YES for the ALTERNATIVE THINGS.

    • Maggie June 4th, 2012 9:37 PM

      Hi diny! I love Indonesia so much, particularly Yogyakarta. I wish I lived there with you. I got my special batik shirt at Borobudur! EVERYONE in Yogya was wearing batik, just as you say!

  • GlitterKitty June 4th, 2012 9:09 PM

    I’m so loving this post. I’m a sharer of some things, like music. I love to tell everyone about what I like in the hopes they will love them too and we can all love whatever band together. Movies too. But the blogs I read…. TOP SECRET!!!!! No one shall ever know!!!

  • TessAnnesley June 4th, 2012 9:15 PM

    this entire post is the story of my life – i’m freakishly possessive over things I like, and it’s horrible and I hate it. It makes me dislike people (which as a rule I try not to do at all – everyone has at least ONE good thing about them!) because now I’m thinking that they’re like CORRUPTING this thing that I love and they cannot possibly understand it and must have some fake reason (like following internet trends or something – hello Virgin Suicides) for liking it and IT MAKES ME FEEL LIKE SUCH A BITCH AHHHHH
    so I am glad i’m not the only one.

  • Caden June 4th, 2012 9:23 PM

    Ghost world, freaks and geeks and my so called life are pretty much my favourite things. My likes tend to be not-that-mainstream so I actually love it when I find people who like the same things. That’s why I love reading Rookie.

    Caden x
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/pinkpoppies1991

  • myriam June 4th, 2012 9:23 PM

    sometimes, i feel like dont want to share something with someone that i like in case they hate it and i cant like them anymore…
    ugh, that sounds horrible.

  • Pashupati June 4th, 2012 9:24 PM

    That’s weird, because I’m actually happy when someone likes the same stuffs I do or it becomes a fad. I feel sort of smart… “eh eh! I knew it!”
    Then I don’t like when people express some ideas/thoughts before me because I fear others might think I’m copying them.
    In situations where I know I’m not really… like in computing, I like computing but people won’t believe me, so I’m sort of scared of sharing stuffs I know both because they might mock me and because if it becomes common knowledge? (which it already is) it might loses value? then if it loses value, people will just think I know that because it’s common knowledge and not because I’m interested in computing.
    That’s because people told me multiple times it didn’t interest me, kept me out of conversations, told me I didn’t know anything about that or reacted condescendingly to me wanting to share these stuffs with them.
    I guess there is a fear to lose your identity from a social point-of-view… in the same time you see other people connecting and sharing stuffs around this? and as it doesn’t fit with other aspects of your identity, etc.

    • Pashupati June 4th, 2012 10:08 PM

      It makes me think, especially after reading Moxx comment about how it doesn’t matter how & when one came to like things.
      There is this guy I know, was one of those telling me “it doesn’t interest you” (after forcing me to come some place I wasn’t comfortable which I thought was a sign he recognized my interest.)
      I’ve been interested in computing since I’m a child (thanks for free computers donations!) and I was like: “Who does he think he is? He only likes that since he is 13?!” (it was only directed at him in my head, I still thought aside that it was shitty because most don’t have access to computers at early age)
      Probably he thought “Who is that other person who likes some same stuffs as me but is different than me?”
      So I became possessive & he told me he liked computing for sharing ideas with others.
      Now it gets complicated. When I was younger I liked computing as I thought you could do cool stuffs with computers & didn’t classify reasons for liking it as better or not.
      I recently read about how you had to make computing sociable to attract women in it and thought someone might stereotype me as liking computing for “social” reasons like his or that my interest might be held as untrue if I did which wouldn’t happen to him. I already felt like he /stole MY thing/ by telling me I wasn’t interested and going to stuffs I wanted to go since I was 11 but thought people there would tell me off.
      So I felt validated in that I truly liked computing & not him, because my reason was coded as masculine/better and not his, that my interest was true.
      I felt really shitty about it.

      • Pashupati June 4th, 2012 10:15 PM

        Also I was given a lot of shit when I was 11 for liking computing, and felt I would be giving similar shit if I went to LUG meetings at 13, etc. yet he did and was the same age as me and nobody seemed to get condescending, angry or anything at him and PEOPLE LIKED HIM GOD and it made me feel bad about not having been comfortable (though now I feel uncomfortable for other reasons) and it did play into my wanting to dismiss his interest.
        So, well, if you’re in a similar situation, these thoughts will go away after a while and you’ll recognize why you’re angry/jealous and maybe you’ll be able to communicate with humans next.

  • kati June 4th, 2012 9:29 PM

    All my life i’ve been “weird” and i really felt isolated by that. When i started to grow up i changed it to “special” but it still felt wrong.
    When i discovered rookie, a place where are all feminists and love hole and cloth and galaxy nails i felt really understood and i stopped feeling “special”, and that was such a relief.
    Now that i know that there’s a million people like me i don’t feel bad anymore about liking the stuff i like. But it is really weird to see how much people like “being weird” and how much they fight for feeling special, when for me it was such a burden.
    The first time i heard On An Aeroplane Over The Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel, i cried because i would never hear something as good, and i would never write something as good (i’m a musician). Now i cry when i listen to ot because i don’t know anybody who understands it. I showed it to my family, friends and boyfriend and no one understood why it was so magical.
    (Sorry for my english, i’m chilean )

  • Tavi June 4th, 2012 10:08 PM

    I love these comments.

    • hvit June 11th, 2012 11:39 AM

      I spent longer reading the comments than I did the article. 0_o
      Brilliant tho’.

  • Emily June 4th, 2012 10:24 PM

    I always get really annoyed and possesive when people only kind of like something that I’m SUPER passionate about. Like when this one girl mentioned she liked one song from my favourite band CSS but didn’t mind the rest I got really possesive about them and really annoyed. How dare she only like ONE of their songs!? But in retrospect I know it was stupid of me, but we all have our moments.

  • Sphinx June 4th, 2012 10:30 PM

    I really enjoyed reading this cause most of my friends are really possessive of the stuff they like, and I didn’t get it at all.
    I mean, if I think a certain movie/book/band/ whatever is good, if I really love it, I want other people to love it too!
    Sure, sometimes I find out someone I hate likes the the same movie I like and that pisses me off, but I also taught me that it’s not the stuff you like that defines your personality.
    Also, I grew up watching Gilmore Girls, which gave me the illusion that if I spoke making references to pop culture all the time, people would know what I was talking about. They don’t. Most of my friends admit that they can’t understand 99% of what I’m saying.
    So really, I feel like I NEED to share the stuff I like, just to connect with people, or else I’ll go insane.
    (I mean, no one in my class knew who David Bowie was, HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE, plus some of my friends had never heard Nirvana! This isn’t something obscure, it’s general knowledge!!)

  • lala June 4th, 2012 10:40 PM

    Loved this convo. I certainly related to the point maggie made about using her interests to isolate herself. Sometimes I just want some stuff to be just mine. Like when someone else starts liking it, it looses its special-ness to me. I don’t know. Like sometimes, certain people can taint certain beloved, cherished interests of yours. And you don’t have it anymore and the list of stuff that you truly like, truly connect with goes down in size until you’re alone…or something.

