Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Dear Carolyn: My wife is an avid reader and enjoys a lot of different types of books. Among them are series usually geared towards teenagers, like "The Hunger Games" or "Twilight." Before the premier of the latest movie, she rereads the series and then goes to the midnight showing with a group of girlfriends.
I am not talking about teenagers here, or even people in their 20s. We are in our 30s and both professionals. I think my wife's interest in these books and movies is juvenile, and I don't really understand it. I feel mildly embarrassed that she can talk (in detail!) to my nieces about these books at holiday gatherings.
My wife thinks her reading selection is her business only, and these books provide a nice relief from everyday problems. I can see her point, but on the other hand, I'm not sure why she can't get the same thing from adult literature. Who is the odd one here, me or my wife?
There's no odd, there's just snobby with a chance of insecure. Why do you care so much about what she reads?
Specifically, what are you trying to prove to others by having her appear too smart or sophisticated to enjoy the occasional "YA" potboiler - and why do you feel the need to prove this urgently enough that you're "embarrassed" when she goes public with her down-market tastes?
She's an avid reader and likes all kinds of things, which means the lights are surely on for all to see. Plus, she's taking in information from a wide range of sources and using it to relate better to people beyond her group of peers. How does that not make her awesome, and how would a strict diet of adult literature improve her?
I'm also wondering what the difference would be if she and her friends escaped to "The Great Gatsby"? Would they leave the theater more "professional"?
Does it make sense - for you - to spend any time picking one of those people apart? To snip-snip at her literary preferences, or any other superficial trait of hers, just because you don't fully understand it or value it?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Chat online at 10 a.m. Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.