Thursday, November 18, 2010

Meaningful And (Possibly) Unknown

A cherished friend of mine who blogs at Olyphant poses this challenge: "in the further interest of self-finding and self-making known, i’m going to list five things you probably don’t know about me that are meaningful to me. i haven’t planned what i’m going to say; this is as much about me figuring out what i care about yet keep back as anything else." She goes on to exhort all of her readers to do so too. So I am.

It's rough for me to know where to begin here. In a lot of ways I fear that I already habitually disclose too much about myself. Frequently, however, people who spend a fair bit of time with me confess that I'm kind of baffling to them, which leads to:

1) I think I'm more rational than I am. There's a huge disparity in how well I feel I'm communicating my viewpoint and how clear it is to other people. I believe this is due to my unfounded trust that I'm, at the core, a fairly logical person when in reality I'm nothing of the sort. I tend to assume that my feelings are written all over my face and that my motives are pretty transparent, but when I'm far enough removed from the situation to gain some perspective, I realize that I jumped to all kinds of neurotic conclusions. Even those might not be so hard for someone else to follow, but the entire process never leaves my head because I figure that everyone else is tracking with it because, after all, it's logical, isn't it? From the outside, it must look like *reasonable stimulus -- BIZARRO RESPONSE.* I'm trying to realize when this is happening and nip it in the bud, with varying degrees of success.

Hand in hand with this one goes:

2) I get a lot more attached to people than I let on. Usually this is because I assume they already know how I feel (see #1.) Despite this, I'm pretty terrible at keeping up correspondence regularly (I'm pretty terrible at doing anything regularly.) It's not because I don't care. I care a lot. I love people quickly and unabashedly (and sometimes ill-advisedly, too) and I tend to be intensely interested in the people I care about even if it's a platonic sort of caring. Being aloof most of the time is generally my attempt to keep from being a nuisance to people-- I figure that if people want to spend time with me, they'll seek me out because they know I'm willing. (Again, see #1.)

3) I keep mementos, letters and cards for years. I have boxes of love letters dating back to high school. I have all the notes of condolence people sent me when my father died. Doodles and clippings and tokens and what-have-you are stashed away in secret places all over my apartment, even after the Great Pre-Moving Purge of this summer where I pared down most non-essential things. I also have every journal I've ever kept, and I've been keeping longhand journals since I was five. I occasionally go through binges of nostalgia wherein I read through all of these. The only thing missing from the catalogue is the online diary I wrote when I was 16 and 17-- the site went under and it was deleted before I could back it up. I felt like I lost a chunk of myself and I still mourn.

4) I hate talking on the phone. As Tuesday's anecdote about calling coworkers probably made clear. I especially hate calling people I don't know very well, whether or not I have good reason to. I will do just about anything to avoid it and am delighted that nowadays most business can be conducted by e-mail. There are very few people with whom I can hold a phone conversation for any length of time-- generally I will need to have been on close terms with you for upwards of 7 or 8 years before I'll be able to manage to keep it together. I am also absolute rubbish at answering machines. I just panic and say anything.

5) Despite my shyness and reluctance to communicate, I take great pleasure in knowing people well. This may make my friends feel flattered, or possibly stalked, but I remember things like what you like from Applebee's or what your license plate number is or your drink order or that inside joke that ran for way too long our freshman year of college. I like to get to know people, and I like it when people get to know me. This makes me good at selecting appropriate Christmas gifts and recommending books and music and remembering the funny things people said at parties. This makes me not so good at ever shutting up once I've actually brought myself to be comfortable talking to you.

Now that I've finished this list I'm actually rather nervous to post it. I guess that means I'm doing it right? Of course, you may all already know all of this. I'm kind of a poor judge of what I'm projecting. See number 1.

Posted by Silent Five @ 10:16 PM

Read or Post a Comment

re: #3: i suspect at this point that there will be no viking funeral for The Box, at least not soon. it seems too much a part of things, and besides, what else gives us so many laughs per line of writing? ;) i find myself feeling gentler and gentler toward those two writers. they were doing their best, even when it was unintentionally hilarious. *grin*

Posted by OpenID olyphant @ 4:14 PM #
<< Home

Word of the Week

gymnosophy [jim-NAH-so-fee]

n. Philosophical, amusing, or nonsensical insights realized when naked, as in the shower or in bed. (recent coinage: att. S. Galasso, 2010)

Victoria and Albert enjoyed a spot of postprandial concupiscence culminating in a night of gymnosophy and coffee and crumpets at dawn.

The Silent Top Five: Bacon-Flavored Desserts

1) Bacon cheesecake.
2) Bacon gumballs.
3) Bacon ice cream.
4) Bacon-orange bars.
5) Bacon apple pie.

Standard Disclaimer

This is all in no way meant to incur copyright-infringement-related wrath. I'm harmless. I promise. Oh, and if you're offended by anything I may post herein, I guarantee I didn't mean to do so (unless, of course, you are a humorless prig. In which case, go right on and be offended, with my blessings.)