  • lala June 4th, 2012 10:43 PM

    But I guess it’s just certain stuff. Like I’m the queen of recommending stuff. I’m always recommending stuff to my friends because I want them to read/watch it so we can twak about it, ya know?

    • lala June 4th, 2012 10:48 PM

      And I wonder how many people would bother to be cultured if it weren’t for the internet. (Love how you guys brought that up) Culture is at our fingertips this day and age so I guess it makes the accessing of it much more competitive than it was in the past where it wasn’t as “mainstream” and people were just looking to identify with others.

  • Chimdi June 4th, 2012 11:33 PM

    This is really really good.

    I didn’t read through ALL the comments, but how I feel about possessiveness is a little different from most people. For me it’s more like I want something to own for me and myself only. When I first discovered Mystery Train I was all “OMG this is so pretty mine mine mine!” Then, when I saw it on Worn Journal, I felt like they stole it from me.

    I know Maggie talked about that, but it’s different(am I being possessive of that feeling?!?). I have very little privacy and so I’m always hiding my sketchbook and journals. Whenever my mom asks what movie I’m watching I purposefully mispronounce the name (Ex: I once referred to Rashomon as “Rach-oo-min-”).

    I don’t know. Anyways, this article was reallyyyyy good! :)

  • Sonja June 4th, 2012 11:45 PM

    Everyone here rules.

  • Narita June 4th, 2012 11:52 PM

    THESE ARE MY FEELINGS TOO.

    When I was in sixth grade I always wore, well, glittery things and black things and rediculous colorful things. In seventh grade, everyone started doing so. In eighth grade I wore knee socks and everyone laughed at me for doing so, but a few months later all those OLD GIRLS who are said to have SENSE OF FASHION and are highly LOOKED UP TO wore them. I was still a loser, however, and it got slightly annoying. Annoying enough to wear differently colored socks or three over eachother.

    Rookie is kinda like that, when I met some people because I was going to start writing for a site, some of them knew Rookie and some of them were into feminism et cetera. At first I couldn’t stand it (ROOKIE IS MINE GO AWAY) but later, I realised it was something that connected us too.

    • Juniper June 5th, 2012 12:38 AM

      I feel possessive of Rookie too! It’s like this crazy Gollum that pops out ( like Maggie said) and makes me think I deserve credit everytime someone I show Rookie to, shows someone else!
      Then I feel terrible and try to counteract my terribleness by sharing it with as many people as I can! Then I get Gollum-ish….then I share some more…. It’s a vicious cycle.

  • Kathryn June 5th, 2012 12:33 AM

    I think it has become a bit of a problem where I write off everyone around me as not being into the same stuff I am, so I just don’t ever really mention it, when really I could be sharing it and maybe they would like it too!

    But also, I have no one around me that’s into that many things that aren’t mainstream or whatever, so most of the more obscure things I find are due to the internet. And honestly most of it is from Tavi or Rookie, which makes me feel like I’m copying but really I JUST LOVE IT ALL SO MUCH.

  • christinachristina June 5th, 2012 1:32 AM

    This is such a great conversation and I feel like I relate to each voice in some way. I definitely have things that I love to keep personal for fear of them being ruined or taken away or shared by someone I don’t want to share them with. This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s a good idea, like Tavi said, not to become more obsessed with keeping things secret than being obsessed with the actual thing itself.

    On the other hand, there are things that I love SO SO SO MUCH, like Harry Potter & Battlestar Galactica, that I love to share with anyone who will listen, because it feels like a little club when people are as obsessive about these things as I am. Though, on the other other hand, this can go too far—like Maggie, Twilight got to be WAY TOO MUCH that I can’t ever enjoy it as much as I used to.

    Anyway, BALANCE AND NAMASTE AND STUFF YOU GUYS.

  • bluesforspacegirl June 5th, 2012 1:48 AM

    Love this article and all the comments! (btw….i totally get my heart broken by iron chef…:/ )

  • back2thepast June 5th, 2012 2:01 AM

    Gah this is how I reacted when some ditsy chick a couple years old than me posted a picture of Tavi as her profile pic and put it on her wall with a comment underneath that said ‘according to people I guess I look like hey his chick haha’ and I was all OH NO YOU DIIIIIdnnnnt how dare you even compare yourself to such awesomeness??! then I realized that Tavi isn’t my property. Then I got really depressed

  • sunshine June 5th, 2012 2:03 AM

    YES! The Perks of Being a Wallflower is soon to be released and I highly suspect a flock of hipsters who haven’t even read the book who will be going around saying things like “And in this moment, I swear we are infinite” on tumblr and such. It’s too hard letting go..

  • Katherine June 5th, 2012 2:30 AM

    On one hand, I have the opposite problem – I try to spread some of my obsessions (like Fiona Apple) to make me feel less of a freak.

    On the other hand, I have some obsessions (like Star Wars) that I don’t want to share because I don’t want to look like I’m jumping on the bandwagon.

    In a school of nerds, I am the ultra-nerd.

  • lua June 5th, 2012 3:01 AM

    Please girls, don’t stop sharing. It’s like spreading love. ♥

  • Sea goddess June 5th, 2012 3:02 AM

    This is me with rookie! I cant share it, it’s too brilliant for people who have no sense of style whatsoever! Im also like that with music i like or magazines i read. They are just too amazing to be over used!

  • Serena.K June 5th, 2012 4:39 AM

    This post is so RELEVANT to my LIFE right now. (As Rookie’s posts tend to be…how does that keep happening?) When I was like 12-13 and I had just begun developing my tastes I was so eager about sharing everything with everyone but my friends would always shoot me down :((((( (Although I’m still proud of the fact that I did manage to convert one particular friend into a raging White Stripes fan. She’s been in love with Jack White ever since.) So I internalized my infatuation with all those books and movies and TV shows and music but I had to do SOMETHING with all that love. So instead of channeling it all into something creative or meaningful, my tastes became a figurative yardstick against which I would measure other people’s worthiness. That’s terrible right? And because I had attached like a moral value to my tastes, I would turn to them for self-assurance, so it was SIMPLY UNACCEPTABLE whenever I’d meet someone I didn’t like who liked the same things, because that meant contrary to what I believed, I WASN’T any better than other people. Anyway this is all to say I’ve recently begun re-evaluating my reasons for liking certain things and I’ve been making an effort to get over myself and take joy in sharing again, and this post came just in time!

    • Serena.K June 5th, 2012 4:39 AM

      Wow it has only just occurred to me that this probably makes sense to no one who isn’t me so apologies for that but in my defense I just woke up and I am NOT a morning person by any means.

  • marina123 June 5th, 2012 4:39 AM

    I really loved this article, and am on a par with Tavi about being called a hipster for my Wes Anderson love. I love sharing things I love, but my friends just don’t like freaks and geeks and MSCL, so what if you try to share but things are just not getting shared?
    Love the paradise theme xxxxxxx

  • Killjoy June 5th, 2012 5:02 AM

    I remember I got a bit upset when so many little kids participated in my school’s spelling bee because spelling bees were a big part of my life that time and I didn’t think that those kids would truly appreciate spelling bees.

