We live in an age of fandom. People cling to their favorite things to the point where they become an obsession. As you read this very sentence, the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees are battling it out in the World Series, and crazed fans from each team are rooting them on like lunatics. (Hours prior to the final National League playoff game, the city of Philadelphia greased the city's lampposts to prevent festive fans from climbing them.)
You probably know plenty of sci fi fanatics, and a few passionate Mac users. We don't need to tell you about the wild Twilight fans who have already bought tickets for the premiere of New Moon next month. And everyone probably knows a Harry Potter or Star Wars geek. But when your friend is a fan, and you are not, it can strain the relationship. We have a few tips to help you deal with your favorite fanboy or fangirl.
1. Don't pretend that you're a fan too.
True fans can spot a faker. If you say, "Ooh, I love Twilight!", but you really don't care about the series, fans will know. Eventually, you'll get something wrong. For instance, you might slip up and say, "I really liked the part when Twilight was running through the jungle. Twilight is my favorite character." And never jump on the bandwagon if the local sports teams starts to have a winning streak. The true fans will mock you and your brand-new, unstained team jersey.
2. Don't try to change a fan's mind.
If Star Wars isn't your cup of tea, but your friend insists that Star Wars is the greatest thing to happen to mammals since shelter was invented, feel free to engage in a lively debate. However, know that the fan's opinion will never change. Don't waste too much time trying to convince him that he's wrong. It will only end badly with tears and name calling. Besides, Star Wars should never end a friendship (unlike Star Trek).
3. Pay no attention to the girl with the wand.
Fans will often go out of their way to show how much they love a particular book, band, movie, or team. They will even dress up as their favorite character/player. When this happens, don't make fun of them. That only encourages them. Instead, ignore their attire. If your best friend is wearing a Hermione ensemble from Harry Potter, don't mention it, and talk about something else, like the weather, or bobsleds. If you ignore the problem, it might go away…just like a dog's flatulence.
4. Never use a fan's computer
You're not going to like what you find. Fans love to drown their computers in all sorts of crazy fan items, from photos, to wallpapers, to movie clips, to fan-made movie clips. If you thought your friend was a bit odd before, you'll be even more concerned after you take a glance at his computer. And whatever you do, don't open the file folder named "My Poems." When it comes to dealing with an obsessed fan, ignorance is bliss.
5. Try it. You might like it.
Have you ever thought about embracing fandom instead of shunning it? Yes, you'll lose a few points on the Coolness Scale, but it will strengthen your friendship. Instead of balking at the idea of painting "Go Team" on your bare belly, or camping outside of a bookstore for a new release, give it a shot. If nothing else, you'll come away with a heck of a story to tell. And if you decide to camp out for Twilight tickets, can you get us one too? It's…um…for our little sister. Honest!
Are you a fan? Or the friend of a fan?
Related post: Which Harry Potter Character Are You?