My father is kind of a jerk

Let’s preface by saying that.

But when my brother and I were little, and we would get into some stupid sibling fight and turn to our parents with our complaints about how horrible everything is, my father would stand, draw himself up, usually roll his newspaper up like he was going to swat someone.

Then he would announce, “Well, that’s IT!  You’ve RUINED Arbor Day for EVERYONE!”

Replace “arbor day” with whatever obscure and not particularly important holiday/gathering/community event was on the horizon.

"You’ve ruined Secretary’s Day for the whole family, I hope you realize that!’

"You’ve ruined our plans for National Potato Day! You have to live with that!"

"Doe you know what this means?  You’ve ruined the Garlic Festival for your mother and I!"

He had photographic memory for the stupidest possible events.   And he always used the word ‘ruined.’  And by doing so, he was pointing out that we were acting like idiots.  As kids, this message was not always positively received, but man, in retrospect, I love that he handled it with humor and never just told us to shut up and stop bothering him.

And every time I see someone in fandom say, “You’re RUINING blank,” I just laugh.

How is it ruined?  How is one person’s enjoyment and way of being a fan causing the destruction of how you enjoy things?  Do they come to your house, or even onto your Tumblr, take away the things you love, and force you to be a fan the way they are a fan?

One of my closest friends ships something I can’t.  My favorite ships, she doesn’t enjoy.  And yet, the fact that the other is deeply into a different PART of the fandom doesn’t ruin anything.  We both still love the characters.  We love the movies.  We love talking about things and doing things and making truly unfortunate and embarrassing comments about Jeremy Renner’s rear end.

The fact that she loves an element of this fandom that I do not does not ruin anything for me.  I hope it’s the same way for her, that my enthusiasm for the stubborn puppy that is Steve Rogers doesn’t ruin the Avengers for her.

Every single time someone’s like, “Well, those fans are RUINING it,” I can’t help but hear my dad’s voice fill in, “Now, we’ll NEVER be able to celebrate Plan Your Epitaph Day, due to you shipping the WRONG THING.  You’ve RUINED EVERYTHING.”

Then I giggle.