One fateful January night, I downloaded Trivia Crack — a smartphone app based around answering trivia questions in a variety of categories — and proceeded to beat several of my friends for ten straight games.
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Omg why are you so good? my friend Jessica asked in the app’s chat function.
Lol, I replied, adding two nail-painting Emojis for good measure.
It wasn’t until Trivia Crack that I realized how much useless information I had actually managed store in my brain from years of hardcore Internet-ing and my parents’ general lack of observation.
Here’s the thing — my parents never monitored what my siblings and I read, watched, or listened to.
It’s not like my parents didn’t care about what I was doing with my free time. I could tell you many-a-tales about chilly Friday nights spent doing extra homework at the kitchen table under my mother’s watchful eye.
However, they thought if I was reading a book that there was definitely nothing to worry about. To them, reading a book automatically translated to reading something educational and helpful. And they were right.
Most of the time.
Reading “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg when I was eleven years old? Probably not advisable, but definitely enriching and formative to my future literary interests in the Beat Generation.
Reading “Much Ado About Nothing” on my own and forming an ardent love for Shakespearean comedy and the name Beatrice? My dad would be hella proud.
But both my parents would probably be horrified to learn that I had once locked myself in my room for seven hours the summer I was a thirteen-year-old to engross myself in a 200-page anthology of Spider-Man, of all things, cover-to-cover.
The collection of comics, spinoffs, and character histories literally changed my life, and I now know more about the Spider-Man universe than any normal person ever cared to know.
Did you know Venom eventually moved to California to become San Francisco’s superhero?
But, like many of the things in my mom and dad’s brand of parenting, their lack of oversight when it comes to my reading material has been both a blessing and a curse to my life.
Being able to absolutely pummel my friend Amy — a total baller at life outside of Trivia Crack — because she didn’t know what the name of Han Solo’s ship? Definite blessing with a much-needed boost to my self-esteem.
And it’s the Millennium Falcon, if you were curious — but let’s be real, who, except Amy, doesn’t know “Star Wars?”
Caring way too much about things that no one but myself gives a shit about? A curse I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. That is, if mortal enemies actually existed outside of movies and TV shows.
Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures announced last week that they would be collaborating to include Spider-Man in the new Avengers movie. And I (figuratively) died.
But as usual, I was the only one in the general vicinity that cared. It can definitely be disappointing when you excitedly turn to your roommate to share this news only to get the following reply:
“Okay … I thought they already made that movie? With that guy from the Social Network?”
It’s a lonely road, but then I remind myself that no one has to share my weird obsession with Spider-Man.
Because, at the end of the day, I’ll still crush my roommate in Trivia Crack.