  • alliya June 5th, 2012 5:27 AM

    I can totally understand being protective of what you like, mostly because I used to like some things and people would go “ew” and next year it’s all they’d be talking about and its just FRUSTRATING. Like, why can’t people just like what they want and not think that their opinion is only important if it’s the same as everyone elses’?

    But I really do try to share my interests, and it’s super exciting when I come across the super rare person who likes what I like (especially if the interest is Rookie – everyone here is amazing! be my friend.) But most of my interests are pretty obscure anyway and won’t be stolen anytime soon.

    Except the Avengers. I love explosions. And Robert Downey Jr. This is my only interest that the outside world can comprehend, hehe.

    • hvit June 11th, 2012 11:42 AM

      AVENGERS IS AMAZING. So is RDJ. And Loki.

      I share that interest even thought it ‘clashes’ with my interest in feminism and clothes and ‘alternative music’. I also hate that thing that you have to always like the same genre of stuff. But that’s another rant entirely.

  • Miss Erin June 5th, 2012 5:27 AM

    AND THEN ON THE FLIP SIDE, there’s the whole judging people in a positive way because they like the same stuff as you, which I got the idea of from reading some analysis of (500) Days of Summer once. Basically it’s the idea of–oh, that cute boy likes THE SAME MUSIC and has THE SAME FAVORITE BOOK, we are obviously soulmates and should be together for life. Like Tom thinking he and Summer were meant to be because they both listened to The Smiths. And to remember, you know: what you like isn’t always what you’re like. And that goes for everybody.

    • Sphinx June 5th, 2012 8:49 PM

      EXACTLY.
      “Just because some cute girl likes the same bizarro crap you do, doesn’t make her your soul mate.”

  • snakesandspiders June 5th, 2012 5:42 AM

    A lot of the time people seem protective and possessive of their likes is because it kinda makes up who they are. Human beings, teenagers especially are constantly trying to find out who they are and what makes them THEM. Music and books are like a pre-prepared identity. If a girl likes alternative books and movies, she’s a hipster. if they like Gothic anything then they’re a goth. What we like makes up a huge portion of who we are, and some else like it seems weird and uncomfortable. Sometimes you don’t want to tell other people what you like because its like teling a person what you are like and THAT’S WEIRD.

  • lelelikeukulele June 5th, 2012 6:23 AM

    BABYLON 5!!!
    I did not even read the rest of the article yet. This mention just made me so happy.

    Sorry if I’m taking something that’s yours :)

    Off to read the rest now.

    • Maggie June 5th, 2012 11:34 AM

      BABYLON 5! hahaha I was glad to see your comment, it makes it worth the struggle to share it! Good things can come from overcoming the inner Gollum

  • alix June 5th, 2012 6:41 AM

    I’m like this a lot. I totally freaked when they started selling doctor martens in this shop in my town where all the “mainstream” kids shop. But like I’m working on it too. I recently discovered The Strokes, and I’m in love with those guys. I wanted them to be my thing – that band that I love. But I mean I want to be able to talk about how much I love them or whats my favourite song, so I told my best friend who I thought would appreciate them. Its cool I feel like I’m sharing the love. I think The Strokes are amazing and who am I to keep their amazingness from other people who deserve to hear them?

  • izzybee June 5th, 2012 6:49 AM

    I don’t mind sharing physical things like books or DVDs but I can’t stand sharing my music taste. There is about 4 other people at my school who like the same music as me and I like to keep it that way. I used to be friends with a girl who copied EVERYTHING that I did. It was infuriating. She would always ask what I was listening to or where I got my clothes from then the next day would be the same as me. It sounds bad but I don’t find it flattering at all. I’ve always liked being a bit different to everyone else.

  • MirandaMaybe June 5th, 2012 6:54 AM

    Ugh, I completely agree with this – whenever I find something awesome my first instinct is to hoard it away where no-one can spoil it for me! But then the times when I have shared them with my friends, they often become one of my favourite things to do with them – like second-hand bookshops, which we now all rock up at together :)
    But it sucks when you tell someone about something wonderful and then they dislike it so much that it doesn’t feel so good to you anymore. Which is why I refuse to discuss Star Wars with anyone :)

  • PearlFog June 5th, 2012 7:08 AM

    This has been so interesting to read. I don’t know if I’ve ever really felt especially possessive over things that I like, my friends generally have all different kinds of taste and we sort of do our own thing culturally speaking and bond more over just like emotion and daily life and that sort of thing. Books, music and films are generally things I’ve experienced more as a personal pleasure without ever really having thought about it as an issue.

    I did once try to get a friend of mine to watch ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ (I used to be SO in love with Marlon Brando when I was about 16) and she turned it off after about fifteen minutes shouting, ‘Oh my God, they’re like weird PUPPET PEOPLE!’ We still laugh about that :o)

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/PearlFog

  • Vivienne June 5th, 2012 7:15 AM

    This is interesting, my boyfriend for example loves to show me new things, as well as other people, I don’t always LOVE everything but now and then I really do and he seems pleased. But I notice when other friends of his begin to really like something he has shown them he gets really irritated, HE showed it to them, HE should get the credit if they show it to anyone else. I am a sharing person, mostly because I find it difficult to find people who like what I like and I get really excited if someone else is into it. But I always wonder about whomever has shown me Kate Bush or Beach House or Artaud’s drawings feels about me sharing with others.
    To me it it seems sometimes like people just want credit for their knowledge and research into any particular subject (The Knife, Kathy Acker, William S Burroughs Chris Cunningham, Werckmeister Harmonies (Everyone who has the patience for a 3 or so hour long film should watch this, or at least the opening scene, its actually one of the most beautiful scenes of any movie I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen a fair few)) which makes sense really, that’s why referencing and copyright exists!
    Now if I tell someone about something cool that was introduced to me I just tell them ‘such & such showed me this it’s amazeballs!’ and I fell less like I’ve infuriated someone who may care haha. We all learn from someone :)

  • TheGreatandPowerfulRandini June 5th, 2012 8:24 AM

    Well, this has never been a problem. Whenever I mention The Virgin Suicides or Spring Awakening or some of my other favorite things in the world, people just stare at me blankly. I’m that kind of person who tries to sneak in music/movie references in to conversations that no one understands. I like to believe that I will one day find friends who are Harry Potter fans and understand my Broadway puns.

    • samm June 5th, 2012 1:36 PM

      SAME. Most of the people commenting are talking about how something they liked suddenly became popular and then it get’s irritating… but for me, the popularity of my interests has never become a problem. It’s the difficulty of sharing. The other day in class I was playing some ska music on my pandora station, and I told my ONE only friend at school, “hey I could really skank to this,” and everyone else around me just looked at me and scoffed… I didn’t get it! What was so funny? I get made fun of a lot for “liking things no one else does” which makes me feel super isolated, even though I know there are PROBABLY SOME people out there who share a minor interest with mine.. but the fact that I’m being jokingly mocked for liking stuff my friends don’t, just makes me want to not share anything at all, ever. And even if I did, they’d probably give me like a blank stare or something IDK. It’s hard to be serious about this kind of stuff with friends… or people in general….

      • samm June 5th, 2012 1:37 PM

        whoops, *one only friend at school who likes ska.

