FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: What’s Your Favorite?

Hi honeycombs and welcome to this week’s Friday Open Thread!

image by Rory Midhani

So here’s a thing: I don’t believe in favorites. Not with books or movies or foods or La Croix flavors and not with people.

The thing about favorites is that they’re reductive and make you feel like you’re sharing part of yourself or seeing part of someone else when what you’re actually sharing is a one-note opinion with no context.

Do you like that one thing because it’s the absolute best thing out of all of whatever arbitrary category you’re talking about right now? Because it’s the most recent thing in that category that caught your attention? Because it seems like it’s what you should like? How do you even know if you like something?

Having a favorite implies stasis instead of fluidity. It implies that your relationship with a given category is finished and tied up with a bow, or with some rope if rope’s your favorite, and that that’s that. I prefer an ongoing process of learning and growing and reevaluating and seeing how things might fit just right into one context but never fit into another, and also of trying new things, because what if you think mint chocolate chip is your favorite but then you discover birch and marshmallows and blow your mind? For instance.

But what favorites are is an opening to talk more about what favorites are. Why do you like that thing that you like? Did you always like it? Since when? What drew you to it? What kept you there? What keeps you going back again and again? What about the favorite you can never go back to? What does that look like? What does it all mean?

Some of my favorites: honeycomb, eggs, black coffee, coffee drowning in cream, black jeans with a 10” rise at the waist, Her Body and Other Parties, nail polish with gold sparkles, when I wake up and don’t need eye drops, spanking, water that is just below room temperature but not cold, getting everything done that needs to be done, a certain type of writing about California, waking up before dawn, eavesdropping in public without being rude or weird, when days start cold and get warmer, reading the type of book that feels intellectually alive and voracious, sunflowers.

So, what are your favorites? Your favorite your favorite food, your favorite book, your favorite movie, song, artist, pet, pet to dress up in human clothing, human clothing, time of day, time of year, category to have a favorite about or anything else. What was your favorite thing from this week?


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Carolyn Yates is the NSFW Consultant, and was formerly the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor, for Autostraddle.com. Her writing has appeared in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, Xtra!, Jezebel, and elsewhere. She recently moved to Los Angeles from Montreal. Find her on twitter.

Carolyn has written 870 articles for us.

89 Comments

  1. Hello and happy Friday!

    I also have difficulties w favourites and in most cases I can’t think of them because I feel it’s too much pressure. But I’m assuming this is an in the moment faves. So here they are:
    Carly Rae Jepsen, snow, Daughter of Mystery by Heather Rose Jones, lebneh, rose wine, spinach pie, walking on a sunny and warm (but not too hot) day, that feeling when you finish a good book, spring after a really cold winter!

    I’ve talked about my Permanent Residency saga in a couple of open threads and I’m happy to say I’m on the final phases! Like sent out my passport to get my visa final phase! That will be a relief, and I’ll be able to have control of my life and my career again, which will be nice!

    Also, I’m really excited about Acamp and to register next week! Last year I was freaking out and thinking I wouldn’t go unless I got a private room, and I didn’t but I went anyway and it was a blast! I’m also getting better at being around people and socializing so I’m hoping I’ll do that more at camp!

    Hope everyone has a good weekend!

  2. One of my favorite authors is Ursula Le Guin and I have so, so many feelings on her death. I’m not exactly devastated, but I feel like I’ve lost a literary aunt or grandmother. Her words and her ideas have been an important part of my life for 30+ years – from the Earthsea books and the Hainish Cycle to her essays on writing and life to her interpretation of the Tao Te Ching.

    Here’s one of my favorite quotes (it turns out that I have 10 Le Guin quotes written out in my quote book – far more than any other single author):

    Freedom is a heavy load, a great and strange burden for the soul to undertake. It is not easy. It is not a gift given but a choice made, and the choice may be a hard one.

    Ursula LeGuin, The Tombs of Atuan

    I’ve been trying to articulate to myself why I think of her work as queer friendly even though I’m having trouble thinking of many specific Le Guin novels with overtly queer characters / themes (All I’ve come up with is The Telling and Left Hand of Darkness, plus a short story set in the same world as LHoD –
    which is a lot more than other authors of her stature and vintage, tbh). I think it’s because her books leave room for so many different ways of being. Or maybe I just like her writing so much I want them to be queer friendly. Curious what other queer readers think.

