Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Honesty

In college (and probably too long after) I was a big fan of the honesty games. You know, you get together with a lot of people, get too drunkenly uncoordinated to play quarters and so move on to games like "I Never" or "Truth or Dare."

(Occasionally, if the drunkenness had moved to a point where no one could articulate a thought clearly, there might have been some "Spin the Bottle" involved. I don't remember though because I was usually passed out in the closet from being paired with myself for "Seven Minutes In Heaven.")

Anyway, I was thinking about this because several of these kind of games have cropped up in our little blog rings wherein we interview each other. And frankly, it might be a little refreshing to move from the alternating moody heartbreak self-pity/delighted with how ridiculous life can be posts and just answer something plainly for a change. I mean, it's not like anyone I don't already know or have the common ground of chronicling my days with doesn't read this. I mean it's not like my employer or any of my clients know about this blog.

It's sort of like group therapy. That makes you develop carpel tunnel.

Anyway, the rules, according to Mizz Rachel, are as follows:

A) first list 10 honest things about yourself - and make it interesting, even if you have to dig deep! B) pass the award on to 7 bloggers that you feel embody the spirit of the Honest Scrap!

As a prelude, I would like to think the inventor of this game for not threatening impending doom should I not fulfill the second condition.

1. I have an astounding number of moles. Truly, it's amazing. Someone counted them once some years back and it was in the triple digits. I had a close friend who once comforted me about my moliness by saying that each of them represented a lifetime I had lived. I liked that idea until I started thinking that maybe the SIZE of the mole represented just how amazing that particular life was. And most of my moles are pithy little freckles. Pithy little freckles = pithy little lives. Al;so, I was somewhat traumatized when a dermatologist decided one of my larger ones had to go. Since then, I feel as if some of my collective unconsciousness has disappeared.

2. I really get annoyed when people talk about celebrities. I think celebrities are just normal people, and I don't worship normal people. I actually don't even care about normal people. Once I realized that I'm just as hot as most celebrities, I stopped even imagining that their lives were as interesting as mine. And don't get me started on "actors" who are basically worshipped for pretending to do stuff they could never really do. I also get unreasonably angry when people start talking about celebrities, but don't want to really express that anger. So, instead I just smile and nod and thank god I get an important email in the middle of a lunch where colleagues were comparing Sundance festival celeb spottings.

3. I lie about the number of siblings I have. I have a little sister. I also have an older brother who is dead. That's obviously upsetting for a lot of reasons, but it's really awful when you are in a situation (such as a networking function) where people ask you how many siblings you have. I'm not a good liar, so I end up saying "I have a little sister" and then I pause like I'm going to continue, but I don't. This is because I've learned that the person will then ask, "so what does your brother do?" and I'll have to admit that his current occupation is being dead. And then they'll ask the worst possible things people ever ask which are "how old was he?" and "how did he die?". And all of that is really complicated and none of their fucking business. Plus, a mood-killer. I've decided to reserve all talk of dead brothers until the time I have a son and name him after my brother. And that's it.

4. I sometimes wonder if I love the idea of being heartbroken over someone for over two years. It's like I imagine myself as The French Lieutinant's Woman, or some widow walking the coastline mourning for her man lost at sea, when, in reality I helped him into the boat, handed him some salt peter, ordered "anchors away" and cheerfully waved him off. I'm starting to think this ridiculous pining is serving two functions. First, it sweeps me off into a comforting moroseness on which I can blame any unexplainable mood changes which are probably just hormones, or stress, or eating at restaurant with a poor sanitation rating. The second is that it keeps me safely out of reach of ever having to have feelings for someone again.