      • taste test June 5th, 2012 5:26 PM

        AAA YOU LIKE SKA. yay!

        yeah… I don’t think we’ll ever have to worry about ska suddenly becoming popular. I also have only one friend who likes ska. the rest of the time people are like “wow, that sounds dumb, you’re weird.” once I met someone who had heard of it and he was like “I thought that was one of those things no one actually listens to.” um, thanks for sharing, dude.

    • Sphinx June 5th, 2012 8:55 PM

      Yes, I find it so frustrating when I sneak in a Heathers/Fight Club/whatever reference into a conversation and nobody gets it!

    • karastarr32 June 6th, 2012 12:36 PM

      I’ve been looking for this person too!!!! Let’s be Rookie buddies, yeah? <3 :P

  • Joyce June 5th, 2012 8:34 AM

    This place is so awesome because we’re all like “mindmates” and reading all the comments, it’s kind of okay for me to know that a lot of you also like the things I love. It’s usually not okay if that happens here in my reality. Yeah, i don’t share stuff much (in fact, i never really told anyone about my favorite this and that). I understand that people have different preferences but I just don’t take the chance to share the things I like, thinking/fearing that THEY WON’T REACT TO IT THE WAY THAT I DO. I just bear in mind that THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO SHARE MY INTEREST so i don’t really have to share them with anyone. Just knowing that these things are also loved is enough for me. KNOWING THESE THINGS IN THE FIRST PLACE IS A BLESSING. That’s why I love Rookie so much. I found some of those people here — people who share my interests. I can absolutely relate to everything you guys said, and that really, really makes me happy. :)

    So. My favorite movie is Trainspotting and my playlist is full of grunge bands from the 80s and 90s.

    Stay beautiful everyone. The things we love = PARADISE.

  • Lillypod June 5th, 2012 8:35 AM

    I have a million interests and loves that I don’t know anyone else in real life shares…
    I wish all of the commenters here could be friends with me!
    You’ll never find anyone who shares ALL of your interests and pop-culture obessessions…I recently reconnected with an old friend and found we had EXACTLY the same music taste. It’s wonderful to share the Velvet underground with somebody else…
    …Sometimes i’m afraid to share my obsessions with my friends. Not because I’m possessive but because I’d be really dissapointed if they didn’t like them…

  • EnidEnvy June 5th, 2012 9:04 AM

    My friends always call me a snob because I get super bummed when something or someone I love becomes really popular. i am glad for the writer/artist/musician, but it felt special having something so wonderful that i could kind of hoard and not have to share with the whole entire world.

    sometimes, depending on the person, i get really excited when i find out someone loves something i do. i get so pumped and i cannot wait to talk about it with them. other times, i get super bummed.

    when it comes to some of the stuff on Rookie, I sometimes feel like, “stop it! Ghost World is MINE! I loved it before a movie even existed! My So-Called Life is MINE! i watched every single episode on its original air date!” but mostly, i think, “Damn, I hope my kid grows up to be as cool as these kids who are all over Rookie being super smart and super awesome. They have such good taste!”

  • Cruicked June 5th, 2012 9:26 AM

    About starting things in school, I wore grey wool tights instead of the black that all the girls wore and eventually a bunch of girls were wearing them and this girl turned around to me in maths once and actually said, “Doesn’t it annoy you that they all wear grey tights when you were the first one?” and it was weird but also kind of cool that she’d noticed. That was like two years ago and I kid you not it happened again but with coloured tights. I was apparently the first one to find out that you don’t get into trouble for wearing any colour of tights (or even reindeer tights around Christmas time) and now a couple of other people wear coloured tights. WOW I LOOK OBSESSIVE ABOUT TIGHTS. Whatever it’s true.

  • MaryFairy June 5th, 2012 10:06 AM

    UNGDOMSKULEN. Okay. I have shared. Finally. :)

  • Lotta June 5th, 2012 10:30 AM

    Seeing some girls in my class reading ROOKIE made me soo excited! But i guess if it had been girls i didn’t really like i would of felt all…like they’re not worthy or something. So it depends who you are sharing with.

  • Aurora June 5th, 2012 10:35 AM

    I get so possesive of things, and I’m one of those people who doesn’t want to do things for fear of a better opportunity to do them. For instance, I went to an arcade with my best friend last week, and I still have the enormous Pixie Stick I won in my room, just waiting for the perfect time to eat it. I’m so weird. :)

  • saltwater June 5th, 2012 11:59 AM

    “it IS annoying to go to school and hear the same people who made fun of you for liking a weird thing suddenly liking the weird thing” oh GOD yes. especially when it’s something you are incredibly attached to (i had this experience this year with elliott smith).
    similarly the girl who basically engineered me being ousted from my friendship group two years ago- with my weird taste being one of the reasons- now emulates my taste to a tee and even reads rookie. so infuriating.

  • parlamode June 5th, 2012 12:10 PM

    I agree with everything that is said here. I feel so protective over things I like, relay stupid things. I know I am being mental over it and that I should not care. But when someone who has been horrid to me in the past and then I see that they like something which I like I aways feel be trade and like why do I not get to just like something with out horrid people liking it too. Then I feel stupid because I relies that relay they either like it for different resins to me like they don’t like it they are just trying to be alliterative or some shit like that. I guess I am relay protective over the stuff I like and hate the thought of people liking something for another resin than how grate it is. i HATE fakes so I tend to make everything into something which could be a tree to me. That sounded like I consider my self a hipster or something which I do not , (DO NOT). I am just myself and whatever that means.

    Sasha
    http://bubblingupinblue.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Nicole17 June 5th, 2012 12:12 PM

    Wow. This whole article to me just sounds like a bunch of pretentious psuedo-intellectuals moping about how special and different they are about their “obscure” likes and interests. It pisses me off that people avoid sharing their common interests on the fear that it will become “cheapened”. Personally, I enjoy sharing my music, movies, TV shows, books etc. taste with others so I can spread the awesomeness. Very disappointed with this article.

  • Nicole17 June 5th, 2012 12:15 PM

    Oh yeah, AND NONE OF THOSE MOVIES/BOOKS/TV SHOWS BELONG TO ANYONE EXCEPT FOR THE CORPORATE BUSINESSES THAT MADE THEM. so.

  • ladyjenna June 5th, 2012 12:38 PM

    But we pretentious pseudointellectuals love moping about our obscure interests!!! This is one of the main occupations of the teenage species!

    Anyway, a while back I started wearing shorts with sleeveless button up shirts while no one at my school was doing that, and now I’m on vacation out of the country and everyone is wearing similar things…kind of shocked me at first, but I didn’t feel like anything was stolen…just kind of odd that what I liked and what was mainstream came together at least for a bit.

  • raftingstarlit June 5th, 2012 12:40 PM

    That’s why I stopped posting music to my facebook wall. And I’m torn, because i want people to
    1. recognize that I’m cool, I have a good taste in music, and movies etc
    2. be more cultivated, and just share the good things in life
    But then again, i HATE it, that I like something, nobody cares, and suddenly it’s cool, and all over the internet, and it just makes me sad and I realize, I’ve just lost a little piece of myself- because things you like just sum up your personality, don’t they?
    Also, there was a girl- friend of mine- who had the courage, to just re-post every song I’ve posted on facebook few months later. And I KNEW she knew them from me, cause they were unknown songs.