    • The Earthsea books are, as I’ve told a million people this week, one of the principal things that got me through junior high school alive. Part of that was just the ability to get lost in another world when the one I lived in was such crap. A bigger part was the kind of wisdom that she encapsulated in quotes like the one you cited.

      I can’t put my finger on exactly what about her work did this, but there was something there that let me know it was OK to be “the queer kid” long before I knew I was queer.

  3. Oh, I love this so much! It reminds me of a time in my life (not all that long ago, really) when I was struggling to be in a relationship with someone very very different from me, and still make space for all the things that I hold dear. I had so deeply internalized the message that “true love” involved “losing myself in the other person.” So I sat down with my notebook and wrote a bunch of pages of things that were true about myself. Things I love, things I like, things that are true. When I finished, I looked at it and went “I need to be in relationships where THIS is activated.”
    I haven’t revisited that exercise since, but maybe it’s time!

    Favorites include: a fresh loaf of sourdough bread, Emma Donoghue, midmorning sunlight through my window, cats, making art with people who light me up, Vienna Teng’s music and work, climbing hills, and (always) Julie Andrews.

  4. Not a favorite, per se, but something I discovered this week – Professor Marston and his Wonder Women. Perfectly imperfect, but I thought it did the people and their interpersonal relationships well. Plus Rebecca Hall is gooorgeous. What can I say.

    I’m also very fond of the glass of wine in front of me and the weekend ahead of me. It’s already 8 pm where I am <3

  5. One of my favorite things is Malibu(and nearby). It’s a bit broad, but it has everything I like, from beautiful ocean views, wonderful trails to hike, and some of the best twisting roads to drive on. Where else can I see a deer & hawk grabbing lunch in nature, a youtube celeb hiking, motorcycle gang having a beach day, attractive California beach girls, and drive great roads in the same day. Besides that, my other favorite thing would be fried foods. I think it’s hard for me to say no to fried foods. lol

    How’s everyone’s week going? My favorite thing this week was going to queer karaoke close by on Tuesday. Drank a nice Aperol, danced with MJ, meet cool LBTQ people, sang queer songs, and queered up straight songs. I discovered that a lesbian/queer gals right of passage is to sing Melissa Etheridge’s Come to My Window. I sang my old favorite Breaking the Law by Judas Priest, but we as a groupd did Linger by the Cranberries, and What’s Going on by 4 Non-Blondes along with other hits. Proceeds from the event are going towards Trans [email protected] Justice organization.

    Speaking of which I need a bit of advice. I mentioned that I met up the other week with someone from OKC. We met up again Tuesday for karaoke. I left a it early as I had to work in the morning. Woke up in the morning to a thank you for inviting her to the event(sent when she got home). But, since then she’s been silent, like a ghost. I think I’d like to hang with this gal more, not sure if I want to be her friend or date her, that age old question. I kind of already over texted so I am playing it cool now. What’s do my fellow straddlers suggest I do?

    I spent my Sunday home watching Netflix(Grace and Frankie); so, I didn’t go out in nature. May do that this Sunday as it’s pretty much Spring already. I also was tired from last Saturday night as I treated myself to vegan southern food(fried chickun sandwich & mac cheeze), and a plant based gf donut. Then afterwards went to a sketchy part of town(bad part of skid row) to dance the night away at a secret queer warehouse party(where twoc get in at discounted rate). It was nice dancing alone & not getting hit on by gbtq men..

    The donut I had last week.

    Thank you for viewing and reading my thread. Have a positive weekend.

  6. Favorite ice cream – Mint Chocolate Chip
    Favorite soda – Mountain Dew
    Favorite superhero movie – “The Rocketeer” (fight me)
    Favorite color – iron grey
    Favorite condiment – mayo (which is why I take issue with people calling Mon-El mayo. He’s nowhere near that good.)
    Favorite book – “The Silmarillion”
    Favorite Girl Scout cookies – Thin Mints
    Favorite cheese – Muenster

  7. My favorite thing these days is Trollhunters on netflix. It’s by Giullermo del Toro, who also brought us Pacific Rim and Pan’s Labyrinth. If you like Harry Potter, you’ll probs like this too.

