16 April 2019

Encounter

In the display cabinet next to the till counter in our Oxfam shop there was a plastic model of some sort of spaceship. A sweet little five year old boy was looking at it, his face pressed against the glass. His mother said, "It's from Star Wars."

The little boy asked, "What is Star Wars?"

Noticing me behind the counter, smiling down on the scene, the forty something woman said, "Can you explain?"

"Me? No," I said. "I have never seen a Star Wars film."

"Oh. You are one of them are you?"

This wasn't a fun remark. It had an unpleasant, judgemental edge to it. Puzzled by her response I said, "Yes. I'm one of them. Someone who is not interested in that kind of thing."

"You could easily watch a Star Wars film. It would only take up  two hours of your life."

"Yes I could but I am not interested. Why should I waste my time?"

She raised her eyebrows disdainfully At that point, the communication ended and soon the woman with her little son in tow left the shop. I had never seen them before and I suspect that I won't see them again. 

One of them? 

I wonder how she might have described me if I had also informed  her that I have never watched a single James Bond film or any Harry Potter films or Lord of the Rings or  "Game of Thrones". (By the way, is that like the children's party game - Musical Chairs?) Yes my friends, I am not just "one of them", I am a super "one of them". I'm so "one of them" it is surprising that I haven't been locked up. 

How about you? Are you also "one of them" or are you,  like the snide woman in the shop, a fully-certified card-carrying normal human being?

54 comments:

  1. I'm not as "them" as you are, I did watch the first three Star Wars, liked the first two, thought the third was stupid. Couldn't abide Lord of the Rings, did like Harry Potter. Don't like James Bond, too sexist and stupid. But really, what kind of thing is that to say to anyone, much less someone you don't know? She made herself sound like some sort of git.

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    1. Earlier I had been talking to the little boy over by the children's book shelves. Her body language suggested that she didn't approve of my friendly interaction with her son.

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  2. Like what you like and give your time to the things that bring you joy. Where does she get off telling you what you should give your attention too?

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    1. The thing is I have always been very independent in my thinking. I don't belong in any easy category - let alone "them".

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  3. I am exactly like you. I've only seen two of the movies you list. My daughter took me to a Harry Potter movie and I did see a star wars movie when it first came out.

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    1. I prefer films that build upon human reality - not fantasy.

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  4. I guess I am somewhere in the middle. I have seen most of the movies you mentioned. I had two young boys when Star Wars came out so it was a big deal in our household. But I don't really care if something is all the rage or not. I watch what I think I will enjoy. That lady was rude to you in my opinion. We all have our individual tastes and if we are all different then the world is a more interesting place!

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    1. Yes she was rude but you are always pleasant and polite Bonnie. Thank you for calling by again.

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  5. I feel sorry for the child. Meanwhile, to answer your question, I'm a fully-certified, card-carrying weirdo.

    But then, isn't everybody somebody else's weirdo?

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    1. If I wanted to be a sheep I'd put a fleece on my back, crawl on the ground and say "Baaa!" repeatedly.

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  6. "Why, you stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder!” A quote from Star Wars you could have used. I like the Harry Potter and the early James Bond films.

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    1. I think they have foxy ladies in Bond films. You could have easily been "one of them" Sue!

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  7. I am partly one of them, as I am often completely disinterested to the point of being unaware when it comes to popular culture. For instance, Game of Thrones? Alien to me. The Kardashians? Meghan and Harry? James Bond? Sorry, but I really couldn't care less.
    On the other hand, I have been a Star Trek (NOT Star Wars) fan for decades (but lost interest about 5 years ago), ever since watching the original series as a child in the 1970s. I also really love Harry Potter - the books before the films.

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    1. I have "known" you for a long time now and I know that you make your own choices. You do not go with the flock. I forgive you for being drawn to some fantasy fiction and film but this does not make you "one of them".

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  8. I was born a child and ever since have always liked childish things such as the films you mentioned. Judgemental I am not, stupid woman (the shop keeper) ;)

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    1. Eh? I don't get the last sentence Thelma. When one is "one of them" one is a bit thick!

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  9. Whooray, I'm not as odd as I thought. I have also not watched these programmes. I must admit that I did try the first 'Harry Potter' book to see what it was all about but only got a few pages in before thinking how childish is was.
    There are a lot of 'sheep' out there.
    Briony
    x

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    1. I tried to read "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" but five chapters in I gave up. The concept was boring and it was badly written too.

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  10. I'm also as "bad" as you. I may have watched one or two Bond films and the first few Harry Potter ones, but none of the others you mention. I can also add none of the Indiana Jones ones either.

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    1. Sinner that I am, I confess that I once watched "Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom". I enjoyed it and I think that Harrison Ford was a great actor in his heyday.

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  11. I am one of those as well! I have seen some Potter films and some early Bonds but that's about it!

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    1. Are the "one of those" people superior to the "one of them" folk?

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  12. You are not alone, Yorkie...I've not seen them, either. Similar applies to 'Star Trek".

    My favourite Bond was and still is Sean Connery...I've seen some of the others...but lost interest.

    I've watched a couple of episodes of Season One of "Game of Thrones"...I have it on hold and may get back to it one day...maybe...perhaps...

    I watched the first Harry Potter movie years ago...and enjoyed it. I've not seen any of the Lord of the Rings...but have read the books..and loved them.

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    1. I have known you through blogging for a few years now and I know that you are fiercely independent - refusing to automatically go with the flow.

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  13. Same. My standard response is that I'm sure the Game of Thrones books, series, films are very good, but you can't read or see everything, and there are other things I'd like to read or see too.

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    1. Precisely Mr Dunham. Besides, I always bristle when there's so much hype around film phenomena. It's mostly about making massive profits.