    • raftingstarlit June 5th, 2012 12:50 PM

      or i told her how i really liked The unbearable lightness of being, and next day I saw how she liked that page on fb. And when I asked about the book, and what her favourite part was, she just shrugged her shoulders, that she didn’t had one. Obviously, she didn’t read it.
      I really wouldn’t mind sharing my taste with people in music/books/movies etc. , if they’d appreciate them, and get into it. But they’re just too lazy to do the digging, and instead just pretend to like things, just to seem intelligent or cool. That really p*sses me off.

  • PrinkaSaras June 5th, 2012 1:22 PM

    batik is kind of dying in the youth generation of Indonesia. sadly…

  • PrinkaSaras June 5th, 2012 1:24 PM

    it’s so popular in central java, but it’s not so happening in another cities, like where i live, surabaya. that’s pathetic

    • chewbacca23 June 8th, 2012 1:09 PM

      Lol this is so weird….I’m from Jakarta and feels the same way! Sometimes I wonder when will my friends ever stop being kooky and just wear batik but with accessories and such so that it’ll look like they’re respecting their own goddamn culture.

      I feel like a friggin Granny Smith when typing this but I kind of feel bad for them because wearing batik’s actually a rewarding thing for me. Cuz you’ll get to show off those cool bird-like prints and colorful flowers on you while looking like a hot-nomadic-yet-street wise-shit..

      To sum up, gurlll you aint the only bitch who realizes

  • hanna June 5th, 2012 1:25 PM

    I really enjoyed this conversation. Because I do it too, the posessivness of the music or the tv shows I love. On the one hand I don’t want anyone to bash something that’s so important to me. Especially not a friend. I always get so invested in something and it’d really hurt me if someone I like makes fun about it. Because if I love it so much it is really really great and how dare you say something negative about it??
    And I have this bad habit that if something I like becomes popular for the majority I lose interest or sometimes I get angry. Like you don’t deserve to listen to this band because you found out about it the easy way (like listening to it on the radio). Which is totally ridiculous and judgemental and stupid, I know.
    But I also learned that it’s really cool to share a love with someone. Sometimes it makes the thing even better, to have a friend to obsess over a certain tv show with TOGETHER.

  • chelsear June 5th, 2012 1:26 PM

    Wow you guys basically just described my life! I’m the type of person, though, who will rush to tell everyone about all the things that I love. That way, when everyone else loves them, people will know that I loved them FIRST! I guess its a little sad now that I think about it. The other day I bumped into an old friend who I used to go to school with and hadn’t seen in two years. He told that he wished he realized how cool I was back then. I used to get made fun of for the weird things I liked but now people are learning about them too and can appreciate my weirdness.

    xo
    http://couturecultureblog.blogspot.com

  • samm June 5th, 2012 1:26 PM

    The sad thing for me is that, I honestly don’t feel like anyone would be interested in my interests anyways. I feel like even if I bother to share what I like, no one’s going to care because it has nothing to do with them, or it has nothing to do with their interests. It’s ultimately pretty difficult for me to connect with people in my high school, or my friends in general, because I feel like they won’t “understand” why I like the things I like, or why I hold them so dear to me.

  • moonchild June 5th, 2012 2:38 PM

    I’m not going to write a whole long thing for this.

    All I’m going to say is I cried for 2 hours straight after reading this.

    TWO.
    HOURS.
    STRAIGHT.

  • moonchild June 5th, 2012 2:53 PM

    Oh, also, I have the opposite reaction with HP. Like, after the Hunger Games came out, I refused to read them because they were like some “competitor to the HP THRONE” and I got really upset when I would ask people if they were Potter fans and they’d say Yeah, but I like the Hunger Games better. I felt like all the Potter fans were SELLING OUT or something.

    Although I’m sure that’s how the Lord of the Rings fans felt when HP came out. So. Yeah.

    Gwen
    http://under-a-bridge.blogspot.com/

    • J June 6th, 2012 4:23 PM

      This was my reaction too. I have a friend who (supposedly) loves Harry Potter, and when we first became friends, it was largely because we were both crying over the fact that it was over (even though the books were obviously the real thing. The end of the movies just had a sense of finality to it), but now she is a Hunger Games fan, and I just don’t get how people could possibly think The Hunger Games is even comparable.

      • Kathryn June 8th, 2012 1:07 PM

        Yeah! It bugs me how everyone has to compare everything!

  • emilulu June 5th, 2012 3:12 PM

    Oof, I’m going to feel terrible because everyone’s being all awesome and Rookie-lovey (that’s a word, probably) but hey, diversity in opinion is good! Don’t get me wrong here, I love love love Rookie, but my first reaction to this article was, quite honestly, irritation. I’m a compulsive sharer; sometimes I feel like I’m shoving my taste down other people’s throats. I love the sense of connection I feel when someone laughs at a joke in one of my favorite movies or gets hooked on a song by one of my favorite bands. I guess I felt annoyed because I feel so completely OPPOSITE. In the past, I’ve written people off for hoarding their tastes; I’ve dismissed them as “pretentious” or “stuck-up”. HOWEVER, reading through this article and comments made me think differently. It makes me sad that people aren’t completely open about their tastes, but I now understand that it comes from a strong emotional connection with said things, NOT pretentiousness or being stuck-up. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t agree with this article, but I now appreciate where y’all are coming from. Also, I’m sorry that I’ve been a jerk about this kinda thing in the past. The end!

    • Pashupati June 5th, 2012 3:52 PM

      Don’t worry, the place you’re coming from is also understandable. You couldn’t really read in others’ minds (IRL) that it was because of said emotional connection, because sometimes it might seem like they/I try to avoid YOU or hate YOU when they/I do that, except in your case you couldn’t really think it was something like this as you never did/felt anything like this or not long enough… Really sometimes I “avoid” a person, but I just avoid being told certain things that reminds me other people are possessive of the same thing?!
      I’m pretty sure everybody feel terrible when sharing personal stuffs when they didn’t do/react so well. I felt terrible posting my comments, but it might be useful to someone in a similar situation to avoid doing the same “thought mistakes”.

  • Naomi June 5th, 2012 3:56 PM

    see what iiiii do is when i learn someone likes something that i really like i am like YES I REALLY LIKE THAT TOO, YOU CAN LIKE ME BECAUSE WE HAVE SIMILAR TASTES. and i somehow have to make it as obvious as possible and then i worry that i am not CONVEYING to them FULLY how much i like something and they don’t believe me or they don’t UNDERSTAND and i feel i have to give them as much PROOF as possible so they know i am not pretending and i am being HONEST i really like that thing too please love me and believe me.
    im cray cray

    • Naomi June 5th, 2012 5:01 PM

      i always feel like ‘in bloom’ as well, you know “he’s the one who likes all our pretty songs and he likes to sing along and he likes to shoot his gun but HE KNOWS NOT WHAT IT MEANS”
      so relevant

  • daisiesinthesun June 5th, 2012 4:11 PM

    @alliya
    omg I totally love Robert Downey Jr ( I really got into Sherlock Holmes thanks to him) and some time ago I asked my friends to go and see the Avengers with me ( I love explosions too;)) and I swear EVERYONE was like “that movie sounds lame; RDJ is such a bad actor, I don´t like him…” O.O

  • StinaStarStina June 5th, 2012 4:23 PM

    Thanks for being so down to earth about what some people get so UP IN ARMS about :)

  • taste test June 5th, 2012 4:36 PM

    so I wrote a fucking essay about this, but I’m cutting it to the bare minimum so it’ll fit in the comments.

