Finding A Favourite

In Grade 3, everyone in my class put an item into a time capsule, which our teacher kept until we were in Grade 8 and ready to move on to the “real world” that was high school.

Fast forward to Grade 8, my third grade teacher walked in the room, and immediately asked me: “Is your favourite food still pizza?”

So many things went through my head before answering. I was wondering how she knew. I was wondering if it was a fat joke. I was wondering why it was so urgent that she got an answer. I was wondering if I should correct her, and say my new favourite food was roast beef because that was more of an adult answer.

I didn’t correct her. I confirmed her suspicion.

“My favourite food is pizza” was one of the few things I wrote on the sheet of paper I put in the time capsule.

At that time, I foolishly thought that pizza was a kiddie food. I thought adults had their own world of food – boring things that smelled funny. I thought admitting that pizza was my favourite food was like admitting that I still watched Barney and picked up a cup with two hands.

13 year old Paul thought he was an adult. Ha, how precious.

Now that I’ve almost doubled my age (holy crap), I realize that anointing pizza as my favourite food has been a personality trait I cannot shake, nor do I want to. If you’ve read my blog for 50 seconds, you’ve probably come across two pizza references.

So it got me thinking, we all have a favourite “something”. Whether it’s a food, movie, TV show, number, colour, place, smell, band, or pair of underwear.

Don’t you dare deny that last one.

How do we decide what our favourite is? For me, I have my rehearsed answers whenever I’m asked.

Favourite movie? Home Alone 1 & 2, and Mrs. Doubtfire.

Favourite colour? Blue.

Favourite food? Pizza.

Favourite smell? It’s a five-way tie between freshly cut grass, BBQ, a new sport jersey, a winter night, and a bakery.

Favourite number? I’m not sure.

Before I address the favourite number dilemma, I want to say some other things, first.

Whenever I reveal what my favourite “something” is, someone will always question it. I’ll name my favourite movie and someone will say, “Really? Out of all the movies?” As if I’m supposed to feel bad for liking the movies I grew up watching.

Or if I say blue is my favourite colour, I’ll sometimes hear: “What shade?”

What do you mean what shade? Do I look like a box of crayons?

Even though I say my favourite colour is blue, there’s never been a moment in my life where I’ve actually sat down and thought, “What is my favourite colour?”

I just say blue because that’s the colour my bedroom was (and still is) as a kid, and that’s the colour my favourite sports teams wore.

There was never a “come to colour moment.” To be honest with you, I really like the colour red. But I’ll never say it as my favourite because I’ve programmed myself to say blue.

I also like chocolate brown and a “really bright, but still dark green.” Again, I’m not a box of crayons, or chocolates.

Though while I’m at it, I might as well say that I like a lot of colours. Why is it that we need to have a favourite colour?

People will ask me what my favourite sport is and my answer is always the same. It depends what time of year it is. Whichever ones are currently in season, those are my favourite.

To pick one is impossible for me. There is no “favourite”.

It’s like asking a parent who their favourite child is.

Growing up, I used to have favourite athletes in different sports. Now, I don’t. There are players I like and players I don’t really care for, but to pick a favourite is challenging for me.

It’s like telling someone you love them. You don’t tell a cashier you love them just because they’re always there when you buy food, even if you’ve built a report with them and really appreciate their two minutes of friendship.

The word “favourite” and “love” go hand in hand in that respect, I guess.

This is how you know I’ve been watching way too many episodes of The Bachelor. I’ll try and reel this in.

When it comes to picking a favourite number, I’ve always been a bit lost. There are multiple numbers I like but I’ve never been able to commit to just one.

I know some people who have one favourite number and that’s it. Everything else is awful. Their number, or no number.

At this point, I’m just going to list some numbers and tell you why I like them, or why I don’t like them.

Tell me if you can spot a theme, when it comes to the numbers I like.

1 – I’m not cocky enough, despite how my tone is on this blog, sometimes.

2 – I was born on the second. You’re supposed to like the number you were born on. Right?

3 – No.

4 – Never understood the hype.

5 – I like the number 5. Jalen Rose wore the #5 and it looked cool on his jersey. (Chris is gonna love this comment). But do I like the #5 because of him, or do I like it because I like it.

6 – I hate that Toronto is called “the 6ix.” I’m an old man.

7 – Again, never understood the hype.

8 – Meh. I’d make too many “ate eight ____” puns and would ruin it. I already do.

9 – People say that the #9 is just an upside down six, but I see it as a loop de loop. Good luck getting that out of your head.

10 – I wore this number for three years when I played softball as a kid. I only wore it because my favourite player at the time, Vernon Wells, wore #10.

12 – I wore this number for one year when I played softball because the #13 wasn’t available and it was “close enough”.

13 – I wore this number my first year of softball. Everyone wanted #13 because we all liked Mats Sundin, but I arrived to the field, first, the day the jerseys arrived and had first pick.