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  14. I did see the early Star Wars films and loved Lord of the Rings but Game of Thrones has passed me by. This partly because it's on Sky Atlantic which isn't available on Virgin but mostly because I would have to watch them for three days solid just to catch up!

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    1. Fantasy in Literature or film rarely appeals to me. I like my fiction to be rooted in reality. We only have access to terrestrial channels and Netflix because of our daughter's Firestick subscription but in any case I don't like the sound of "Game of Thrones".

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  15. I really dislike meeting people who feel compelled to put you in a 'box' when they meet you to decide whether or not you are worthy of their presence. Back in my salad days, I drove a first date to despair as he tried to pigeonhole me into classifications as if I were a butterfly (or bug) he could pin on his board. I spent the evening gleefully contradicting every single statement he made about me. Drove him crazy. Needless to say, there was no second date. Couldn't wait to get away from him.

    Not a fan of fantasy or violence as a form of entertainment. Might be why I no longer watch television, don't read those kinds of books and haven't been to a movie in ages. But to each his/her own.

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    1. I sometimes wish that I had similar resolve. Our "head spaces" can easily be polluted by the stuff we are fed by the televisual entertainment industry.

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  16. Apart from the early James Bond films, I haven't watched any of the others. Not a fan of Sci-Fi, and I wouldn't be able to name any of the characters in any of the other films mentioned. Thank goodness some of us have different tastes.

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    1. I have heard of a character called Luke Skywalker but I think that I picked that up in a pub quiz. I don't like much sci-fi and I don't really like ghost stories either. It all seems like a load of tosh to me but of course I am "one of them" so beware!

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  17. The first star wars was the first film I ever saw in the cinema.
    I may have taken my own kids to one of the Harry potter series (I forget) but otherwise I haven't seen any of what you mention

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    1. You are a tricky customer Kylie. It is hard to judge whether or not you are also "one of them".

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    2. Lol, well let me just say that my "normal" card was revoked long ago

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  18. I am neither. I watched in the early days and then didn't any more. But how terribly rude of a comment about you!!

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    1. I always treat people as individuals. Swift pigeonholing is a bit like racism.

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  19. Who gets to say what category who goes into? That's ridiculous. I'd like to think that the range of human interests extends in many directions and that trying to define ourselves or each other by what we have watched or haven't watched, read or haven't read is, in itself, quite limiting.

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    1. I think you have caught exactly why this incident has stayed with me.

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  20. I am one of them! Her comment suggests that she is not 'one of them',so why didn't she explain the film to the boy herself? Instead she gave him a lesson on how to be rude to people.

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    1. Fortunately, most people who come in our Oxfam shop are very nice. I don't know how that woman acquired her bitterness but you could see it written in her face.

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  21. I may or may not be one of them -- some days I am and some days I'm not -- but what I am, as usual, is late to the party. I saw some of the early Star Wars movies but none of the later ones. I never read or saw any of the Harry Potter stuff but my son-in-law and grandsons are obsessed with it all and when we visit in Alabama we are forced to watch rerun after rerun on their big TV screen in no particular order. I have never seen any of the James Bond movies. But I did love Lord of the Rings. As I said, maybe I am one of them and maybe I'm not.

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    1. P.S. - And the only kinds of cards I carry put me deeper in debt.

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    2. I like the idea of visiting grandparents suffering TV torture as they are forced to watch Harry Potter films over and over again. Past communications with you indicate quite powerfully that you are also "one of them" my good sir.

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  22. And you have your own foundation! Bravo!

    I'm kind of one of them. I'm not up on Harry Potter films at all, though I think I may have seen one. (I can't even remember, which isn't a good sign.) I did love the Lord of the Rings movies, though, and I loved the Star Wars films as a kid. I think I've seen all the James Bond films through the mid-'80s, when I basically stopped watching until Daniel Craig came along.

    I do think that when something is as big a cultural phenomenon as Star Wars, it's probably a good idea to invest some time and watch one of the movies -- just for the sake of cultural literacy. (If you do this, watch the first one, from 1977.) It's OK if you don't like it, but at least then you'd know that spaceship is the Millennium Falcon, piloted by Han Solo!

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    1. Oh, and "Game of Thrones" -- NOT my bag. We did watch the first season, again, just for the sake of cultural literacy. But I had no desire to go any further. (And it took some effort to get that far!) It's way too bloody, for one thing.

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    2. For the sake of cultural literacy do you think I should watch "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" and catch a few porno films? How about "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"? Seriously though - I do understand where you are coming from on this point but after all this time I want it chiselling on to my tombstone "He never watched Star Wars".

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  23. Gregg takes great pride in never having seen any of the Star Wars films. I saw the original three as a kid but couldn't care less about the new ones. I read all of the Game of Thrones books years ago and since we have HBO, we spent some time getting caught up on the shows last year. I enjoyed the books and the shows, even though I'm normally not a big fantasy or Sci Fi fan, and they ARE extremely bloody.

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    1. I think that Gregg is qualified to be "one of them". Welcome to the club Gregg!

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  24. While I am a Star Wars, Game of Thrones and Harry Potter fan - I would always defend your right to not be a fan = each to their own. And I certainly don't think you are "odd" or "one of them" however, I do find your comment at the end - lumping the likes of me in with that very snide woman - not only a bit harsh - but exactly the type of comment you so rightly objected to....

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    1. Sorry Margie. I did not mean to imply that all fans of those films are snide.

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  25. Never saw any Star Wars movies (and would have had a reply that matched that woman's rudeness had she called me 'one of them'), have seen only two James Bond movies (the old ones, and they were just OK), never saw Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, or Survivor (US reality show). I'm such a rebel!

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    1. You are clearly "one of them" too Catrina.

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