    I used to be super possessive of the weird music I like. then I met a girl who liked some bands I liked and was a total jerk. she would find a band I liked, hear a couple songs, and then go around talking them up and acting superior for knowing them when I knew she Didn’t Really Like Them. and then I realized I wasn’t any better. she was going around feeling superior because people didn’t know what she liked and I was feeling superior to her because she didn’t like what I liked enough. that was when I realized that when I’m mad someone likes something I do, it’s just because they’re an asshole. when someone nice likes something you do, it’s awesome because you can share how much you like it. the chance that’ll happen makes sharing things you like worth it.

    it’s ridiculous to get mad at people for not knowing everything about what they like, like I used to get mad at that chick for only knowing a couple singles from a band. everyone starts somewhere. maybe she intended to find more later. or maybe she just didn’t like them that much and didn’t care to find any more. everyone can’t know the entire discography of everyone they’ve ever listened to. it’s dumb to hate on how people found their favorite stuff, too. even if they found out about it from the back of a Happy Meal box, it doesn’t diminish that they like it now. just be glad that they found it.

  • aliceee June 5th, 2012 6:38 PM

    Wow this is really funny & perfect & wonderful. I’m absolutely like this, especially when people I don’t like like what I do. Except this past year I moved to a tiny town where NO ONE has even heard of any of the shows I watch (not even that strange of stuff: Doctor Who, The Office, Monty Python…), the only band I can talk to people about is Coldplay, & the only book Harry Potter (& even that’s hard to come by). Where I used to live pretty much all my friends loved the all the same things as me, even the most niche stuff (Billy Boyd’s band? lol), which used to get me grumpy but now whenever I find people who like what I do I get soooooooooooooooooooooooo happy because it’s so rare

  • Mustachefan June 5th, 2012 8:36 PM

    I’m worried this is going to come out the wrong way, but it almost seems as if you have this attitude of… deigning to share your inner worlds with us. People can discover things and enjoy them as independently as you guys, and it’s no more or no less valid than when you discovered or will discover the same music, books, movies, etc.

  • lelelola June 5th, 2012 11:38 PM

    This is so totally me, you guys have no idea. But seriously, I love alternative music and the thing I hate the ABSOLUTE MOST is when I find a band that is so cool that I just have to keep it a secret between me and my closest friends. Then, everyone in the world becomes obsessed with one of their songs, and I’m like, “whoa, the whole world just stole my thunder.” So I’m all, “I liked it way before you guys!” and the world is like, “sureeeeee…”

  • Kaleidoscopeeyes June 6th, 2012 12:24 AM

    I was friends with this girl in 5th and 6th grade, and then in 7th we just drifted apart. But this year, in the 8th grade, we were sat at the same table. And every day when we sat down I would ask her what her favorite _________ was. And one day I asked her who her favorite band was. She told me it wasn’t a band but a genre. I asked her what genre and she whispered, “KPop.” I freaked the fuck out! We spent the entire period feverently learning who the other’s favorite KPop group was. We’re really close now. :)

  • Squid_Catcher June 6th, 2012 4:04 AM

    This is such a great article, and the comments below are awesome :) it’s so cool to know that views i have on things i love are shared by so many others.
    I also totally get the whole -liking thing-thing gets popular-feel unable to like thing anymore- (hope that makes sense) a friend of mine seems to make it her mission to purposely like things ‘unmainstream’ like for instance she loves the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but won’t listen to their new album (even though she has admitted to enjoying it) because ‘Everyone likes it’. This confuses me. It would be great if people were just more honest about their interests and passions. Who cares if you like both David Bowie AND Eminem ya’know? Maybe you’re not trying to be a ‘hipster’ or a ‘gangster’, maybe you just like both artists and appreciate their music! This seems to be a staggering thought for a lot of people. End rant.
    <3 Rookie <3

  • Lily June 6th, 2012 7:33 AM

    this article just made my day. i know exctly what you like like i guess i have forever tried to dress differently and not conform to others and what is ‘in’ but then what i’ve been wearing a year before becomes what is ‘in’ and i become paranoid that people are copying me

    • Lily June 6th, 2012 7:33 AM

      ironic cause im listening to hannah montana as i write this

  • wissycosh June 6th, 2012 11:41 AM

    I was so jealous when I heard my friend BOASTING/GLOATING about Rookiemag (THAT I’D ONLY BEEN READING SINCE DAY 1, AND HAD NO PREVIOUS IDEA ABOUT TAVI’S BOG). I was extremely furious and like, how could you be into that? don’t people just scroll through shit, this requires immense reading/articulation and discussion. But then I was like, probably cos I said you should read this…. it really helped me, OR you should check out this perspective on that as…..(and not being all like “me” btw) and hinting and screaming (in my brain btw) LIKE I WANT U ALL TO KNOW THAT THIS IS WHAT’S UP and that normal isn’t normal and that NOTHING actually matters because you can just go delve into your totally awesome/interesting corporations law :/ articles and have no qualms about cocktails and boys. And realized that, hey, I’m the possessive jealous loser for exposing it and then unknowingly regretting it. It’s like when Rookie becomes totally popular, that’s totally great because that was the point right? that nothing out there was speaking clearly or truely? So then, when it’s used for all the wrong objectified reasons on tumblr its OK because they probably don’t even read these articles in ways that will give them ease to fall to sleep at night and then I can understand that it’s chill, I am a total loser and that’s OK cos Rookie said so, not tumblr, and they’ll never know, because they don’t already, they just saw it and it will probably look cool on their cyberdogblog and I’M NOT JEALOUS ANYMORE BECAUSE OF THIS ‘THING’ that i LOVE on the internet. iprobdon’tmakesense IMSOJEALOUS

  • Littlegirllost June 6th, 2012 1:46 PM

    I always wear my Doc martins with black satin ribbons instead of laces!, I even have another pair with baby pink ribbons lol.

  • shelley June 6th, 2012 2:09 PM

    I love this so much . One of my favourite bands songs was on an advert and one of my annoying flatmates did a facebook post like oh my gosh this is an actual song too. My boyfriend kept teasing me about how angry I was. I could have cried! But when it’s sharing with people I like then I can accept it, I still like to be that bit more obscure than them, which is kind of sad when I actually think about it ha.

    http://www.shelleycatcat.tumblr.com

  • Phoebe O June 6th, 2012 3:58 PM

    I want to become friends with everyone who commented on this. How can we make this happen?

