Several years ago, I was catching up with two friends when the conversation turned to favorite books. When I posed the question, “What is the best book you’ve ever read?” my two friends replied “Pride and Prejudice” in almost perfect unison. Having never read it myself, I was intrigued.
As luck would have it, I found a paperback copy of Jane Austen’s classic at the local market for just $2. I took it home and curled up in my comfy chair for a good read. To my disappointment, by the time I had reached the 50-page-mark I was bored shitless. I reluctantly finished the book, waiting eagerly for something incredible to happen. I expected a epic twist in the tale, the introduction of a brilliant character or a touching moral to win my heart. But nothing happened. I didn’t hate the book, I just didn’t like it.
This puzzled me. Why did I feel so lukewarm about the tale that had gotten both of my friends into such a tizz? Had I read it wrong? Had I missed something? Several weeks later, I was struck down with a nasty cold. In my bedridden state, I decided to give the book another go.
The second reading produced similar results. It wasn’t a bad story, I just found it bland. I didn’t connect with any of the characters. As for Mr Darcy, the hero who had my friends practically fainting from adoration, I found him arrogant and dull. By the end of the book, I just didn’t care what happened.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had lukewarm feelings for a text that’s widely adored by the members of my gender. When I was fifteen, I went to visit my cousin. After a lengthy conversation about our favorite films, she was gobsmacked that I’d never seen Dirty Dancing. She flew across the room, slammed the cassette into the VCR and parked me in front of the telly. When the film finished, she eagerly asked what I thought of the film. When I told her I hadn’t liked it, her jaw unravelled. Defiantly, she rewound the tape and made me watch it again. I had to admit to her that the second viewing didn’t please me any more than the first.
Since then, I’ve been almost ashamed to admit that I don’t like Dirty Dancing. So many women list it as one of their favorite films, and even admit to having fantasies about Patrick Swayze after watching it. When I tell people that it just didn’t do it for me, they usually look at me like I’ve gone nuts. It’s as though they think I must have an igloo in my drawers to not find that movie sexy. What can I say? It just wasn’t my bag.
It just goes to show that everyone is different, and that even though everyone else thinks something is brilliant, doesn’t mean you necessarily will.
Is there anything that everyone else seems to love, but which just doesn’t do it for you? If so, leave a comment and tell me all about it!