Don’t worry, culture’s overrated

Consider this a new segment: Making You Feel Better About You

I was at happy hour this past week with the people I work with and we have a new arrival who just moved to DC so naturally everyone was giving her suggestions about fun things to do in the area. The suggestions included:

  • The Torpedo Factory: where once torpedoes were made but now it’s an artist commune type place where you can see art and talk to the artists
  • The National Building Museum: it’s so huge and has so many fascinating exhibits
  • The National Portrait Gallery: Hello, portraits
  • The Folger: Because why wouldn’t you want to go see Shakespeare?
  • The Kennedy Center: Because CULTURE

You may notice a trend developing here. All the suggestions were very artsy fartsy and cultured. In the spirit of this being where you can go to feel better about yourself, my contribution to the discussion went something like this: “Of course, you know, we have cable in DC, too, so if you want to be like me and just go home and watch 6 hours of the Real Housewives or Murder, She Wrote that’s cool, too, and I strongly suggest it especially in the hot, nasty, humid summer.”

Once upon a time, I used to be someone who read a lot of substantive literature (and not all of it in English) and when I lived in New York City I frequented places of culture and got season tickets to ABT and NYC ballets. I attended the concerts of indie rock groups in Brooklyn before Brooklyn was as cool as it is now and I even worked with artists and had my photographs in two different art shows at NYU. I liked it, that was what I was into at the time.

Sometimes, lately, I find myself thinking I’ve become so much more of a… jock?

I like being outside and running, I’ve grown to love rowing, but the other stuff… Well, let’s just say I don’t read things with footnotes anymore. It’s been awhile. Unlike a lot of other people I know, though, this doesn’t bother me when I find myself on hour 5 of Real Housewives and I don’t watch Murder, She Wrote ironically, either. I’ve loved that show since it was airing original episodes so no one should be telling me about Jessica Fletcher. And when I mentioned that Delaware had no sales tax on clothes and one of my co-workers said “see, you can spend your days like Nicole: go to the mall and then go home and watch Real Housewives! Maybe spend some time at the gym, too.”

I was not at all perturbed by this even though it wasn’t intended as a compliment. In fact, I had a good laugh at it and then said, “Well, I’m secure enough in my intellect to not feel like I need to sound cultured. I don’t spend any time in the gym. And also, they’re bringing Dina back to Real Housewives of New Jersey. Can’t miss that shit.”

Moral of the story: don’t let the “culture” snobs make you feel crappy because you like trashy reality television and don’t want to pay more for clothes than you need to.

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