Also, we only got to pick between 1-15 and the higher numbers were the bigger sizes.

19 – I genuinely like this number (even if it combines two numbers I’m not fond of). But I like it because Steve Yzerman wore #19 and so did a few other hockey players I liked as a kid.

22 – There’s a hockey player named Jordin Tootoo, and he wore #22 for Team Canada at the World Juniors tournament back when I was a kid. I guess this was my first introduction to how puns worked. I loved it.

In high school, Tootoo’s photo appeared in one of my textbooks because he was the first Inuk person, and Nunavut native (it’s a territory in Canada), to make the NHL.

I told the guy sitting next to me that Tootoo was my favourite player and he said to me, “Why? Are you Aboriginal?”

I’m not.

See, there’s that whole “people questioning my favourite things” again. 

91 – I was born in ’91. Plus, it’s the reverse of 19. When I played intramurals in university and we decided to get t-shirts with our name and number on them, I struggled to pick a number.

I thought about the #2, #5, #19, #22, and #91. I thought, “I can’t be #19, that’s the number that my favourite hockey player was. I can be #91 and secretly pay homage and respect to him.”

My mind doesn’t work like the rest of your minds do, if you haven’t noticed.

I also thought that the #91 looked good with my last name and that having a high number was cool. So I ultimately decided on the #91.

If you read my About page, you’ll see that I signed it with my name and the #91. Why? To keep with the blog theme.

If you can’t tell, none of the numbers I like are ones that I really have a personal connection with. They’re all because of someone else, or because I think I’m supposed to like my date of birth.

Even when I wore the #10 for three years, I never felt like it defined me. It defined someone I looked up to. Maybe in a way that does define me, but it didn’t feel like it.

There’s never been a number that jumped out and said, “Hey Paul, let’s get married.”

I’ve always been stealing someone else’s number. Maybe that’s what everyone does. I don’t know.

So whenever I’m in the horrible situation where I have to introduce myself and give “interesting facts”, I resort to listing off my “favourites” like everyone else does – the canned, rehearsed answers.

Pizza. Home Alone. Mrs. Doubtfire. Blue. Did I mention pizza? How many more interesting facts do you need?

And then comes the inevitable, “That’s your favourite?” and I realize this whole ranking system is stupid and unnecessary.

Yet our favourite things define us.

It’s a catch 22, unless your favourite number is something else.

I’m really curious to know if anyone else faces this problem. Where they are forced to pick a “favourite”, but really can’t choose because they like too many, or nothing jumps out.

Comment below. Tell me your struggles in finding a favourite. 

About Paul

I think of my blog as an all-you-can-read buffet. There's something for everyone and complimentary mints at the door as you leave.
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37 Responses to Finding A Favourite

  1. Angela says:

    When you say pizza, can you elaborate…what is your favourite topping/crust? Ha
    I am terrible at making decisions so choosing a favourite ‘anything’ has always been tough! I’ve never understood how people can choose favourites, there are too many movies/songs/sportspersons to choose from?! Strangely, I’ve always had a favourite number, 7, I was born in July so I guess thats why I was drawn to it (16th July actually/1+6) my Dad is the 7th child of 7(he is my favourite parent, ha) I actually was supposed to get married 7/7/07 it didn’t work out but that didn’t put me off the number!!!! When Kevin started motor racing they gave him a number for his car at random … of course it was always going to be #7

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Haha and here I am saying I don’t understand the hype around the number 7. It certainly seems to be prominent in your life and follow you around!
      As for the pizza topping: I like most toppings except pineapple, though a classic pepperoni pizza is my favourite. Normal crust. I’m not a monster. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jess says:

    I’m in no way going to deny that I have a favorite pair of underwear. I know I’ve said this to you before, but I struggle with “Who’s your favorite band/musician?” I like too many of them and it depends on my mood. If I’m feeling artistic or melancholy, I’ll go with Of Monsters and Men. If I’m feeling excited, I’ll go with Paramore. But unlike you, it’s hard for me to pick a favorite movie. I just love movies.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. talestext says:

    I don’t understand why we need a favorite thing. And tbh, why do people care? It’s like asking ‘how are you’ when you know the answer.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Quinn says:

    I hate all numbers, but love all colours… so it sort of balances out.

    Favourite movies: Full Metal Jacket, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and When Harry Met Sally. Notice how there’s something for everyone in that answer. Someone who hates WHMS (even if they’re clearly wrong) is likely to like FMJ. Someone who hates FMJ might like KKBB or WHMS. Someone who might not have seen KKBB, but might give it the benefit of the doubt because the other two are so wildly different. So far this answer has safely seen me through inumerable “favourite movie” conversations.

