Tuesday, January 27, 2009

16 things about myself....and the nature of self-absorption

All right, we all know the drill by now. Someone sends you an email, or in the case of Facebook, a note comprising a list about themselves. Usually it's pretty trivial stuff. It's kind of an unwritten rule about that sort of thing. It should be trivial and written with a bit of irony for spice. That's the recipe for cool and hip today. Don't be deep or serious, and God, what would we do without our irony, just to show how intelligent and world-weary we all are. We're talking their favorite ice cream, if they're a morning person or night owl. That kind of stuff.

You write a list and send it back to them and to a bunch of your friends. It's a chain letter, is what it is.

It's all part of today's scene filled with pop stars and bloggers and FB pages and social networking, tailor-made for today's digital voyeur.

And yes, in the interest of full disclosure, I realize I'm being as self-absorbed as the next person on this blog. Probably more so, because of the three keywords for this blog, one is "personal". The other two, not that you're interested but I'm so self-absorbed that I'm going to tell you anyway, are "theater", spelled with an "er" at the end and not the snobby "re", and "music."

So, the other night with a fever of over 100 degrees, I plopped down on the couch, probably feeling a bit like an Argentinian wine: unappreciated. And I dug kind of deep, because one of the people who tagged me had a FB friend who he tagged write some pretty revealing things about herself. And I took her lead, because it was kind of interesting for me to read these incredibly personal and potentially hurtful details about this stranger. She broke the mold, as they say. Man, honesty in this world is rare, isn't it?

I am so sick and tired of irony and world-weariness.

And being unemployed, you just don't get that stroke that you get when you're out there being a part of things, not that I was a part of anything when I was out there in the working world. Here's a news flash people: It's all smoke and mirrors. It's all a ruse.

So I guess, deep down, it was all just me crying to out to be recognized. Yelling out like so many others that I exist and I'm worth taking notice of.

I've been criticized in the past for writing too personally on this blog. What will potential employers think? (I hope that anyone who is looking for a writer will see that I'm the real deal, that's what I hope they think.) That blogging is nothing more than an exercise in self-absorption. Yeah, I can see the arguments. I can also make the argument, as I do so often, that I truly believe that we are all in this together, connected in ways we can't see. Not connected by the Internet, but a real universal web that transcends time and space. Think Einstein. And that shared experiences, learning how others experience called life, can be a good thing.

So, because I know you're all so intrigued with me and everything about me, here's the list, taken from Facebook:

1. I'm only doing this because Grant tagged me and so did Jess and I am feeling awfully guilty about not playing along. So that's #1...I pretend I'm a rebel, actually revel in it, but deep down I just want to belong like everyone else.

2. Despite wanting to belong I prefer being on the fringe. I know it's contradictory; deal with it.

3. I would prefer to be an animal than a human any day. My first choice would be a coyote. They're awfully smart and hang out on the fringe.

4. I wish I was a better guitar player. I would, like Robert Johnson, make a deal with the devil to make it so. I wouldn't give my soul, though. I'd trade all my acting ability. To me that's more than a fair deal. We need more guitar players than actors in this world, I think.

5. I wouldn't make the deal at a crossroads at midnight though. I'd prefer mid to late morning.

6. Most of the time I wish I weren't white.

7. When I was really down and out I was in the emergency room and they asked for the name of someone to contact in case of an emergency and all I could give them was the name of my dog, Bob. So, somewhere Robert Greiner-Ferris is listed as my son.

8. I think #7 is awfully funny; please don't feel sorry for me. I hate that.

9. I'm the happiest now than I've been in a long time.

10. Someday Sue and I want to travel around the world together.

11. I keep a list of people I'd want to have a beer with. Jacqueline Onassis is on it. So is Einstein.

12. I think that just as the polar bear has developed huge feet that act like snowshoes in an arctic environment and a voracious appetite and an ugly temper to find food in a world where there is little food, so we have developed emotions like kindness and sympathy and empathy. We are a species capable of destroying ourselves. Without those emotions we would certainly have wiped ourselves out a long time ago. They're surely survival traits. Have you ever known a polar bear to exercise kindness and empathy?

13. I have to be in the middle of reading a book. If not, something's just out of kilter in my life. I'm currently reading two books.

14. Although both my parents came from large families, I'm pretty much an orphan. Once I call Sue, Kathryn, Allison, and John, I'm pretty much tapped out. And I only have a couple of really good friends. I don't mind it though. I used to want a big wonderful family and a huge social life, but now I know it's won't come in this life and I''m okay with that.

15. There's actually an incredible amount of strength that comes with the ability to be by yourself.

16. This seems to me that it should be a big finish, but I can't think of anything that comes close to fireworks. So, I'll just leave by saying I truly believe we as a society have yet to understand that those who inflict emotional pain are no different than those who inflict physical pain. They're thugs, any way you look at it. And we as a species have not developed the senses to see the actual human parts that hurt. They're there; we just can't see them yet. Just because Bob can't see red, doesn't mean the color red doesn't exist. I can hit you and be arrested, and for good reason. But you can inflict emotional pain and nothing will happen. But the pain is the same.


ctyler said...


Nice reveal. Number #7 made me chuckle...

Hope all's well with you and Sue.


Christine said...

I'm glad you wrote about this. I don't feel like answering the 25 Things thing, and people keep tagging me. Reluctance: should I go serious or pop-blase' or what? And what if some coworker reads it? Ugh Facebook.

Tell Robert G-F I said hi, and woof. I thought that one was great.

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