Things I Don’t Get

I’ve been thinking about some of the things that lots of people I know absolutely rave about, or I feel a lot of social pressure to like, but in reality I just don’t get—for whatever reason, they simply don’t click with me. A sample:

Podcasts: Sometimes it seems like all the fun discussion these days is happening on podcasts. Because of that, I want to like them. But somehow I don’t have the patience to listen, and I find it hard to stay engaged with them.

Museums: I have a really hard time with museums; I just find them boring. Looking at objects and displays doesn’t do much for me.

Strawberries: It amazes me how much people love strawberries, how they’re widely seen as a treat, how they’re even dipped in chocolate. I simply can’t stand them.

Breaking Bad: So many of my friends love this show, and I see it appearing all the time in lists of the best television. I’ve tried to watch it twice, and seriously found it unwatchable.

Nature: It’s not that I dislike nature. I genuinely enjoy being in the mountains or visiting the ocean or being in a forest. But for me, it’s not a transcendent experience. It doesn’t really move me emotionally. For years, I felt tremendous pressure to be having certain experiences when I was out in nature that I just wasn’t having. It’s been a relief to let that expectation go.

The sacrament: In 41 years in the church, I have yet to have any kind of spiritual experience related to the sacrament. I’ve tried various ways of making it meaningful, but in the end it’s a ritual that leaves me cold. People talk about it making a difference to take it; I’ve never felt that way at all. I still take it, but I’ve stopped driving myself crazy trying to make it into anything special.

I’d be curious to hear what other people would put on a list like this.


  1. I was a podcast holdout for a while, but once I started listening to them and found stuff that I enjoyed, I found all kinds of little quiet times when I could listen to them.

    Oh, sorry, but I was supposed to add to your list. How about this one? Music in general I don’t find moving in a way that I feel like everyone around me does. There’s definitely music that I like, particularly Christmas music, but on the whole, I feel like I’m just missing a part of my ears or my brain for music appreciation.

  2. Chick-fil-A! Everyone here in Utah seems crazy about it, but I’ve been there a couple times and disliked my food. Mystified. And amen to your thoughts; I don’t have the same feeling about all of them that you do, but it’s clear that we can’t expect everyone to appreciate things in an identical way. I love cilantro; my daughter thinks it tastes like soap. What can you do? But it is a danger in the church since we push certain experiences and feelings as blanket expectations.

  3. Tilda Swinton. Apparently a great actor, and some people find her beautiful, but I think she looks like an alien.

    Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson. I understand its importance, but I couldn’t get through it. Too boring.

  4. Sports! I guess I can kinda see how some people might like playing them (not me, certainly, but other hypothetical people). But watching other people play them and following statistics and whatnot? I just don’t get the appeal. At all.

  5. Peanut butter- I didn’t realize I didn’t like it until I was an adult.

    Pets- We had a cat for 4 years, but he was eventually killed by a car. We now have a dog who is adored by our children, but sadly, she adores me the most. It’s an unfortunate love triangle.

    People who like to clean-
    I’m listening to the magics of tidying up. Hopefully it will help me see the light. Like all self-help books.

    Going on a drive-
    Isn’t driving just a way to get from point A to point B? Never made sense as a fun thing to do on its own.

    Belly Button healing
    Look it up- had my first bizarre experience today.

  6. I am not an animal lover. I do want them treated humanely and well cared for. But, I do not want to have a pet or to pet your dog, or cat, or whatever. Sometimes I will click on an animal video, “just” to see if my grandson might like it.

  7. Also never wanted a pet. Just not into that whole having to care for it, feed it thing, and the serious stress it would be if it were ill, and can’t tell you what the problem is. Never seen the appeal. At all. At least my kids got past that baby stage.

    Television. How in the world do people find the time? And to be tied to looking at a screen. Love radio though, that travels with you, and intelligent talk radio makes all those tedious activities bearable.

    Fizz in drinks. Horrible sensation.