5. My father is one of my best friends. Please don't go all Oedipus complex on me. But no two people in the world are more alike, and that's because we are both complete assholes who love taking the piss out of the crazy things going on around us. My dad was kind of a nutso religious strict guy when I was growing up, but of course after I figured out no one can REALLY stop you from doing what you want (at the tender age of eight) he somewhat mellowed out. Now we talk about pretty much anything - actually everything. And my dad understands things like sometimes running away IS the best solution, fidelity and kids are overrated, you are supposed to freak out when you put on 3 pounds, and white men should not the only people ruling the world - but for the moment they are, and I hope I raised you to stick your dick out there too.

6. I often wish I had some more exotic linguistic or ethnic background. When people ask me about my "roots" I guess I could say "well, there's the Italian, the Polish, the Scotch-Irish, the English, the Norman French and some Cherokee thrown in for good measure." The true answer is I'm a friggin' white American and until someone teaches me how to make a calzone while yelling "capisce?!" or gives me a share in a gambling enterprise, I guess I'm going to have to live with that description.

7. (Related to #6). I often overcompensate for being a friggin' white person by trying to travel to as many places and learn as many languages as possible. For the latter, I'm lucky. I pick them up easily, and don't care if I sound like a retard as long as I get my point across. I have a secret dream that I can say all the right things in one language I haven't found yet. I also like making love in different languages. Sometimes those are the only words I pick up.

8. I am incredibly vain. For those who know me in real life, you probably find this impossibly hard to believe since I am usually wandering around in either workout clothes or a suit whose jacket is improperly buttoned with my hair piled on top on my head. But the amount of time I spend in front of a mirror is truly ridiculous. And I'm not even doing anything useful in front of it (unless it's pretending to be Neko Case). I secretly wish I could sit all of my immaculately groomed friends down and get some lessons.

9. When I feel like I've gotten the shit end of the stick I can go really overboard. I've gotten better about this, but I think a really good example is when my ex did something that really hurt me and I drew up a contract wherein I made him promise to 1) ship me our telescope back from Canada and 2) never talk to me again. Oh, and 3) take care of a hospital bill from Montreal when I had a weird anaphylatic reaction and had to go to the ER. I had jsut finished clerking at a couple firms so the contract was all legalese and bitterness. Like "Wherein (ex) admits that he is the lowest cretin to ever crawl across the earth...".

The best part is he signed it and mailed an original with a time stamp back with the telescope. Then a month later he contacted me, and I contacted him back and that went on for a year, so not only was the contract completely embarrassing, it was also nullified by our subsequent conduct. I hope he didn't keep a copy. Yeah, he probably did.

10. I am at times absolutely bewildered to be alive. Since I was a child I often feel like I'm not quite in my body, and that things move and speak only to me. Like life is just gathering around me to point out the truth in everything, and I often glibly follow. I learned to read tarot cards a long while back, and I have to hide them from myself because sometimes I feel like I can't believe things are random - but then a cynical side of me thinks the fact that the universe is gathering forces JUST TO LET ME KNOW WHAT'S GOIN' ON is a little tenuous. But maybe the universe has a large budget and can do that. I still look for the messages, and I still follow them. So far, I've done okay. At least there's no permanent damage.

And so I'm finished. I'm sending out secret invites to my 7.

4 comments:

That Baldy Fella said...

Impressive post. I may steal this idea. Then again, I may not. I'm changeable like that.

Star Kicker said...

That was your first honest admission.

So now you are my #1 victim.

Rachel Tamed said...

I drafted up a phony law suit regarding my ex, with lovely little portions like, "did willfully and knowingly create a fake persona in order to cause another person to enter into a relationship with me under false pretenses" "casued irreprable harm by reverting to real persona, which I masked poorly at best" yea, glad I never sent that, but typing out the 15 pages made me feel better for a day.

There is a safety net, and also some mystery and all that fun stuff that goes along with a broken heart. It is easy to allow that to save you from the next one, which there will inevitably be.

I am sorry that you lost your brother. I know that those words mean nothing compared to the actual thing, but I think you are wise to keep from letting too many people revel in empathy by bringing it up at dinner parties and luncheons.

That Baldy Fella said...

This honesty stuff is horribly contagious.