Tuesday, December 06, 2011

More Tuesday thoughts

When a woman tells me I'm good-looking, or clever, or funny, my immediate instinctive response is that they're just trying to be charitable, and help me boost what they see as my low self-esteem.

On the other hand, when a woman tells me I'm fat, or slow, or addicted to Moon Pies, or a wrinkled mess, or negative, or repulsive (to use a few actual observations), I tend to believe they mean it, because what other motive would a person have for saying things like that? And if they tell me I'm boring, which I've heard more than any other criticism, I'm especially inclined to believe they mean it.

And then I think I have to win them over and earn their affection. It didn't work with my mother, so god knows why I think it would work with anyone else. Too many movies, probably.

I remember one evening a few years ago when a group of us were at dinner at a BBQ place. There was a lull in the conversation, and Ms. HRP, who was sitting across the table from me, suddenly asked, "So why aren't you dating? Why don't you have a girlfriend?"

I opened my mouth to answer. I knew I shouldn't. I knew the best thing to do was deflect the questions with a noncommittal answer, but the words were already spilling out of my mouth even as I was regretting what they were.

It was exactly like those few seconds between the time your car first fishtails out of control on an icy street, and the moment it slams into the light pole twenty feet away. You know what's going to happen, and the wait seems interminable. It feels like you could read 'Atlas Shrugged' in the time it takes for your car to finally slide into the pole and stop with a bone-jarring 'wham!'

I had been through this scenario enough times to know what was next. I would offer my answer, which I was trying to extemporize as even as I was thinking this, and she would reply, "Well, I'll tell you what I think..."

And then she would offer me a list of all the shortcomings and inadequacies she saw in me – for my own good, of course.

Fortunately, someone else jumped in and cut off my answer before I could get it out, and directed the conversation elsewhere. Thank you for nudging my car away from that light pole.

But yes, I have some emotional investment in all these criticisms. Nobody has pointed out my shortcomings more frequently than I have myself. I frequently make jokes about my own image as a lazy, unmotivated slug, just the way Dean Martin used to make jokes about his boozy, carefree image.


Anonymous said...

Holy shit.

Mike, you are engaging in the most self-absorbed wanking I've come across in my entire life. And it doesn't do you any good, from what I read.

I haven't followed your blog constantly, but since you ARE publishing your thoughts and ARE making them available "to the world", "the world" answers.

Could you please find something else than your own precious self to be interested in? It'll work wonders, believe me. There are zillions of causes and cases in need of attention out there for you to engage in.

Does this navel-gazing make you boring? You bet. Your are incredibly boring to read. I did read you out of curiosity, as a psychological "case", to be honest.

I know that Americans are brought up to eternally feel "special", no matter how unspecial and run-of-the-mill they actually are.

Snap out of it.

Only by engaging in something outside your petit-bourgeois concentration on your precious self will you actually become interesting and "special"- you gotta be interestED in order to be interstING.

Aren't you bored out of your mind from staring at your belly-button by now??? So it is full of lint like everyone else's - so what's new? Who cares?

As far as I remember Buddhism, your navel-gazing isn't part of it at all. I've been to more Buddhist countries than you have.

When I read your very self-indulging but philosophically and intellectually surprisingly vacant rants, if one were to really probe them, I come to the conclusion that there's a guy out there waiting for a real task in life.

(Please stop using your TV-period as an excuse for not wanting to do anything at all for the rest of your life - that is a long time ago, and it's getting lame as an excuse, I find.)

Let me assure you that the State of Oklahoma is full of tasks that would need attention. OK is nearly Third World on many fronts, as far as I can see. You'd have the brains to get engaged - do you have the guts? If not, why not?

Imagine what it would do to you if you spent the amount of time you must be spending on the net every day writing and musing about yourself and twittering and facebooking and blogging, if you instead actually DID something for others than yourself!

You might not feel depressed anymore, for starters. Been there, knowing the difference.


mcarp said...

This is the hottest comment I've ever had. Could you repost this, but add 'Eat shit!' at the end?

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Why should I add that? I don't get that one.

Could you elaborate, please?

Anonymous said...


Shit, I clearly had more to drink last night than was good for me. That's what too much work can do to you, if you're as stupid as I am.

I am deeply embarrassed about that BS I wrote. There ought to be a "recall" button for stuff like that!

Anonymous said...

The self-absorbed wanking vacant ranting makes you boring part was right.

mcarp said...

Please don't apologize. I love comments like that.

Beat me, hurt me, make me write bad checks.