    Friendos, I have a preliminary phone interview for a really prestigious job opportunity on Monday. Like, I cried because I never thought i would ever get remotely close to anything this fancy. So, I appreciate any good vibes / advice / solidarity as I try to make the most of this and put my best foot forward on Monday. It’s virtually guaranteed someone else will win the post, I’m that much of an underdog, but I really want to have a good experience on Monday and leave it all on the field, metaphorically speaking, you know? Thanks pals.

    I look forward to reading your update for this week. What is everyone up to?

  8. This reminds me of being a teenager and being in denial about the fact that my then favourites wouldn’t always be so (whilst really knowing and feeling sad).

    Anyway: Autostraddle – one of my favourite spaces, I love you guys;
    The Good Life – everyone should watch this, it is funny and clever and well observed and human and about the only tv show I like that isn’t for the queer content (although Eleanor is “legit into Tahani”); that Clexacon is coming to London – but why aren’t tickets available yet?!; Tumblr – I avoided it for ages as I thought I was too old but it is the best for fangirling and I am never too old; waffles (I am currently in a kind of diner waiting for waffles); Root & Shaw; being crafty; Swan Queen; having time to myself; seeing friends especially my bff; making plans

  9. Favorites are hard, but here are a few: Chocolate; peanut butter, various combinations of chocolate and peanut butter; snow days that leave you stuck in Minneapolis for two extra days with friends you love and you all end up having a blast coworking from said friends’ couches; the new house my partner and I are renting; Dr. Pepper; not having people lose their shit when you, the blind woman respond in the restaurant when they ask for someone with medical training; work events that bring friends to town; spanking ;-); and chill weekends with few plans.

  10. My favorite thing this week was finding an amazing pair of cowboy boots and a jean trucker jacket. I’m in the process of moving my clothes in a more MoC direction, and these two items have been at the top of my wishlist for a long time. Also, I’m currently away from home for a month, so the clothes are extra-special because they’ll remind me of the place I got them. (Then, right after finding them, I got some amazing work news! What a week!)

    Other favorite stuff:
    Making cinnamon rolls
    Reading in bed with coffee & my dogs in the morning
    Walking in falling snow
    Slide guitar
    Rose essential oil
    Slow dancing with someone sweet & hoping we’ll kiss

    Guess I’m in a romantic mood today. 🙂 Have a great weekend, everyone!

  11. I don’t like dealing in absolutes, so I tend to stay away from words like “favourite”. My partner is literally the only person I’ve ever called my “best friend”, and I’m in my 30’s. Once I name something my favourite, though, it tends to stick.

    ‘The Leopard’ is my favourite book. I fell passionately in love with it in 11th grade. It’s the reason I speak Italian — my goal is to one day speak it well enough to read my favourite book in the original (I’ve already read it in three stronger languages). I watch the film several times per year.

    The main character is a Sicilian prince, who is reflecting on what it means to grow older in a time when the aristocracy and its way of life is fading away. For a queer intersectional feminist woman, a surprising amount of my preferred media is about old straight rich white men coming to terms with their own mortality. And not even ironically! I’m also big on Stoic philosophy, and what is Stoicism if not dead old rich white men coming to terms with their own mortality?

  12. “The thing about favorites is that they’re reductive and make you feel like you’re sharing part of yourself or seeing part of someone else when what you’re actually sharing is a one-note opinion with no context.”

    ^^my favorite part of this post because it’s helping scootch closer to words for that Thing that bugs me in relationships with particular kinds of people.

    Favorite part of this week: finally subscribing to photoshop, even though other programs are free, because I already know how to use the tools. (getting HOBBIES this year)

  13. my favorite thing i did this week was co-exist in a community arts space with a cute person i am starting to date and another cute person who i recently asked out/ who said yes with very minimal anxiety & just a lot of exciting anticipation & crushing!