  • J June 6th, 2012 4:17 PM

    Okay, I haven’t even read the whole post/article/conversation yet, but I have to comment because seeing other people talking about this is so interesting, ’cause when I was younger, I thought I was the only person who thought that way. When I was seven-ish, I was really, really protective of my interests; I would never tell people things like what my favorite Care Bear was, and I had decoys too (Cheer Bear was my decoy). When people asked me what my favorite animal was, I lied, but then the whole thing sort of ended for me when my decoy animal turned into something I really did love, but before I realized how cool this animal was (this is still when I was, like, eight), I had gathered this whole group of friends who were all obsessed with it too. So, in the end, I ended up sharing it.
    Now, I just get really mad when people seem to think they are MORE OBSESSED with a book or movie than I am, because they totally aren’t.

  • Natalie. June 6th, 2012 5:37 PM

    I think it’s important to make an effort to squash those feelings of superiority for liking certain things before others, because then by the same logic you are inferior in the company of people who may have discovered good things before you. It almost always feels like you were the FIRST to love something because before you had discovered it you obviously weren’t aware of it or others who liked it. Then once the thing is on your radar you are guarding it possessively. It’s kind of embarrassing when you look at the big picture.

  • Jake June 6th, 2012 6:59 PM

    Who the hell do you think you are to decide who deserves to listen to the music you love and watch the television shows you enjoy? Selfishness of an object, purchased, is understandable. But media is meant to be shared. You aren’t selfish with your interests because you want to “protect them”. You’re selfish with your interests because you perceive them as the things that make you unique, and that truly is selfishness.

    Sure, people’s perceptions will change if you tell them you like Twilight now, as opposed to when it first came out and it didn’t have it’s hated fanbase. But if you were truly as unique and intelligent as you seem to think you are, you’d realize that other people’s perceptions of your interests don’t matter–and honesty in your interests, instead of using a “decoy” to misguide people into thinking you’re someone you’re not, is more valuable than listening to an obscure artist or watching a relatively unknown television show. a]

    • Kathryn June 8th, 2012 1:02 PM

      I think that the whole point was that they recognize that it’s kind of silly, and that they are trying to share more, etc. They were just talking about protective feelings they have about certain things, and you can’t help what you feel.

  • cami8 June 6th, 2012 7:28 PM

    this is exactly how i feel about Rookie!

  • Bunnie. June 6th, 2012 9:08 PM

    Thank you for sharing this ladies!

    Sonja, you’re a great influence and you have great insights. I hope to quickly achieve the level of maturity as you have on evolving and moving on. That is superb advice. I have been driving myself crazy for a little while on a similar issue and I just need to not dwell too much on it. Takes away too much of my energy!

  • MinaM8 June 7th, 2012 5:27 AM

    I loved this! now i can put a hand on what’s actually been bothering me.
    Huge confession: it drives me crazy when people say that me and my bestie are alike. So I’ll try so many things to be UNIQUE. We used to like the same bands, but now I’m more into hard rock and metal and she’s gone into pop, and I’m embarrassed to say how much of a relief it was! I hate it when I tell her about something awesome I just discovered and she tells me, yeah, that band is awesome, I’ve known them since like their first album was out!
    The thing is, I find it awesome how we can relate and love stuff together, but at the same time I want to be different! The whole situation makes me feel so dumb and confused. I guess I’ll learn how not to be so overly possessive, but it’s soooo hard!

    • Maggie June 7th, 2012 3:46 PM

      I get this! In 7th grade my best friend and I were so possessive about our eccentric styles that we made a formal agreement divvying up who “got” what. Me: glitter, flamboyant hair accessories. Her: colored mascara, plastic jewelry. Luckily by high school we were so different that we didn’t feel the need to compete anymore. That was a huge relief and made our friendship way better.

  • LeatherStuddedFae June 7th, 2012 7:41 AM

    I totally feel you Rookies! I really, really despise people who make fun of me for what I love because it’s weird, unknown and different. Then out of the blue, it suddenly becomes mainstream and I start to hate it and move on to my next new unmainstream thing. Bull crap! I mean, I know it’s selfish but it’s just not fair. But that’s not really the problem. I guess, being picked on for being or loving something different and unknown make me feel reaaaalllyyy unique and special. Sounds kinda shallow, huh? But I am being honest here. Fact is, when we love something that no one has ever heard of, in some way, it suddenly becomes something awesome for use because it makes us feel really special to be different, unique or… well, special. When people start to like it and it suddenly become wayyyyyy too mainstream, it suddenly sucks or something. For me, it no longer makes me feel different since the majority of society feels like it’s mocking me. That my opinion, though.

  • katieeeee June 7th, 2012 1:32 PM

    It’s interesting coming at this from an “older” perspective (not really that old, I’m only 23!!) but I spent most of my middle school/high school years feeling that way. Like I was such a cultured person who “discovered” certain things before my peers and I feel like I pushed a lot of people away because I didn’t want to share my intrests because I assumed nobody else would “get” it. I also resisted anything I deemed mainstream because I didn’t want any of the cool older counter-culture friends and dudes with beards that I wanted to make out with even though I was like… 14 to think I was like the rest of the teenagers in my school. I was so set on being what I thought was “cool” I drank black coffee because everyone else was having carmel frappuccinos and I exclusively listened to mix tapes of songs by 90s indie bands. A lot of what I liked started out as genuine but in the end I was just trying way way too hard. I eventually reached a place where I realied that carmel fraps are DELICIOUS and I actually can really relate to Taylor Swift songs and I think she’s really talented and that’s okay! I find it funny because people I meet now challenge me like “uhmmm I find it hard to believe that you actually KNOW The Pixies or The Mountain Goats since you just went on for 10 minutes about how upset you were about those people breaking up on Glee” (Finn and Rachel and I SOBBED) You just have to like what makes you happy!

    • Natalie. June 7th, 2012 5:20 PM

      I’m “old” too and totally agree here. You gotta love whatever you love and by standing by the whole mix, both your “cooler” and “lamer” passions you appear confidant and the most interesting (in my opinion) and not too try hard. But I guess it feels different in a huge high school where the majority of the kids love the same stuff. I don’t know, I went to a small Steiner high school. Ahaha re: the coffee, I still drink mine black but I remember a similar thing, when I turned 19 I decided that I had to like wine now and preceded to drink white wine mixed with lemonade after my bar shift every night. A week or so later I switched to soda mix and then got to just white, and I looved it. I can’t even drink white now blagh! Ahaha (red wine forever though)

  • norabarnacle June 7th, 2012 5:23 PM

    This article is also so interesting to me coming from a bit older perspective (23). In high school I was also extremely possessive about my Neutral Milk Hotel, Smiths, R. Crumb, etc. etc. to the point that I wouldn’t even burn CD’s for my brother who liked the music I was playing. But a lot of this was also a reaction to friends of mine who were super possessive, too. In particular one very unattainable cool friend would literally hide her ipod from everyone and I always felt as if there was so much cool music IF ONLY I COULD SEE HER IPOD!!! I wasn’t trying to copy her so much as I just recognized that she was onto some cool shit that I was nowhere near, and I really wanted more more more music to connect with.

    Now I feel like there is not enough time in the world to discover every great band, book, or movie, and so I’m so grateful for all of my friends and also strangers who share their finds with me!! Probably 90% of what I love is a result of recommendations from other people – my guitar teacher, my professors, my friends, family, the people who run Cinefamily (in LA!). And even when I think I’ve “discovered” something, in a bin at the flea market or randomly in a bookstore, it’s refreshing to remember that I couldn’t have “discovered” it if the original owner of that record didn’t have such good taste, or if the bookshop owner didn’t bother opening the bookshop.

