Things for which to be thankful, in the negative

There are only three guaranteed* ways to raise my ire.

1- Interrupt me while I am in the middle of something I consider important.
2- Make me explain myself.
3- Make me repeat myself.

These all boil down to the same thing: I have a finite amount of time on this earth and you are recklessly wasting it with no end in sight. At a bare minimum -- i.e., if the kids are around -- there will be some passive-aggressive sighing and eyerolling. At worst, there will be a detailed and protracted explanation, with a luxury of detail, why this is a colossal aggravation.

Even worse is when these vexations come in tandem, such as interrupting me to explain why I don't repeat myself. It is there that willpower takes a steely grip upon my soul and prevents me from chasing the offender over difficult terrain with assorted bits of cutlery.

But that's about as rugged as I get.

It may come as a surprise to some of you, but I don't do "rugged." It's not that I can't do rugged, it's just that I'd rather see Mongol hordes overrun my house than do those rugged sorts of things. For example, applying tools and implements to the innards of a given old Italian sports car. If circumstances really called for it, I could effect a repair (and have) but I really prefer not to. There are friends of mine who could think of no greater joy than being elbow deep in pistons and valves. They come home after a long slog in the office and this is what allows them to de-stress.

I don't see it, myself...but it takes all kinds to make a traffic jam.

Or outdoor pursuits, say. A very dear friend thinks that hauling the family to the middle of nowhere and setting camp for a weekend is an unalloyed thrill, whereas to me, the outdoors is defined by the space which separates the places where I'd rather be.

The same applies to wood crafty stuff, all kinds of household DIY-ness and the like. That's just not me. I can be very rugged conversant, and pitch in and all that but just between you and me, dear Internet, it's harrowing stuff. About the ruggedest I can be without displeasure is cooking over a real fire.

This is not to say I am the opposite extreme, all Wilde-ish and Keats-like and dreamy and, er, fey. The person at fault for my spot on the spectrum (besides me and those who gave me the genes with which I must work) is James Bond.

When I was seven (!) years old, I went to see my first James Bond film, Diamonds Are Forever. I liked the sort of contrast on display, a lethal and gadget-ridden Renaissance man in Savile Row suits. I had my doubts about being able to sprout such an impressive expanse of chest hair and after all these years still am. But that's all meaningless digression. I wanted to be a sort of manly connoisseur who was allowed to shoot people.

The shooting people thing never panned out and I lost interest therein, which is all to the good. But the whole connoisseur thing was a rough sort of process when one grows up in the late-1970s. About the time I had developed an interest in the most opposite sex, the members of same had (for the most part) split into two camps: The ones who liked them rugged like Grizzly Adams (you International-types substitute your "blokey-bloke" of choice) or those who liked them like Prince (or whatever androgynous hairless lagomorph strikes your fancy).

It took great perseverance on my part not to apostasize. Partly on principle but mostly because I couldn't possibly eat the food the Ruggeds ate, because I couldn't possibly dance to the Androgyne's choice in music and/or because I'd rather bleed to death in a ditch than dress like either.

The point behind this is that being sort of betwixt-and-between, while maddening at the time when pursuing the imperative borne of hormones coursing riotously through my veins was my single priority, spared me from a great number of heartache and aggravation. As I think back to all the romantic missteps which were stillborn, I can only exhale in relief.

The phone actress in Las Vegas, the convicted embezzler, the doubled-in-size with each passing year, the imperious princess...all of these managed to pass me by with only scratches and dings.

For that, I am more thankful than I can describe.

-J.

* There are a zillion ways to raise my ire, but only these are guaranteed.

Comments

Badger said…
Now see, I was not surprised by ANY of that. I suppose that means I've reached the point at which I Know You Too Well.

So rock on with your non-fey, non-rugged self, yo.
Kim said…
Wait. I loved Grizzly Adams and Prince.
Joke said…
Badge - You've known me for +/- 10 years now.

Kim - I've heard of people being bisexual, but never of anyone being binary.

-J.
Bec said…
Oh dear, what have Shula and I started with our blokey-bloke talk?

I'm sure you're perfectly lovely just as you are, dear. Now keep your promise and send me something exciting involving raspberry vinegar*.

http://becandcall.typepad.com

*which, I've discovered, has the magical power of making children love a Nicoise salad.
Joke said…
No worries. I am, in fact, spectacular "as is."

Insufferably so, usually.

-J.
Stomper Girl said…
Wait, sorry I was talking while I read that, what did you say? and what do you mean??? Are you rolling your eyes at me? What?

Would it be fair to say you're a sophisticate?
Poppy Buxom said…
I'm with Stomper Girl. Maybe you don't want to act like Ernest Hemingway, but it wouldn't hurt to emulate his writing style a wee little pixilated bit.
Joke said…
And I will, just as soon as I finish wrestling this mako shark in a rum-fueled haze.

-J.

PS I'm a shade more rugged than a sophisticate. Let's say I'm a bon vivant

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