  14. Favorites: sea salt caramel gelato, a good fantasy novel you can get a lot of ready time out of, going out to do anything nerdy, pan seared zucchini.

    Honestly, I need to vent today because another queer woman was killed off on a tv show and in a really stupid way.

    I doubt many straddlers watch History Channel’s The Vikings (it’s target audience is pretty much straight white men but I’m a major history buff). They just killed off a lesbian in a really, really stupid way. (Spoilers FYI).

    The show has some badass female warriors, which was fairly common for the actual vikings. Which is neat to see when a lot of war-based film and TV leave out women. I had low expectations when it’s first presented that the female lead Legertha started a relationship with Astrid. Their chemistry was off and I never could see them as a couple.

    In her final appearances, she betrays Lagretha and gets abducted by an enemy King. This King forces her to marry him, then has her gang-raped by his men and gets pregnant. She winds up opposite Lagretha on the battle field where she asks her former-lover to kill her. Lagretha doesn’t want to but finally is forced to kill Astrid in the mid-season finale. It feels a little like Tamsin’s end in Lost Girl.

    Katherine Winnick stated Lagertha and Astrid’s relationship began because she didn’t like how her character always seemed to get power through men. Having her gain power and then get a female lover seemed to fit well.

    Throughout her run on the show, Astrid seemed a lot more like window decor. It honestly felt like the show runners didn’t know what to do with her. Legretha was either training her to be a shield maiden, sleeping with Lagretha or just standing next to Lagretha. We learn very little about her past. We have barely any character development. Which is a shame because they had a real opportunity here. She could have been the Gabriela to Lagretha’s Xena.

    Instead they had Astrid sleep with Lagretha’s adult son out of anger because she didn’t share her attack plans with her. And that’s before she gets abducted, forced to marry, gang-raped and killed by her lover.

    The show runner said that he had a lot of characters he was considering killing off but he decided on Astrid and one other character because he felt like there wasn’t any story left to tell with these characters. For a show that does a lot of other things right. This all felt lazy from her character development to her final end. She probably would have more of a story to tell if she was written with a little more thought. And a queer woman pregnant from rape and killed by her ex-lover. Really?!?!?!?!?!

      • I would still recommend watching the first two seasons if you like history. I used earlier seasons of this show when I wrote a paper on the portrayal of female combatants in tv and film. The women actually look dressed for battle (granted with killer hair)and there wasn’t a chainmail bikini in sight. Early on they’re also pretty accurate with the history as far as TV shows go. The horrible queer characters don’t come around until the 4th season. There are so many things that I like about this show which makes the awful characters and their storylines so irksome.

  15. My favorite things are NOT HAVING THE FLU and cuddling with cats and dogs. I’m 1/2 this week, so, it’s not exactly a win, but I’ll take it (especially since this week is the first time I got both cats and pup on the couch at the same time, even if I needed to prop up a blanket as an impromptu barrier so the pupper felt safe and like the mean ol’ cats wouldn’t attack him if he came onto the couch).

    I was also inspired by Alaina’s timely citrus recipe list to make some lemon press cookies and they came out really good! (The purple ones also have basil in them; the brown ones are chocolate and lemon and that goes better than I thought it would too)

  16. I have a favorite thing from this week which is that I have a girlfriend! An actual human wants to be my girlfriend and wants me to be her girlfriend!! I’m very haaaaaaaappy!!

    I also started a computer programming course and we’re 3 girls in a class with 12 guys, and I’m loving that one girl and I have instantly bonded over the abundance of men. We sit together and in the break we go off together and she’s really nice.

    So I guess my actual favorite thing about this week is women! I love the musings on favorites above 😊

    I hope you all have a great weekend!

  17. My favourite thing this week is I just got home from rugby training (which wasnt cancelled due to weather unlike the past 11 days) and got in the bath eating my favourite chocolate (Lidl own brand, 30p for 100g) which I was given free on campus today.
    Some of my less favourite things is the amount of housework which has piled up around me, but it cant find me in the bath. I’m too busy eating chocolate rn.