    Nothing exists in isolation, so I try not to fight it. The more you share, the more you get – I promise.

  • Esmee June 8th, 2012 6:34 AM

    Oh this sounds too familiar.
    I also see popular as cheap and obscure as special.
    And I mean popular in the sense that it’s literally all over the place. (I do like things that are popular within a certain place, group or scene)

    In the Netherlands, Vans shoes(especially authentics and era’s) are the biggest fashion trend right now, among people who don’t skate or have any affinity with board culture.
    If I see people walking down the street, especially girls, you can’t tell one from another, because they all look the frikkin’ same, wearing exactly the same shoes.
    I do like Vans shoes, I love how people match them with their outfits, so I bought a pair too.
    But not to be affiliated with those girls I mentioned above, I bought, ON purpose, a shoe model that ISN’T popular.
    That’s how far I go to keep away from the popular=cheap.

    So sometimes I do jump on the bandwagon, but I sit on the end, so I can dangle my feet above the ground and I can always jump off easily, know what I mean?

    I have a lot of hobbies and interests, and I do have some trouble sharing them, but it’s a very weird relationship.
    I want to keep them to myself but I also like people to tell about them because they make really great subjects to talk about.
    And people are always surprised when I have something with me that they don’t know: “what’s that Esmée? “Oh slices of coconut with mango chutney”
    “You always have such weird exotic things”
    I thought that was a huge compliment!

  • chewbacca23 June 8th, 2012 12:44 PM

    I think I’m in trance because of this or whatever the yoga shit that is…….

  • emcarls June 8th, 2012 2:29 PM

    I go to a school where it is so not cool to be mainstream so its almost the opposite than this, however its the same kinds of feelings.
    Everyone is all “hipster” and it drives me crazy. I mean I do listen to some obscure music and i love rookie and crafting but everyone is so competitive who found which band first and who started this “indie” trend ect. they also always make fun of hipsters and in my head im always like LOOK AT YOURSELVES haha
    -emma

  • sherbert June 8th, 2012 8:04 PM

    who are these thoughtful but human creatures and why dont i know anyone like you in real life?

  • SorchaR June 9th, 2012 2:17 AM

    I can really relate to this! When I was younger, I was very much all about keeping cool obscure stuff to myself, while simultaneously showing off how cool and obscure I was. (It was much easier to do back in the days before the Internet. Of course, the trade off was missing out on a lot of cool stuff because I never got to hear of it.) I have definitely mellowed in my old age, though – a couple of days ago, I came across someone ranting about new fans of Tom Hiddleston (Loki in “Thor” and “The Avengers”) and how they didn’t even know who he was before “Thor”, yadda yadda. All I could think of was how many other times this same rant has been ranted about bands and movies and books and actors and oh, cheese, probably. Insert thing “A” into rant “B” and stir vigorously!

    Nowadays, I’m into forcing new and obscure things onto all my friends until they tell me to shut up. Being a fangirl who reads and writes fan fiction, I feel that the more people who like something, the more people I have to squee with and share fic with.

  • chancentrate June 11th, 2012 10:05 AM

    Wait – SIx Feet Under is ‘popular culture’?? All this timeI thought that show was MINE! NOOOOO!!!

  • hvit June 11th, 2012 11:49 AM

    To quote Sonja: “I’ve always been into ALTERNATIVE THINGS (still hate that term) and have felt like a weirdo as a result. In recent years, I decided to embrace popular culture. … I liked [it]. I guess it’s easier for me to step aside and just observe when it’s something mainstream.”

    Yes this, this very much. Odd interests that aren’t mainstream are much easier to feel possessive over, but those more widely shared interests are okay, you’re more distanced by the sheer number of people who like them- they’re like a buffer so if someone insults your liking of it/them, then you can just just say, ‘oh but it’s got a really big following!’

    Sometimes though that’s turned against me. If you get a reputation as ‘ALTERNATIVE’ (as Sonja put it) people will pick at you if you have ‘mainstream’ interests. I’m into weird music by obscure Scandinavian bands, and Rookie-like-fashion, and feminism, and literature, but also I love sci-fi and Doctor Who and super-hero films like the Avengers. By brother was nagging me for liking the Avengers- ‘but it’s so popular! How can YOU like that?’

    That really irritates me! My interests are mine, that’s why I’m not YOU! I hate that when you’re into ‘alternative’ you’re pigeonholed, just as much as when you’re into mainstream. It’s just as bad, really. Yay for wide-interests.

    http://hblogsf.blogspot.co.uk/

  • LittleMissE June 11th, 2012 8:34 PM

    I definitely feel the same way – I’m so overprotective of everything I like! My big issue with sharing my interests is the competition. I feel like once I meet someone who enjoys the same things as me, it turns into a big competition of who’s the biggest Harry Potter fan, or who wears the coolest clothes, or who owns the most songs by Bikini Kill, or whatever.

  • stellar August 1st, 2012 8:54 PM

    i can really relate to others suddenly liking w i liked and made fun of me for that before…it’s like “what took u so long, and why?” something tells me it’s waiting til ‘the crowd’ gives them “permission” to…lame.

  • Emma August 17th, 2012 3:06 AM

    I just want to say, I love this. I read all the comments, and the article, and it kind of made my day :)

  • emzurow August 18th, 2012 8:07 AM

    I can relate to this so much. I live in a small town where most people are just interested in pop culture. When someone says they are interested in anything remotely obscure that I am interested in, I am usually shocked/horrified. Not out loud though, there’s usually just a lot of unnecessary cursing in my head. And a battle between irrational me, who is aching to make a nippy comment, and rational me, who knows I shouldn’t be getting so wound up.

    I guess I just like that when something is less well known, you can trust that most people will genuinely like it because it means something to them. Unlike a chart song, where a lot of kids will listen to it purely because it’s in the charts!

  • MadameMim September 11th, 2012 5:19 AM

    Hi everyone!
    I really like the subject of this conversation. I’ve got the same problem! If I discover an unknown band/artist I really like, I will only share it with people I’m really close with and who will love it as much as I do, so we can be excited & addicted together :) I guess that’s the difference between most of you guys and me, I want to share, but only if I’m sure they won’t go like “WOW this is awesome, I must share this with everyone I know!!!” I only share it with people like me, who will share it with a few people who are special to them. If I meet someone who likes the same, unknown stuff as I do, I’m not shocked/horrified, I’m pleasantly surprised! I immediately want to get to know that person.
    I’m 20 but most of the people I share my music with are 35+, sometimes even 40+! I love “old” music (everything before the 90′s, I prefer 30′s-40′s-50′s-60′s & 70′s, 80′s can be cool too, but it also has a lot of shitty music).
    I just hate it that, when I talk to my friends of my age, they’ve never even heard of Robert Plant, Jethro Tull, The Kinks, they don’t know any song by Tom Waits or Nick Cave, these aren’t even obscure bands/artists! I just want some friends to get excited with about how great a song is ;(

  • TessaTheTeenageWitch September 28th, 2012 7:07 AM

    I shared rookie, and now I regret it.