Dear Jason,

I am in love with a guy who likes Fall Out Boy. I’m not talking about the occasional listen when his iPod is on shuffle. Fall Out Boy is literally his favorite band. Oh, and to make matters worse, he has a girlfriend. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Any advice?

Concerned in California

Dear Concerned in California,

I found it amusing that the fact your crush has a girlfriend seems like the secondary, exacerbating problem. It’s kind of like worrying that you’ll catch a disease from the shark that’s eating you, but I hear what you’re saying. There was a time when your concern would have been mine. Back in college, I was pretty impressed with myself for owning as much Velvet Underground as I did, and I was wary of music that seemed too mainstream, according to standards that, at the time, I didn’t realize were pretty mainstream themselves. I seem to remember dismissing someone for owning a Garth Brooks CD. I apparently mistook a copy of No Fences for a spotlit portrait of Hitler. Don’t miss out on people that way. You don’t need to assimilate anyone’s taste in music. For all I know, had I given this person a chance, I might have been surprised to discover more-substantive reasons to consider myself her better. Maybe this guy enjoys hooky pop and doesn’t spend a lot of time exploring new sounds because he devotes his time to other things—or maybe he has an iTunes list longer than the Nile and still adores Fall Out Boy above all else. Doesn’t matter. We like what we like, and we often don’t know why or what it signifies, if it signifies anything. I have five Avril Lavigne songs on my iPod. I didn’t ask for that, damn it, but it happened.

Oh, by the way, this guy has a girlfriend. But it might not last, and by the time the breakup goes down he might have moved on to Limp Bizkit.