Saturday, February 23, 2019

I've got your back. It's who I am.

What do you hate?

I hate it when people rush to distance themselves from a social idea and say, “That’s not who I am.” I am flummoxed to hear that anyone has parsed all their private and public values and know who they are.  I have no idea who I am and sometimes when I’ve done something questionable, I will look in the mirror and say, “Who are you?”  Joe Biden used the phrase the other day speaking for himself and all  the citizens as if he is our Uncle Joe.   He said Americans wouldn’t want to keep illegal immigrants  from crossing the border because that’s not who we are. 

Gayle King, repurposed Oprah friend, uttered the sentiment (once removed) about Meghan Markle.  The Duchess re-gifted her baby shower flowers to Roses Repeat who gave them to the homeless, the cancer ridden and the elderly.  There was a picture of a young girl - her head bald, her leg in a medical boot, holding an elaborate bouquet.  Gayle said, “I thought it was a very sweet thing.  It just speaks to who she is.”  Hmmmm.

Truth is, our core personality is in the grip of a subconscious secret game plan hatched when we were a year old and didn’t know the difference between a pebble and a Cheerio.  It’s almost impossible to get a copy of the dossier of who we are and discover our m.o. 

Anything else?

I hate it when you’re going somewhere or doing something and a non-reflective dolt will say, “Have fun.”   Fun is personal and infrequent.    You only know you’ve had fun after it’s over. Fun is so impromptu that it makes me hate fun. Sometimes, in order to preserve fun you have to cut it short. A lot of times people will say “that was fun,”  Usually, they mean it was a passable experience that didn’t totally depress them. 
Is that it?

No. When a naif says someone “has his/her back.”  It's  a buzz phrase on the airwaves.  CarShield has my back, this woman says.  No. They don’t.  One man is certain that The Hartford has his  back. No. They don’t.  The only situation where someone might have your back is if a friend went with you to the emergency room for a sprained ankle and the doctor misread your chart  and decided to take out your gallbladder.  So when you were alone, the friend put all your clothes back on and helped you hobble out of there and drove you home. The only person who might have your back, in other words look after your interests with anything more than casual curiosity, is your mother and that will end when you are about fourteen and  she realizes that your interests are opposed to her interests.  No one has your back.  Have fun.

Is there anything you do like?

I used to like the expression, “I’ve got this.”  It’s smart nuanced quick talk.  “Don’t worry about that difficult  task.  I’m going to take it off your hands and do a good job.” I wouldn’t mind saying it myself but  I don’t want to take any task off anyone’s hands.

There’s one other thing I like a lot.  Michael Phelps, the gold medal champ in swimming, didn’t have a warm personal image.  Now he is my new very interesting hero.  In a public service spot he  talks about being in the pool hour after hour and it’s just Michael and his thoughts and the bottom of the pool.  He was prone to depression and anxiety.  He didn’t know how to talk to people.  All he knew was how to swim and win gold medals.  He got help.  He talked to someone.  And it helped.  See?  When you are authentic and don’t go on too long, people like you.

Then there's this.  I thought I was too old to have a crush on an actor but I have a crush on Jon Tenney who plays the love interest to Kyra Sedgwick on The Closer.  I think it takes a particular kind of man to tease a woman gently and she is comforted by it.   Fritz (Jon) teases Brenda Lee (Kyra) gently.  When she (reluctant to have him move in) asks “How do I know after you move in that you won’t stop liking me?”  He answers, “Because if I was going to stop liking you, it would have happened by now.” I like that.