One of my biggest pet peeves is people nagging me to read or watch something. It’s perfectly fine to suggest something to me and tell me why you like it. Honestly, that’s the best way to get me to read something. Just mention it, talk it up, and let it drop. At that point, you have a 50/50 chance of me reading or watching it. Even better, don’t suggest it to me! Just gush to me about how awesome it is. Then there’s about a 60/40 chance I’ll pick it up right away and a 90% chance that it will go on my list.
What bothers me are two scenarios.
The first is the person who repeatedly tells me to read/watch something and then checks in to see if I have done so. An example: A library patron suggested that I watch Firefly. I said that I would when I finished the show I was watching at the time. The patron insisted, again, that I watch it, because it’s only one season. I said, again, that I would when I finished what I was currently watching. For the next six months, every single time that patron came in, she asked if I had watched it yet. I still haven’t watched it. In fact, any desire I had to watch it has pretty much evaporated, growing less and less with each nagging session.
The second is the person who thrusts something into my hands. This is something that actually literally happens sometimes. I think it’s a side effect of working in a library. A recent example: Last week, a coworker and I were talking about cats, like we do, and after a ten minute conversation we both went back to our work. Or so I thought. I was sitting at my off desk area and within five minutes the coworker was back with a DVD from across the library. She thrust it at me and said, “Take this and watch it this weekend. You’ll love it.” This coworker has done this numerous times with books and movies and television shows, taking the physical object and pushing it on me so that I feel like not accepting it would be rude. In one instance, she pushed a book into my hands and I explained that I had a lot of books checked out that I needed to get through and she said, “You don’t HAVE to read anything.” Except what you’re suggesting, right?
When I accepted the movie on Friday, I started stewing about it right away. I checked it out and took it home and looked at my little stack of waiting DVD’s. There was Eureka: Season 3 and The Muppets Christmas Carol. I had been looking forward to watching both of these and intended to watch the Muppets this weekend and get a good start on Eureka, which was due today and I hadn’t started it yet. But I didn’t. Instead, I was so peeved all weekend that I only watched an episode of X-Files and two of Friends. Whenever I entered the living room I encouraged Hubby to play his new video game.
But now it’s Monday and this morning I returned the suggested movie and renewed my season 3 and told Hubby that I’m watching my Muppets tonight. I realize that maybe I wasted a lot of time stewing about something kind of stupid. Obviously, people suggest things to me because either they think I’ll really like them or because they really like them and want to share them. That’s not so bad, is it?
I get worked up about it because there is so much that I want to read and watch that there is no way I will ever get to it all. Even my chances of actually getting through my library books before maternity leave are slim. But people mean well when they make these suggestions. I worry about the worst case scenarios. What if I HATE the thing and have to lie about it to save someone’s feelings? What if taking one suggestion leads to the slippery slope of multiple suggestions? When is the right time to say “no more”?
Maybe next year that will be one of my resolutions: Pursue some of the things that people vehemently suggest to me. It will make them happy. Will making them happy end up making me happy? Isn’t it work a try?