Secret Pop

Apr 18, 2002

"How often would you say you eat meat snacks?"

I am indecisive. When someone asks me my favorite color or my favorite song or my favorite anything, I panic, realizing that I don't have any idea how to answer such questions. I like all sorts of things. I guess I'd be able to say what my favorite song from late 1983 was, for instance. Wait. No. Still a tie there. Matthew Wilder's Break My Stride and Duran Duran's Union of the Snake both equally rocked my world, as I recall. Okay, so I MIGHT be able to give you a straight answer if the query created a very very specific and narrow category. But in most cases, I just have too many things that I like, and I can't make up my mind. I have to create parameters. I have to answer like this: "Well, I guess if I was stranded on a desert island and could only listen to one song for the rest of time, it might be something by John Lennon. Woman, maybe. Or Imagine."

I really admire people who have clarity. "What's your favorite color?" I might ask. To which they would say, "Green." No disclaimers. No footnotes. Just a straight answer. But then there's me. "I think green might be my favorite color. I certainly buy a lot of it. But I really like blue, too. And don't forget red." It goes on like that. Endlessly. Don't ever send me one of those forwarded questionnaires in an attempt to get to know me better. You'll never get a straight answer out of me.

When I was a bit younger, I used to find myself making lists a lot. I would write to friends in faraway places and tell them what music I liked these days. It would end up being some twenty-item list that included three albums from the same artist. Probably The Smiths. Could any of my friends have possibly found this interesting? Was I just posturing? Do I actually have tastes of my own? I guess I do. I just lack the ability to commit. I don't want to alienate the Burl Ives-lovers of the world with my cries of how great Mitch Miller is. I don't want to drive pie-eaters to tears with my insistence that ice cream is the superior dessert confection. I want to be friends with everyone. And I welcome the influence of a new opinion.

I do have the ability to feel strongly about things. But I think I tend to do it in secret. Or on a web page.

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