By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Last night, I caught up with an old friend of mine I hadn't seen in over six years. It was as if no time had passed since I had seen him last. We've been wanting to get together for a while now, going so far back as Christmas break last night and we finally made it happen last night. We talked about what we've been up to in recent years and he mentioned how he's been keeping up with what I've been doing wrestling-wise on Facebook and Twitter.
Now, when we were close back in 2008-2009, I was already starting to get into wrestling by that point, so when we met up yesterday, he knew I had been sticking with it. He didn't mind that I liked it then, nor does he mind that I like it now. He actually used to be a fan at one point way back when, but similar to many kids as they got older, he grew out of it and stopped watching because he no longer enjoyed the product.
But he said something incredibly interesting to me yesterday. He said that because of me, he now looks at it way different. He said that when he hears people talking about how stupid wrestling is or people questioning why others watch it, he sticks up for fans like me who aren't there to defend themselves because he understands it's a form of entertainment – it's just as “fake” as any television show we all enjoy watching. And that meant a lot to me when he said that, because I feel those are the best kind of wrestling fans: the ones who aren't fans at all.
Sometimes I'll say to myself, “Man, I wish more of my family or friends were wrestling fans so I could talk wrestling with them.” More recently, however, I've started to change my stance on that. I'm actually happy that I'm the only one in my social circle to watch wrestling; it's what makes me special. It's what makes me stand out. It's what makes me... well, me.
All I really ask for from people close to me is this: you don't have to be a wrestling fan. Just respect the fact I love it and don't give me crap for it. Also, I'd appreciate it if you at least tolerated wrestling, because if you don't, then we're going to have issues. A perfect example is how I'm straight edge. I don't drink, smoke or do drugs, but I don't have a problem with those that do because that's their personal choice. Who am I to say anything about their likes and dislikes?
So, the next time you're feeling down that you don't have anyone in your group of friends or family to talk wrestling with (basically anyone outside of the Internet), appreciate how those same people, while they may not be fans, tolerate your love for wrestling and most importantly, understand you. That's really all that matters at the end of the day.