Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I'm Okay, You're Okay

One of the things I like about reading my friends' blogs is the way their thoughts and experiences can lead me to closer contemplation of my own. For example, reading Rita's post about people's reaction to her return to martial arts classes brought me back to something I've been thinking about lately myself. And really, what good are other people if they don't provide me with a platform to talk about me, me, me?

Really, though, Rita was saying that she's gotten a lot of "you're so brave" comments, which she can't help but hearing as "wow, you look so foolish, yet you get out there in that hideous uniform anyway" (to paraphrase). Wisely she has decided to enjoy herself and not care what people think. So how does that relate to me? It's kind of complicated. I think a lot of my persona is built on th foundation of "I don't care what you think of me," and on reflection, for the most part, I find that to be true. The trouble is more with what I think of me, or if your idea of me doesn't match up to my own idea of what you are supposed to think of me. That's reasonable, right?

I know that I have a problem with taking myself too seriously. Sometimes that makes it hard for me to determine why I'm really doing or not doing something. I think there are a lot of things I don't do because in no universe can I comprehend how those things are supposed to be fun. Which wouldn't matter, except they're always things that a lot of other people think are fun, and the end result is that I come across as a curmudgeonly or stuck up or more-highbrow-than-thou. It's hard to even list specific examples because of the mental list of friends who are going to read them and say "Oh, so you think all these things that I do are stupid, huh?" Which is tricky because, while those things do seem kind of unfathomable to me, that doesn't mean I think you're dumb for doing them. Maybe that means that I'm not so much worried about me or what you think of me, but about what you think I think of you? This is getting confusing.

Suffice it to say that even if no one would ever see me or know that I had done it, I would never, ever, ever stand in my own living room and play Rock Band any more than I would ever stand in front of a bar full of strangers and sing karaoke. Just like I really and truly do not like reality TV, even though you may suspect that I secretly watch and love it but just pretend I'm "better" than that. I know that makes some of you sad for me, but really, it's okay. Because knowing that I wouldn't want to do it even if no one were watching or would ever even find out assures me that it's not about making an ass of myself. That's just not what I think is fun. So I'm okay with that. And I guess I want my Rock-Band/various-other-video-game-playing/Rock-of-Love-watching friends to be okay with that too. I won't be embarrassed for you, and you don't have to feel sorry for me for missing all the fun.

As for the American Idol thing, well, maybe we don't need to talk about that right now.


Stephanie said...

I think I find you curmudgeonly not because you don't like the same things I do, but because you are compelled to point out how unfathomable my interests are. However, I know I am more likely to share embarassing facts about myself than most people, so maybe I'm just the person most ripe for a good mocking.

Rita said...

The trouble is more with what I think of me, or if your idea of me doesn't match up to my own idea of what you are supposed to think of me.

Oh my God, I love how you put that. That's IT! That is so perfectly articulated! I don't even think I can elaborate without taking away from it, but yes, that's how I feel, too (when I'm my normal self and not in a crazy hormonal battle).

And, I also relate to not finding fun in things that other people enjoy. For example, all through junior high and high school I used to ride rollercoasters because everyone else rode rollercoasters and they expected me to. I am afraid of heights, but I did it anyway, and I never, not even once had the tiniest bit of fun. Finally, years and years later, the first time Mike and I went to an amusement park, he wanted me to ride on rollercoasters and I refused. He thought it was my "fear" at first. But, I assured him that was a "fear" I overcame to death, but I still just don't LIKE rollercoasters, so leave me alone about it.

You shouldn't have to try something to say that you wouldn't like it. Nor should you be made to feel ashamed for not liking something. Life's too short for that petty bullshit, don't you think?

Sassy Molassy said...

I don't think I mock anyone. Somehow I am just always shocked and caught off guard when these things come up. Maybe I have gotten defensive. I don't know. For some reason I can find it in myself to understand people doing really bad things, but not their taste in entertainment.

Stacey Greenberg said...

i ascribe to the why knock it if you haven't tried it philosophy.

one of the things i like most about warren is that he pushes me to try new things even when i protest and i usually end up thanking him for it.

however, he also thinks my love of reality TV is dumb. (it doesn't keep him from watching with me from time to time though.)

Mrs. Katherine said...

When I posted about my love of magazines, I imagined you saying that you cannot see how anyone could sit for that long to read about something so silly. Then I saw on FB that you read a lot of magazines that one day and that you moved Twilight up in your NetFlix queue. I guess I was wrong, you silly thing! (And don't try to tell me you were reading the New Yorker all day long.)

Sassy Molassy said...

I guess I just feel like I've been me long enough to know what kinds of things I enjoy and do not enjoy.

Sassy Molassy said...

Everyone has her guilty pleasures. Sometimes I do sit around reading the New Yorker all day! But that day I read Southern Living, Taste of Home, Woman's Day, and Prevention at my mom's house, all of them pretty much cover-to-cover. It's not like it was People or anything. ;-)

Stacey Greenberg said...

Trying new things can be fun as can learning new things about yourself.

You don't know until you try.

You are too young to be so set in your ways.

Sassy Molassy said...

I do try new things. Just because I know myself well enough and from experience to know that being busy and scheduled makes me miserable, and that having a lot of free time makes me happy, that makes me set in my ways? I haven't exactly lived my life in a bubble.

Unknown said...

"It's not like it was People or anything."

What's wrong with reading People?

Sassy Molassy said...

Sorry, Katherine. I don't have the energy to fight with anyone else today.

Mrs. Katherine said...

Don't worry. I don't want to fight you; I like you just the way you are! Besides, you're probably a closet People reader. ;)

Stephanie said...

I don't want to fight her either, but that's mainly because I'm a little bit scared of her.

Anonymous said...

well could you read People in your house,
could you read it with your spouse?
Would you, could you in a closet
could you read it while making a deposit?

Once you try it, you may see
People's a smart read, Sassy Molassy

...sorry i couldn't resist

Rita said...

I do try new things. Just because I know myself well enough and from experience to know that being busy and scheduled makes me miserable, and that having a lot of free time makes me happy, that makes me set in my ways? I haven't exactly lived my life in a bubble.

I feel like you do with this, too... there are things that I just KNOW about myself and I don't need to try it out to be proven wrong. I'm perfectly fine living out the rest of my life with several things left untried, thanks. It doesn't mean that I have a lower opinion of people who enjoy activities that I would never find any fun in (camping, sewing, making elaborate cakes in cartoon shapes, just to name a few), it just means that I can in no way imagine any fun in them, but I CAN imagine fun in things that I'll likely never get to do (hanging out with mountain gorillas, swimming in the great coral reef, reading my famous novel to an audience at the royal albert all), so why not spend my energy trying to achieve things I know I'll like?

And, I am like Joan Rivers... People works like a laxative for me ;-)