It’s Okay to Be Yourself (As Long As Everyone Likes You)
I think it’s probably obvious by now that I’m a little ADD. ADHD. ABCDEFG. Whatever.
For example, I meant to start writing this post an hour ago, but instead I got sidetracked by looking up furniture painting tutorials so I could paint my hand-built office desk, which made me realize that the office desk really shouldn’t be a priority when I still have to decide on a menu and make a bunch of decorations for this Saturday’s baby
shower party, which led me to searching through recipes online while concocting a partial shopping list, which made me realize I hadn’t uploaded some food photos I took the other day, which made me remember I wanted to print some photos to send to some friends, which somehow led me to downloading free Photoshop actions off the internet and trying them out on the aforementioned photos.
And now I’m hungry.
And I forgot why I started writing this post.
Oh, yes. My inability (or flat-out refusal?) to focus on any one topic for very long pretty much guarantees the completely random, fickle assortment of writing topics you find on this lil’ blog. One day I might be lamenting about how I can’t find a job and nobody loves me, and the next I’m passing out recipes for hummus or posting pictures of my knife-wielding neighbor at her 2-year-old’s birthday party.
It’s crazy in here.
What it’s like inside my head during an office meeting.
And usually, once I post about something that’s been plaguing me, it gets moved into the digital archives of this blog and removed completely from my mind. My little mind elves don’t have a file system — once an idea is made reality, they crumple up the evidence, throw it in a trash bin, light a match, and toss it in. Then they dump the ashes out through my ear. So usually, the only way I can remember what I was thinking about yesterday is to look at the blog.
But there is one thing recently that has stuck around in my mind, for one reason or another. It’s my post from the other day about how I’ve grown more socially awkward as I age because I worry that people won’t like my real personality. It generated some intriguing comments of agreement, and one in particular (thanks, Greg!) that hit a nerve, stating that children have the admirable quality of not really caring what adults or peers think about their personality — it just is. So, why does it matter when we’re older?
Sure, I guess. Everyone should be nice to everyone, and blah, blah, blah. But beyond that? What factors stipulate how we should behave in polite society? Why can’t I laugh — loudly — at a restaurant if someone says something deliberately funny? Why does the sound of adult laughter so commonly generate irritated looks from people nearby? (Obviously, I wouldn’t do this every 2 seconds and interrupt other people’s conversations, but once? What’s the problem?)
It’s times like these when I’m glad I’m not single. Single people have it rough out there right now. In a society where you’re only expected to act a certain way so as to “not give off the wrong impression,” how is anyone supposed to make any sort of impression at all?
Enter my friend Maria, and her obviously charming and hilarious brother. (I don’t remember her brother’s name, nor have I ever met him, but I’m sure he’s charming and hilarious.)
Maria is incredibly articulate and intelligent (just check out her blog, which she hasn’t updated in way too long), laid-back, a world-traveler, and stunningly gorgeous. Yet. She had a difficult time filling out her online dating profile to reflect any of her uniqueness beyond the whole, polite, standard online profile clichés.
(I hope she doesn’t get mad at me for posting this photo, but I had to get my point across — the girl shouldn’t need help filling out a profile. By the way, she’s not Indian, but this photo was taken of her this year while she was in India studying yoga.)
So her brother took it upon himself to write one a little less… stuffy:
If you’re looking for someone with the brain of a supermodel and the body of a scientist, look no further! Here I am.
My name is Maria, and I am a Japanese/Mexican exotic gourmet blend. Born of human parents, it would stand to reason that I, too, am human. But am I really? I don’t know. I might just be a cookie monster.
An exhaustive account of all the facets of my awesomeness would be impractical—nay, impossible—so here are the wave tops. I’ve spent a lot of time in South Africa rehabilitating orphaned baboons. Whoa! Did you just fall out of your seat because you are so amazed? Calm down, partner. I’m just getting warmed up here. So let’s see… I was once featured on the Animal Planet TV channel, so yes, I do consider myself a celebrity (very famous). I studied yoga in India. (Shout out to all my mad-smart Subcontinent homies!) I graduated from Chico State with a degree in something. I think it was anthropology or animals or multiplication or something weird like that. I once woke up while working in the Costa Rican jungle with a tarantula in my bed, and I didn’t even care. That’s right. I didn’t even care. I said “Hey, buddy.” It’s because I’m a world-class badass, and I knew that the tarantula would get the hell out of there once he recognized my face (very famous). Once when I was a teenager and I worked at a movie theater, Kevin Mitchell—the 1989 National League MVP (duh!), came up to buy some popcorn from me. I was like, “Hey, you were my favorite player when I was a kid.” He came back like he was all offended and said, “Were?” So I was like, “That’ll be $107, please.” I also know how to properly use a semicolon. If you are one of those unfortunate souls that didn’t already know that a semicolon is used to join two closely related independent clauses, then you disgust me and you deserve to be trapped in a forest for days on end with no one but a Bob Dylan-obsessed fan who insists on singing his entire anthology in an all-too-accurate impersonation. And not the funny kind of impersonation. The kind that makes your marrow ache. THAT kind.
What’s that you say? For the love of God, tell you more? Very well, I shall. You should know that I love cats. Baked, boiled, fried… it doesn’t matter to me. In fact, I have two cats, and they’re looking more and more delicious every day. Now you might think from what you’ve read so far that I’m an animal lover. Well don’t jump to conclusions, Hoppy Hopperson. I draw the line at hippopotamuses. They’re fat, surly, filthy creatures, and they have no business interfering with my happiness. If you happen to have a pet hippopotamus, I will not consider dating you. Also, you’re in violation of several city ordinances.
I teach yoga & do massage, so clearly I love violent movies & video games. I also love riding bicycles. I ride normal bikes, but eventually I’d like to purchase one of those bikes w the enormous front wheel and the tiny back wheel, a la 1882.
Favorite Hot Spots:
Locally I like Bidwell Park, T.Bar, and my backyard (and not just because of the underground dungeon, which is admittedly charming).
Well? Okay, so this is admittedly a little over-the-top, and Maria intends to take it down a notch to better reflect her slightly more reserved personality. But you get the point, right? Most people would be too afraid to post something like this because it might make them stand out. It might turn people off.
But if this is who you are, and you’re trying to attract people to you, whether romantically or just friends in life, why would you want anyone who doesn’t like you?
I know this is way too long, and I apologize. I meant to be finished with this 4 hours ago. I guess my point is that I wish more people would just be real. No more masks. No more judging. Just us.
And don’t worry — tomorrow will probably be a post about awesome little party appetizers or home office decor and I’ll have no clue why people are emailing me about the new Remove the Mask movement and how I can get involved, because my mind elves will have already dumped these ashes and moved on to tartlets and parsons desks.
My mind is exhausting.