I am probably giving away too much, but here goes:
I readily confess to being a snob. An arbitrary, opinionated, sometimes contrary snob, but a snob nonetheless.
I read the dictionary and love the origins of words and their more obscure or obsolete uses. My goal in life is to get the complete, unabridged Oxford English Dictionary. I would build a special bookshelf to house said dictionary.
I think people who don’t read books have something fundamentally wrong with them and I don’t trust them and don’t think they have much going on in their heads.
I categorize people based on their taste in books, too. Nora Robers & John Grisham = Fox News/People Magazine type. Current best sellers = Mostly ok, bordering on trend-chaser. Classics and only classics = the worst kind of ivory-towered academic.
If you have a liking for a style of music I find awful, it colours my opinion of you and I immediately plug you into a category. C&W = hick. Current pop = ditz. Celine Dion = all your taste is in your mouth and even that’s probably debatable. However, if you like the music I like, you must be someone worth knowing.
If you like the following:
Dave Matthews Band
Excellent – we can talk about decent music.
If you like any of these:
Great Big Sea
The Beautiful South/Crowded House
Then you have wonderful taste and we can probably talk about lots of things in addition to music.
People who don’t follow the news, at least a bit, are also foreign to me. People who listen to NPR immediately go up in my estimation. If you read The New Yorker or Atlantic Monthly, you get bonus points.
Ultra-conservatives make my skin crawl.
I don’t give a shit about clothing, but I can’t stand it when people look sloppy. Comfortable is fine, but attempt to match your shirt and trousers and don’t wear white socks with dress shoes.
Poor table manners make me nauseous. I stopped dating a guy once because he talked with his mouth full and waved around his fork while he was eating. Great guy, very intelligent, funny, taller than me (hard for me to find), but his eating habits were one step up from a toddler’s.
Also, please put your napkin in your lap. Please put the glasses above the knife. Please put the fork on the left-hand side of the plate and the knife (blade towards the plate) and spoon on the right. Don’t saw at your meat. Eating in the European fashion will win you points with me. When you are done, put your knife and fork at 4:20 on your plate and don’t, for the love of god, place your napkin on top of your dirty plate.
I love good (read: expensive/wanky) food, especially if it’s prepared by someone else – more so because I don’t then have to do dishes than any lack of ability in my cooking skills – but I’ll also readily enjoy hot dogs at Fenway Park or Kraft dinner out of the pretty blue box.
I also like Miracle Whip.
Cheese. Cheese is good. If you don’t like cheese, you are internally flawed and I will glance askance at you. Frequently.
Don't get me started on crappy beers. Bud Light is not beer, it's beer-flavoured water. Same holds true for Michelob Light, Miller light and anything with the word Ultra in the name. NB - if you have to put a piece of fruit in your beer, it's a shitty beer.
Chocolate. If you don’t like chocolate, I just can’t trust you. How can you not like chocolate? It’s ok (sort of) if you like Dove or some other mass-produced thing, but if you get into wanky chocolates, even better. And if you love dark chocolate with a passion bordering on obsession, well, come sit by me. White chocolate? Get out. Just leave. It’s not chocolate. It’s fat and flavouring and complete and utter crap. Worse than a Hershey bar.
Women who can only discuss their children, homes, hair styles and nothing else leave me baffled and feeling like the gawky wall-flower at the junior high school dance. I have a plethora of things to discuss. Once those have been covered, then and only then, I might be able to have a 3-minute conversation on those topics.
Poor grammar skills make my blood boil and will turn the inside of my skull a flaming orangey-red. I have to keep away from red pens for fear I’ll go around marking up signs and menus and flyers. (Note that there’s no apostrophe on any of those. That’s because they’re PLURAL, not posessive. Thank you.)
God. Re-reading this, it’s kind of amazing I have any friends at all. I call myself, only half-jokingly, a curmudgeonly misanthrope, but going by this, that doesn’t seem far from the truth.