    They’re great movies, and not just because they help me out of awkward conversations with judge-y strangers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I don’t know much about movies and haven’t seen the ones you listed haha. In fact, we you started using their abbreviations, I initially thought you were referencing radio or TV stations. I’m smart! Your strategy is brilliant though – always have an answer that pleases everyone.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, first of all, I graduated high school in ’91. So, you and your youth can just get the hell outta here. Secondly, my husband is obsessed with the number 714 and every time he sees it he has to shout out, “714!”. It’s annoying, but his obsession has rubbed off on me and I’m kind of fond of 714. Other than that, my favorites (excuse my crude American spelling without the “u”) change all the time, except for blue. You can’t go wrong with blue as a favorite color.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I had someone ask me on the spot over the weekend “In the movie of your life, who would play you and what would the soundtrack be” and I also froze. It’s not a favorite, per se, but still that weird situation where either there are too many options or your head just goes blank! Ugh. Paul. Ugh.

    I also like puns and tootoo is a good one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Haha what a strange question to ask someone out of the blue. Poor you. I’ve thought about who would play me and have settled on Jimmy Kimmel. Don’t know about soundtrack though.


  7. James says:

    Number 4 is totally worth the hype. You should definitely revisit it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Squid says:

    COLORS ARE SO HARD! When given a choice of toothbrush, character in SMW April’s Fools Edition, etc., I always pick red. I wouldn’t paint my room red or crochet a blanket of it, but that’s what I pick. But, I heard one of my art teachers answer this question and I have never forgotten her amazing answer of, “I like colors that go together, not single colors. Those that compliment each other, like peach and light blue.” I wasn’t even in the conversation and I was dumbfounded. So, that’s usually my answer now.
    Since I love math, I had to choose a prime number as my favorite number. 17 all the way! Also, 1771, the palindrome of 17 and it’s mirror opposite, because it is just way too cool and looks like ABBA and IZZI, two elements of my childhood.
    Favorite food is one of the hardest questions I’ve ever been asked because I always have some vague memory of eating a food and thinking, “This is my favorite food ever” but I can’t ever remember what it is until 4 days later.
    Favorite movie(s) is easy. Ender’s Game, John Carter, The Princess Bride, How To Train Your Dragon, and Rogue One. Ender’s Game is always on top, but TPB isn’t too far behind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      That’s an interesting thought about colours that go together. If that’s the case, I like blue and yellow. Haha why am I not surprised that you would be a fan of palindromes? Food is hard to rank because there are a lot of foods that all of us love to eat.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. ~M says:

    All I can think about is how you born the year after I graduated high school. I feel so old…. lol…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Barb Knowles says:

    First of all, my favorite way to spell favorite is without the U. It’s funny what we are used to . Reading this post (which I loved) caught me when I read favourite every time.
    My favorite color is brown. I am frequently and disapprovingly asked why. It’s not a sign of depression. I can be very depressed wearing red or green. I like brown because it’s the color of earth and is rich and my hair was dark brown before it became silver and dark brown. It’s so annoying that it would bother someone that my favorite color is brown. Well,before this comment becomes longer than your post, I just scrolled back up and see that I’m not following the instructions. Favorite book is my hardest. I must have 100 that are tied for favorite. But if I had to choose just one it would be The Professor and The Madman. Definitely. Or the Hobbit. Or Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Or Before I Fall. Get where I’m going with this?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Every time someone asks what my favorite movie or book is, I have a really hard time answering, because there are so many phenomenal ones out there that are uniquely great.

    P.S. I just love the way you write Paul!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ariel Lynn says:

    I find it interesting that these thoughts plague you (“plague” may be too strong a word, but it sounds cool). I’ve never even thought about it. When I meet someone new, I find I have loads to talk about other than my favorites.

    I can’t pick a favorite movie or book. They’re constantly changing. My favorite colors match my personality. My favorite numbers are sorta random, but, yet, also sorta match my personality.

    Regardless, humans like what we like. Anyone challenging your favorites is the weird one in that conversation.


    Liked by 1 person

  13. gabriellemgillispie says:

    Oh my gosh, I hate being asked what my favorite anything is. I like things, I enjoy things, I even love certain things, but my favorite? I can’t do it. Too much to choose from. So, I have my prepared answers. Favorite movie? Titanic. No, it’s not. I watched it when I was 13 and loved it, so it became a default (albeit a common answer). But do I still like Titanic? I have no idea because I haven’t watched it since. Favorite color? Purple. Again, I like purple just fine, but my favorite color is probably blue. Like you said, I don’t really sit around and think, “Okay, what is my favorite (fill in the blank) at my current stage of life?” I find this question so difficult to answer, no matter how often I am asked.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I’ve noticed that a lot of my favourite things are things that I really liked were a kid and never really made the decision to change my default answer lol. For the longest time I said Space Jam was my favourite movie, then I watched it a few years ago and realized it wasn’t at all. So I get your Titanic situation! Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m ordinary. My favorite food is pizza. My favorite color is pink. My favorite smell is gardenia. And I love flowers. I never change lol😂

    Liked by 1 person

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