Acquired eccentricities

Forgive the lack of posting, but I’ve been pondering the unbloggable.

But first — I saw this on eBay and it made me so very happy:

I asked the seller if he’d make it in a black babydoll tee for me. Here’s to hoping!

Anyway, I was sort of thinking yesterday about acquired eccentricities. Like, being weird on purpose, or else unknowingly picking up strange habits and just not putting them down.

I guess it all goes back to “Sex and the City” when Carrie and Big went to the party where no brown foods/drinks could be served, lest the pristine white carpet be christened. Carrie noted that people must cultivate eccentricities to compensate for the fact that they have nothing else interesting about them.

While I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m uninteresting (and shut up if you WOULD), I kind of got to thinking about the people and things that not only made us what we are, but also what we aren’t.

Example: As a kid, I was smart. (Half a brewery and a fraction of a drug cartel later, not so much. But let’s reminisce.) Like, I often blew the curve. Guess what? People don’t like you when you do that. They tease you and throw gum in your hair and otherwise make your life miserable because you’ve read a book in your life.

So you learn to play dumb, not raise your hand in class — just avoid calling attention to yourself, overall. Not that I ever threw a test or a paper, mind you — I learned to quietly excel. And keep my ideas to myself lest one of those assclowns try to steal them, which, believe me, they tried. And failed. And tortured me because of that. *sigh*

And we wonder why I’m evasive today. Of course I have opinions — a LOT of them. But I really only give up information when asked. Or if I volunteer something, I am often questioned on the veracity or sincerity of it.

It’s a learned trait — the fewer people who know which buttons to push, the less vulnerable I am to possible attack. Like at a previous job, if you offered your ideas that would surely solve the problems, you might as well have put your neck into a guillotine. Two of us were marked for life and kept on doing it and being punished for our originality. We left, and the same stale air continues to circulate there.

(Aside: Don’t ever tell me “it’s not your job,” and I’ll never tell you “it’s not my job.” HATE those phrases. HATE. Forget about acquiring eccentricities — talk about incentivizing ineptitude. HATE.)

< / post-traumatic flashback >

Same goes with when you might develop a crush on a classmate. And in school, even if they like you right back, their friends often pester them to publicly humiliate you because you were brave enough to want the world to know how you feel. Isn’t that spectacularly abysmal? Makes you wonder whether your feelings will ever be well-received — even 20, 30 years down the road.

This is why I love older people — they don’t give a shit what they say, to whom they say it or how anyone takes it. Then again, if you’re crapping your pants every day, I can’t imagine it would do you any good to feign modesty in any other area, though. 😉

Ready, set, stay
I’d never say I’m set in my ways, but I guess I have acquired some habits to which I default. Like when I write or edit, there are certain phrases that make the fillings in my teeth ache. And while I remember the source of some of those pet peeves (oftentimes because someone I loathe used to say/write them), I can’t explain the rest. Seriously, I can’t find the rules in any stylebook or grammar manual, and it shocks even me sometimes when someone asks from where my aversion to a particular phrase or construct stemmed.

And I’m not saying I can’t un-learn said aversions — but I’ve had so many people break me of so many good things about me that sometimes I cling tightly to dumb shit like editing people while they speak. Not to show off or to put people down but, rather, because it’s the one thing at which I excel that nobody can challenge or take away from me.

Dumb, I know. But passive-agressive. And I love to rebel in any way I can, even if I’m the only one who gets it. 😉

And so I continue to bepuzzle people and maybe even antagonize them. Or else they’ll confuse the hell out of me when they present to me one of my habits and ask how I cultivated it, and I sincerely WON’T HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT. Because habits somehow evolve into traits.

And such, I’ll never stop wondering about the person I would’ve been if I’d ever felt safe enough to be her. Until, of course, the day comes that this version of me has time to work those lost traits into new habits (and, ultimately, into traits) that I’ll turn out the way I would have ended up anyway.

And when it’s MY turn to be older and defiant and opinionated (more so than I am already!), I’ll cherish the ability to be vocal about it and forcing know-it-all brats like myself (today) to respect my craziness. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll realize that the things I have done really DO make sense … and my legacy will carry on in some demented form.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way. :0)

On iTunes: Sweet Coffee, “No Ordinary Love”

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