  18. favorite food? a greek slice at the pizza place on 46th and noriega in san francisco. as far as i’m concerned it’s the paragon of a slice of pizza — about ten inches wide, thin crust, loaded with fresh vegetables and feta cheese. i’m drooling just thinking about it.
    favorite book? impossible question. when forced to say something, though, i often point to “mrs. dalloway.” the prose in “the great gatsby” is just so gorgeous. i like books (and poems) where the extraordinary is present in the ordinary. i love ursula le guin and i’m very broken up about her death. i like quiet dramas about tough women in inhospitable environments, especially the american west; i like books where women’s interaction with each other and/or the land is prominent. i’m also a total sucker for high-gothic bronte sisters kind of stuff, or dark, thick prose laden with supernatural power and furious, old-testament vengeance, like “macbeth” or “absalom, absalom!” can you tell i’m a lit major?
    i don’t watch a ton of tv because i’m too busy and too cheap to pay for it but holy shit i finished bingeing “big little lies” on wednesday and i’m losing my mind. i’m totally obsessed with it. i have so many opinions. meryl streep is going to be in season two and i can’t wait until 2019!! someone please come talk to me about it, none of my friends have watched it and i’ve been internally screaming for the past 48 hours. it’s the best thing on tv — you should drop what you’re doing and go watch it right now. so that might be my favorite tv show.
    like books, it’s impossible to choose a single favorite movie. (if i had to pick one, it’s probably “carol.” i mean, come on.) like books, i like female-fronted quiet dramas and character studies where women bristle and chafe against restriction and confinement. anything where one of the Dramatic Powerhouse Best Actresses of Her Generation (streep, moore, davis, spencer, dern, kidman, blanchett) clenches her jaw in quiet fury and seethes at the injustice of her surround is something i will watch and love.
    i’m so glad “favorite pet to dress up in human clothing” is one of the prompts. i highly encourage every one of you to go to the google image machine and search for “lizard dressed as wizard.” it’s so delightful.
    other favorite things, in no particular order: extremely cool thrifted motorcycle boots, real leather, $15 (!!!); a pair of old, worn-in blue jeans that fit perfectly; finishing and submitting my conference proposal (send me good vibes for acceptance!); led zeppelin; pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, merlot; the spinnaker restaurant in sausalito; golden retrievers, labradors, german shepherds, pit bulls, border collies; the pacific ocean and the northern california coast; strong black coffee; having a desk i can put my feet up on; baseball games on sleepy august afternoons; kissing women; raucous parties; bonfires.
    I hope everyone had a great week! can you believe january is almost over? time flies.

  19. My favorite color has always been pink and I think it’s just a part of my identity now. I don’t think other favorite colors become a part of a person’s identity the way pink does. No one says “her favorite color is green” in a list of descriptions, but I do get a lot of people describing me like “she loves pink, hello kitty, cute stuff…” I don’t think it’s neccesarily a bad thing, just an interesting thing.

    My favorite thing about this week is that I went on a first date and we already planned the second date for next week! This is the first time I’ve been on a second date in like 5 years, which seems promising.

    • They can, but you’re probably considered pretty eccentric! 🙂

      At university I knew a girl whose favourite colour was a particular shade of robin egg blue. I’ve never seen her not wearing robin egg blue. If something came in robin egg blue, she had it. Her home was a shrine to robin egg blue. I’m pretty sure if you struck up a conversation with someone who didn’t know her name the order of characteristics by which she was identified would’ve gone: 1. Robin egg blue; 2. Studious; 3. Red hair; 4. Chest tattoo

  20. hello lovely chickadees,

    I think my new favorite from this week is homemade dark chocolate raspberry ice cream. I got my partner an ice cream maker for the holigays and we’ve been making so much homemade ice cream and froyo!! My new favorite TV show is battlestar galactica. I just started it for the first time at the beginning of the quarter (not such a great idea haha) and cannot get enough. Thankfully all the machines at the gym have hulu so I can watch and work out.

    Favorite time of day: definitely waking up a little earlier than my alarm and being the perfect mix of asleep and awake.
    Food: apples and pb
    book: watership down, station 11
    movie: spirited away, the dark crystal
    pet: rabbits, obviously
    time of year: that’s definitely changed since I’ve moved to California. It used to be fall, but now it’s spring (or whatever time of year this is here, winter?)