  8. There are things that I get why other people like them, but it’s just not for me (like dogs). I don’t get, however:

    Lu La Roe (expensive and everyone looks lumpy and frumpy!)
    Monogrammed kids’ clothes
    Smocked voluminous dresses on little girls
    Smocked “bubble” rompers on little boys
    Electronics for little kids

  9. I am not just indifferent to dogs, I actively dislike them. I would never harm one and I can fake it around friends’ dogs, but I just think they’re obnoxious and slobbery and smelly and loud and I don’t want them anywhere near me. I love cats, though.

    I hate watermelon. It tastes like and is texturally akin to styrofoam partially dissolved (if styrofoam dissolved) in water sprinkled with sugar substitute.

    Pears. They’re grainy and mushy, two textures I am not a fan of, especially together.

    Harry Potter movies. I loved the books. I liked the first two movies. Hated the rest of them. It’s unfortunate because my spouse and I are going to London next week and when we were planning, we asked for recommendations from people who’d been and everyone kept recommending the studio tour (and that’s all).

    Athleisure. I just can’t wrap my head around wearing gym clothes anywhere but the gym. I don’t like it and I’m not doing it.

    There is a certain brand of comedy that many people love but which makes me cringe and want to hide behind the sofa. Think “Napoleon Dynamite” or “Elf.” I get sympathetic embarrassment and I just can’t watch things with that kind of comedy.

    Kale. I know it’s healthy. But I’ve tried it in smoothies and as chips and in stews and in stir fries and it’s been permanently relegated to the “buy it and feel guilty as it slowly rots in my refrigerator” section of my grocery list.

  10. Things I don’t get:

    Star Wars
    Steak. I can’t deal with the texture.
    Zombies. Don’t understand the love for The Walking Dead. (As far as tv goes, I do absolutely love Breaking Bad!)
    Temple. Anxiety inducing. Never get that spiritual feeling that “everyone else” seems to get.

  11. There’s a lot of things on here that listed here that I like, which just goes to show that people are different, and that’s beautiful. I do have to agree that I don’t get the whole LuLaRoe thing. My Facebook feed has been blowing up with it and most of the clothes just look like what my mom used to sew for me growing up: oversized stuff in bright knit prints. Only more expensive. But, each to their own.

    Some things I’ve tried to like (or tolerate) and just can’t get excited about:

    water with lemon
    Pokemon Go
    very skinny jeans (on myself)
    year-round Christmas stores

  12. Love Breaking Bad.

    But my list of things I don’t get?

    Crossfit: No, I don’t need to hear about your Workout of the Day.
    Paleo: I know I would be healthier if I ate this way. But the fanaticism freaks me out. Also, I like bread.
    Camping: I like nature. Then I like a shower. And a bed.
    Onions: Gross.
    Cupcake shops: Too pink and cutesy. Can we go to a regular bakery please?
    Pokemon Go: It just doesn’t activate my reward system.
    Superhero movies: Why do I have to drive an hour to see a movie with story, character depth, and more dialogue than action?

  13. Thanks for all the comments! I love some of the stuff on your lists, and agree with some of it. It’s really interesting to see the variety in what people dislike. I like anita’s point that it’s dangerous to push certain feelings/experiences as the way everyone should be expected to react.

  14. I don’t get Facebook, or any other kind of “social media.” Yeah, I read Facebook and occasionally post a link to an article that I think other people should know about, but as for telling the world details about my life … no. Just no.

    I also don’t get why other people seem to enjoy the temple so much and claim it will cure what ails you spiritually. I’m always so worried when I’m there as in “Am I doing this right? What if I have to go to the bathroom in the middle of a session? Which way does my veil go again? Why can’t I wear a simple jumpsuit like the men?” Once I spent an entire session worried about where our car was parked and if it were going to be towed away. I just can’t relax and feel the spirit, I guess.

