Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I am a something or other

Unk has ordered us all to be completely honest with ourselves and tell the world what we are. "I am a whatever" he calls it. Well, I'm not one to back down from a challenge so here it is.


My biological father is something of a sociopath. The only reason he's not a mass murderer is because he doesn't see the point. So he really has no use for his kids. I spent so much of my childhood trying to figure out how to be prettier, smarter, funnier, more interesting so I could make him love me. Know what? He won't ever love me, no matter how perfect I am.

My Mom and Stepdad fought a lot when I was a kid, mostly over something I'd done wrong, so I tried to make better grades and I didn't cuss (I KNOW) or drink or do drugs or go to parties or have sex with boys so I'd be perfect and they'd stop fighting. But you know what? They weren't fighting over me. They were fighting over me to avoid admitting that they weren't happy with each other. As soon as I left for college they started admitting the real problem, and then they resolved it and now there's love in that house.

So maybe I used to be obsessed with perfection but I'm not anymore. So that's not what I am.

Okay, let's try this again.


My family on both sides is mostly British and British people don't really expose their vulnerabilities. We didn't hug much growing up; in fact, yesterday Best Friend said I'm the only friend she doesn't hug. When new people reach for a big bear hug I drop like a limp rag because I don't like being touched unless I'm comfortable. Some people can hug me. Most of the time when somebody hugs me I tolerate it until they let go.

I don't like to show my emotions either. Stiff upper lip and all that. The other day the Beefcake said something incredibly sweet to me at dinner and I covered my face and made fun of him because everybody was watching and you can't show that something sappy moves you while everybody's watching. So I hide my emotions.

Stepdad used to yell a lot but I wasn't allowed to cry and I wasn't allowed to be angry so I practiced looking numb. In my head I was stabbing him with the butcher knife, but my face was a vacant stare. I can pretend to feel nothing.

But you know, I love my kids at school. And I if you catch me alone I'm brutally honest about most things. And just because I don't show my emotions much, doesn't mean I don't have them. Once I feel safe around you we can hug and talk and I'll tell you what I feel all the time. So I'm not really a cold fish after all, I don't think.

Let me try that again.


I got that from my dad. I can walk into any room, look around and fit right in. What's worse is that I can convince myself that I LOVE football or that I don't mind standing around in a smoke-infested bar listening to The Promise Ring. I can become what I need to be.

Except not really. I mean, I was like that when I was younger but now I'm pretty honest about my likes and dislikes. I still fit in places, but I don't really fake it as much as I used to. And if I don't want to go somewhere I just don't go.

So maybe I'm not really a phony at all.

Maybe the problem here is that I keep trying to think of negatives. I've got negatives. I can be phony and I can be a cold fish and I can be obsessed with perfection, but I am none of those things to the extent that it handicaps me because I'm also an OPTIMIST. I see the silver lining in every cloud. But I don't want to put down that I'm an optimist because the purpose of this exercise seems to be to drum up your most negative personality trait and explain it.

But I like me. I had a whole self loathing period two years ago and boy did I wallow, but then I got over it and decided that I'm pretty cool. So stuff doesn't really bother me as much as it used to. I'm not perfect, despite my life long goal to become so, but I'm OKAY. I like waking up as me every day. I guess I always see how things could be worse, and I'm pretty INTUITIVE so I think about how other people feel before I do something assholey. Oh, I can definitely be an ASSHOLE, no doubt, and I'm DEFIANT to a fault which tends to piss off bosses and boyfriends on a regular basis because I refuse to do what I'm told or let someone help me.

But that's all part of me and I don't want to change me. If I wasn't me I'd totally hang out with me.

So I guess, in the end...



  1. Anonymous10:20 AM

    Uh oh.

    I think I hugged you at the Arclight, when we were all disbanding for the evening.

    Sorry about that. I'm an affectionate Texas boy.

    I'll high-five you or something, next time.


  2. I don't think I minded hugging you. You are cuddly.

  3. Anonymous1:36 PM

    that may be all true, but I bet you still kick ass at karaoke under the influence of several jaeger bombs haha...

  4. Anonymous6:24 AM

    You are a Bloody Mary... Part nurturing and good for you, part drunk revelous times. The percentages vary from time to time, but don't seem to change altogether.

    I tend to be more like whiskey, all cynical and ALL psycho...


  5. Who am I?

    For the most part, *you* decide.
    If you come to me like you've got some sense...then I show you love and all my wonderful stuff.

    But if you come at me acting like a fool...well,
    I have some crazies in my family, and they've shown me some stuff:)

  6. Anonymous7:57 AM

    C'mere. Hug! Was that so bad?

    Writers need to show their emotion on the page. Do you? Can you?

  7. I don't hug people I don't know. Get away from me.

  8. we are all phonies to some extent, anyway. I'm British as well-- and I dislike hugs. I'm always like, "ew, get the f away from me" when people try to hug me or squeeze my hand. since I'm a Muslim as well, I dislike praying with other Muslims (which involve close contact) so I avoid my masjid as much as possible.


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