    I had a talk with one of the PIs I rotated with to let her know that I am really interested in joining her lab at the end of the year, and she said I am her top choice so far, so I’ve been all smiles all week!!
    <3 Love and light <3

  21. My favourite thing that happend this week? I went to a poetry event that featured Danez Smith, Jay Bernard and Imani Robinson, all of whom are black and queer. The atmosphere was electric. Jay read poems that were intense and sombre, while Danez’s poems were more humourous but just as deep. The conversation afterwards was so frank on the nature of art, and racism and queerness I would go back in time and listen to them again in a heartbeat.

  22. So, what are your favorites? Your favorite your favorite food, your favorite book, your favorite movie, song, artist, pet, pet to dress up in human clothing, human clothing, time of day, time of year, category to have a favorite about or anything else. What was your favorite thing from this week?

    I don’t have favourites much as just things I do NOT like for the most part and have a thing about fluidity. Sometimes I do find myself favouring something in particular of a given category.

    Food-food? I heavily favour layered flavours.
    Dessert? I crave pistachio ice cream but holy shit that Haagen Daz peanut butter chocolate ice cream is so good. It’s if a storm knocks the power out or I have to evacuate wake me the fuck up so I can eat it. Not one drop of it goes to waste.
    With my tea? Lemony hard cookies or something with sourish fruity tasty.

    Books are too vast to pick but if I had to pack for an evac I’d grab my Kyoto Costume Institute book and the MOMA Alexander McQueen exhibit book. They can’t be easily replaced.

    The Princess Bride is still probably my favourite because it’s great, the lines and actors.
    My favourite OT Star Wars film is Return of the Jedi. My favourite disney princess movie is and will always be Moana. My favourite action movie is Mad Max: Fury Road and it almost beats out The Princess Bride as all time favourite depending on the day with me. It duels for first in favourite movie soundtrack with The Fountain.

    I think hooded sweatshirts are my favourite article of clothing, warm cozy and can hide in but still have my arms free.

    My favourite food thing this week was eating 2 gorgeous meals off my eggplant parmigiana leftovers

    Favourite new music discovery is this

    Current favourite and possibly for life favourite folk musician that I found again at last is Rhiannon Giddens

    Her album Freedom Highway is just something I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life for. The original songs on it give life to slave narratives in a way that feels real and cuts to the bone. Like a song a slave could have composed but was lost to time.

    At The Purchaser’s Option is something that as kid would keep me up at night thinking

    because it was the most horrifying thing about slavery, the commodifying of human beings folded into taking the choice of motherhood away from a person. But humans we live through everything, keep going when folding up and just dying is what we might actually want to do.
    We don’t.

  23. Getting to feel sexy again for the first time since a Medical Event a few months ago. Busted out a cute latex outfit, grabbed a partner, made a bit of a production out of it.

    And the mozzarella sticks I just ate! Those were also good 😀

  24. My girlfriend, who met my parents last weekend. Overall it went smoothly, especially considering I’ve been out to my dad for less than a year and this is the first girl I’ve brought home. We’ve been dating for about six months so it was good, time-wise. So yeah, a pretty big milestone, especially considering the last person I brought home was a boyfriend I had been dating for five years before my father met him in person.

    Also, the kids at the school got to dress up as their favorite characters. Two girls wanted to be Wonder Woman but one girl didn’t want to copy until I said that we needed a lot more Wonder Women in in the world so they should both dress up as her. I feel like I aced teaching for the day just based on that.

  25. “when I wake up and don’t need eye drops” — oh my god I have had this problem over the past year, please help me figure out what I’m doing to my body that this is now a thing. XD

    My favorite thing right now is queer comics where they show lots of different body types like it ain’t no thang.

  26. I’m extremely indecisive so by default I don’t like favorites… Or absolutes… That being said:
    TV Show- Alias
    Smell- bleach
    Food group- carbohydrates
    Food combo- mint and chocolate
    Place- anywhere near the ocean
    Way to procrastinate- Wikipedia

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