I was reading in the sun on Saturday afternoon and when I walked into the house to grab a…beverage…my husband was watching the last part of Finding Forrester. As much as I wanted to return to the sun and my book and my beer, the fact that my favorite scene was on, where Jamal calls out his English teacher in front of the class, I was obliged to sit on the couch and watch the remaining 20 or so minutes.
As I was paying partial attention to the Academy Awards the following night, “And the best actoracterssdocumentaryspecialeffects goes to…” it hit me why I am not nearly as enamored with the glitz and glamour of awards shows anymore. It’s really about semantics. The word “best” is completely subjective and, in thinking about it, really completely out of my control.
My husband will tell anyone that I make the “best” meatballs. The truth is, in my family we like them an awful lot. I like them best compared to any other meatballs I have had. This does not mean that at some point in the future I won’t try a meatball that I like better, and then that meatball will be best.
Favorite, on the other hand, is far less subjective. I know that sounds paradoxical and wrong, but think about it. The only person who gets to create the criteria for favorite is me. No one can argue with me when I say that green is my favorite color. When the masses weigh in on what is “best” they, at best, come to a consensus, but usually it is a vote which means, potentially, only 2 people need to change their mind for what is worst to become best. Sorry, my English teacher brain when on a little bird walk there, but is there anything more subjective than a bunch of people with differing tastes, styles, backgrounds, determining what is best?
And even more so, why do we care? We are inundated with best lists. Best colleges, best chicken and waffles, best beaches, best roller coasters. This designation may prove profitable for the amusement park that houses the best roller coaster, but in my day to day life, it really has 0 impact.
Favorite, on the other hand, drives decisions I make daily. I write with my favorite pens, listen to my favorite radio stations, and read my favorite blogs. Favorite becomes our comfort zone whereas best, at its best, really only offers a recommendation.
So here’s the point. I haven’t seen Spotlight yet. I will, eventually, because it sounds interesting and a lot of friends have recommended it. The fact that it won Best Movie has absolutely no influence on that. And I bet that 3 years from now if Finding Forrester and Spotlight are on the movies channels at the same time, Finding Forrester will win out.