Field Notes: Song of Myself

I have poked fun at outside entities in previous field notes entries (here, here, here), but I’m going to make fun of myself this time.

It has been a shameful amount of time since I was last here:  I blame political angst (or “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore,” my new official name for this) combined with paper-writing overdrive.  My mind is dull, and I’m tired of looking at the word “qualitative”(and implications thereof!) on this screen.


I’ve mentioned in previous posts that you really can’t take me out in public, as I lack multiple crucial filters.  I can try a bit of explanation:  when you’re an introvert who spends a lot of time in their head already, the things that have been building up join up and then pop out as seemingly bizarre thoughts at apparently random times.  It made sense to me; the problem is, no one can read my mind.  Wait.  That’s good, not a problem.


I was at a medical office recently and had explained that the code for something was “1066.”  I thought I’d picked an easy one, but it wasn’t sticking and kept getting transcribed incorrectly.  As I left the individual’s office and was standing in the hall, I blurted, “Battle of Hastings!  Don’t forget!”

What’s really unfortunate here, apart from yelling about the Norman Conquest in a medical office, is that out-of-the-blue allusions to William the Conqueror probably don’t seem all that odd in the context of everything that has come out of my mouth there from 2014 to present.


My brother joined me for lunch this past Saturday; it could have been two adults having adult conversation in an adult way.  What really happened is (I’m not even going to explain how this topic came up) that I ended up describing the original/cut ending to Clerks:  Dante gets shot at the end of the day.  The problem here is that I talk with my hands, so I was miming shooting a convenience store clerk– when I remembered that there was a children’s birthday party at the next table over.

Red card for lack of filter on that one.


I also accompanied by (poor, long-suffering, you’re thinking at this point) brother into a big box baby store in search of a particular item.  At the time, I was completely dressed for a night out, featuring both glitter on my face and glitter tights.  I’ve never even been in one of these stores, so while he took off in search of his quarry in a businesslike fashion, I put on brakes at a display of car seats and proceeded to translate the price into secondhand clothes, used books, etc.  The looks suggested that bystanders think I have a baby that I strap to the roof of the car as I drive in search of these items to spend car seat money on. (Clarification: I did not realize how much they cost and was surprised.)

Alice has a very nice carrier.  Just want to put that out there.  Not that she’s ever expressed anything approaching appreciation for said carrier:  more like Geneva Convention violations.

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I possibly have an outlandish number of pictures of Alice.

As we continued to have difficulty locating the item, I finally asked for help in a request that involved the phrase “child thing.”  I was not referring to children, incidentally.  My brother says I might have passed for a new mother or, more likely, an eccentric aunt (the second is accurate).


 

With another unfortunate in tow, I went in Barnes & Noble.  Yet another long story, but I was in search of a collected or complete Ezra Pound.  I chose the store as the place to discuss whether buying Ezra Pound in a physical store would cause the employees to think I was a fascist and possibly mad (versus finding a copy online and cloaking the mad-fascist bit in anonymity).

The not-unfamiliar suggestion that I might possibly be overthinking things came up with this one.


 

Those are the ones that I can come up with immediately, but I really don’t like to skip a day of making a fool of myself.  However, I’m reaching my self-imposed word limit for a post, so that’s all for now.


UNNECESSARY APPENDIX (heh)

1066 and All That is a book I probably first read (choke) years ago.  I still recommend it.

More about Ezra Pound (plus a lot of poems) here.

Actually, some background:  Pound came up because of a theory I have about the political race and Godwin’s Law.  At the time, it was a joke.  Now:  That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore.

 

 

 

 

Can I Offer to Take out Anyone’s Garbage?

This one is about the care and handling of the feral holiday creature.  You know:  that person in your life who approaches the holiday season by hiding under the bed and screaming “resistance is futile!” as you try to drag them out by the leg (the one that’s kicking you).  Me, for instance.  And any of the rest of you who fit that description– or are bewildered by the person you know who does.


 

For some people, cold weather means a series of festive holidays:  decorations, celebrations, and community.

For people like me, it means looking up state statutes, trying to figure what precise crimes to commit that would result result in your unfortunate incarceration throughout the holiday period.

It would make RSVPs and no-shows a lot more interesting:  I’m sorry, but I didn’t qualify for good behavior (but I swear I didn’t start it!).  Or:  the warden and I have a prior engagement.

Yep.  Every year.  I have to.  

50th anniversary this year!  [recorded 1967–> 2 Thanksgivings ago –> 1965]


 

People like me will also tend to feel alone and isolated during this time.  Paradoxically, we will also hole up in our hobbit-holes and refuse to engage with the outside world.

The problem here– and what people tend not to understand– is that we don’t want to be alone, and we are not actually avoiding people.  What we’re avoiding is the mega-watt sensory overload that is October through December.  Spend time with a friend?  Sounds great.  Does this involve going to a mall (in traffic), having an anxiety attack while trying to park, fighting hordes of people, shouting over piped-in music, and hunkering down for limited real estate at a Starbucks?  Oh.  Never mind.  I suddenly have a cold, or perhaps bubonic plague.


 

I’ve lost count of how many times SAD has come up recently, as if I might not have noticed that this affects me.  Vitamins, sunshine, and special lights are popular solutions.  My favored solution is hibernating until I see daffodils.  The medical community does not endorse this.

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Signs of better days.


I’m fine with the idea that some people like to go all-out.  What I don’t like is feeling like Debbie Downer because this is not something I enjoy, and I start to consider a smoking habit just to have an excuse to step outside.  Somehow, I always end up being defensive or mocked.

All of that is somewhat painful, because it’s difficult to say, “I’d like to participate, BUT.”  The “but” tends to be where the misunderstanding (“failure to communicate”) begins.  It helps if you keep listening to what follows the “but,” because that part is going to be different for everybody. It’s the crucial information, though:  the part where someone is going to be honest and skip over any canned explanations about why they’re not going out (consumerism, whatever) and tell you what’s really up.


 

So here’s a fairly modest proposal:  this holiday season, find the person who has refused every invitation on grounds such as toenail fungus and brain fever.  Ask them if they’d like to get coffee somewhere small and quiet.  Talk and joke aimlessly.  Don’t tell them how they “should” spend the holidays or try to solve things.  No advice is necessary.  Just sit and talk.


 

Greta Garbo was frustrated by the ongoing misattribution of “I want to be alone!” as her own words.  She said (of herself):  “I never said, ‘I want to be alone.’ I only said, ‘I want to be let alone!’ There is all the difference.”

Most of us can’t quite deliver a Garbo performance, and we end up seeming aloof and indifferent.  But we don’t want to be alone; we just don’t want to be in the thick of things.

Probably we could explain better over a (quiet) cup of coffee.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

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Garbo on a picnic– that’s the spirit!

image:  http://www.garboforever.com/Cooking_and_eating.htm