The Terrible Tale of Not-a-True

Unless you eat, breathe, and sleep horses, you are not a true horse rider.

I saw something along the lines of this on a roleplay forum a few years ago, back when I rode horses. Evidently I didn't really ride the horses, because I didn't eat them. I tried not to breathe them, although I'm fairly certain it's scientifically impossible. It's probably also scientifically impossible to sleep a horse. What does that even mean? And, more importantly, if I wasn't a true horse rider, what was I actually doing on those Saturday afternoons where I sat atop an equine as it walked lazily through a dusty meadow?

Yes, I'm probably taking this too literally. But the fact remains: I rode those horses. Even if it wasn't what I devoted my life to, even if animals hate me and if I fell off and broke my arm, I was a true horse rider.

I can't count the times I've heard the phrase "not a true". You've never played (insert obscure violent video game)? You're not a true gamer. You don't know what Gandalf's original name is? You're not a true Middle-Earth fan. You can't execute three million pirrouettes in a row? You're not a true dancer. Not a true this, not a true that. Not a true, not a true, not a true.

The fact of the matter is: if you play video games you're a gamer; if you like The Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings or the Silmarillion or whatever, you're a Middle-Earth fan; and if you dance, you're a dancer. And that's all there is to it. (The grammar in this paragraph is a train wreck, but I'm a writer nonetheless. By the way, Gandalf's original name was Olórin, which is taken from the Quenyan word olos/olor, meaning dream, vision, or mind, according to Tolkien Gateway).

Have you ever told someone they were "not a true"? Finding out that your so-called friend didn't read the books and only saw the movies, did you accuse them of not being a true fan? I'm sure I have, at some point.

I should probably wrap this post up because it's beginning to become incessant rambling. Also, I just spent ten minutes drooling over Legolas gifs and as a result I'm not exactly rational.

The point is, you're either something or you're not. You're musician or you're not a musician, you're a Whovian or you're not a Whovian, you're an engineer or you're not an engineer, and whether you fit the mold for it or not, there's not really a gray area.

-Heather <3

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