    High heels. Whenever I see ladies tottering into church on them, I just want to shake them and cry, “Why are you doing this to yourselves?” I don’t have much use for fashion, either. I just don’t get why we are supposed to care. I mean, looking good is one thing, but chasing a certain style just because it’s in? Nope, don’t get it. (Why, yes, I am dumpy and frumpy, how could you tell?)

    Podcasts and talk radio where people discuss and talk about things? Can’t stand them. I prefer to read a well-written essay instead, without all the “um’s” and “ah’s” and people interrupting. I also don’t like listening to General Conference, or even most talks in church. I’d rather read.

  15. Ziff, I’m glad to hear you like Christmas music. I’m an aficionado and have an extensive collection (including lots of sacred art stuff).

  16. Harry Potter. Don’t get me wrong. I like Harry Potter, but I have no need to reread it or anything.

  17. I can’t gin up any enthusiasm for family history. Or chewing gum. I don’t know how anyone can stand chewing gum.

  18. Facebook. I have a page, but I visit it about once a year simply to reject all the friend requests. I have no time or interest to find out what people I haven’t seen since high school had for breakfast.

    I also don’t understand people who don’t like sports (Laura). Except soccer. I’d rather watch paint dry.

    Texting and driving. Yes, I’ve seen you. You’re everywhere. And you drive like zombies. Knock it off.

  19. So many things I don’t understand or like…
    Television: I watch with my husband, but only on Netflix (no commercials) and only if I have something else to do. It is so boring.
    Comic books/comic book movies. Just. No.
    Dystopian or apocalyptic books/movies- Why? What is the appeal? Awful.
    Pets: I love animals-so cute. No desire whatsoever to own a pet.
    The temple: nothing remotely moving or spiritual for me there.
    Podcasts/talk radio- I can read the same information in a tiny fraction of the time and avoid all the fluff. Not my thing at all… My husband LOVES NPR talk radio and I just can’t stand it.

  20. Nrc42,

    If you haven’t left yet, go to the Victoria and Albert museum, the horse guards, the british museum, the british library. The tower of london is fantastic, and go on the … ooh… what’s it called… the jack the ripper tour, but make sure you go on the one hosted by the guards who work the tower of london! Its super fun, and takes you down brick lane, then since you know where iuyt is go get super delicious indian food. There’s also the famous gardens. Argh, I don’t remember what they’re called. And… let’s see… check to see if there are any scheduled transportation strikes. That makes life super tricky.

  21. Sports, pets, musicals, fad diets (paleo, gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free, high-fat, zone this n’ that), and carbonated drinks. I’m always afraid I’m about to be thrown out of America.

    I believe quite strongly that no one actually likes kale.

    I do love to walk in nature and listen to my podcasts. I’m glad you’re my sister and have to love me anyway.

  22. Zucchini – always tastes like dirt.
    All melons smell like they are rotting
    Podcasts – too much boring filler and inane content, and you never know when/if they will become interesting enough to be worth your time. With NPR talk, at least there is an announced topic and a known end time for each segment.
    Instagramming ordinary meals with no visual interest or culinary novelty. So narcissistic. Look at me! I post therefore I am!
    Cupcakes – have I missed something, because I can’t eat them neatly without utensils. If I try I get frosting on my nose. Plus there is a better frosting to cake ratio with sheet and layer cakes.

  23. Hiking in Southern Utah. I hate red rocks, red dirt, and 107 degree weather.

    Noisy people. Shut. Up. Already.

    Pina colada taste and smell.

    Toddlers. (They are noisy. And irrational.)

    Scarves. They are so lovely on others, but I feel claustrophobic and as wee bit like I have an anaconda wrapped around my neck.

    Those awful new CFL lightbulbs with 3500K color. They make colors look sickly and dirty. I can spot them anywhere.

    Forks that have prongs that are too long. Who wants to have the back of their throat gouged?

    Gray. Hate that color, especially when it is paired with yellow.


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