Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Good Lord, Roger!

The last entry to this blog was titled “And We’ll All Feel Gay...”. Why was it titled that, you may wonder, since I left out the key line of the song, which was the cornerstone of the entire blog? It’s like telling a joke and leaving off the punch line: people look at you blankly and say “Huh?” Bear with me, please, while I go back and try to unring that particular bell. The words to the song are: “When Johnny comes marching home again/ Hoorah! Hoorah!/ We’ll give him a hardy welcome then/ Hoorah! Hoorah!/ All the men will cheer,/ and the boys will shout/ and the ladies, they will all turn out./ AND WE’LL ALL FEEL GAY/ when Johnny comes marching home!” And I left out the key phrase! Jeesus!!

Is there any wonder why I am so frequently so contemptuous of myself? Why do I never think? Or, rather, always act first think later. It is a problem I have had all my life, and each and every time I do something stupid I become disgusted with myself. You would think I might possibly learn after all these years, wouldn’t you? You’d be wrong.

I was going to blame the last gaffe on Dorien, but he put his foot down and rightly refused to be any part of it, and I didn’t press it because of course he was totally right. I do too much shifting off of things onto Dorien as it is.

Which returns us to the question, if I am so prone to doing and saying stupid things and I realize it, why do I continue to do and say stupid things? Why do I not simply take the time to either think carefully of what I’m about to do before I do it? Or think of what I want to say before I say it? It surely goes beyond simple impatience. I seem bound and determined to make an idiot of myself as frequently as possible. (Again, the mental image of Ray sitting in the middle of the floor with a bottle of whiskey between his legs, saying “I don’t want to be an alcoholic” even as he raised the bottle to his mouth for another swig.) Well, I don’t want to be an idiot, but the words no sooner pass from my fingers to the computer keyboard than I do something to prove it.

I’m fond of quoting pithy little homilies, like, “it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and prove it.” I somehow manage to do both. I think I mentioned at one time overhearing one of my good friends in college saying: “Roger keeps telling everyone how stupid he is until finally they begin to believe him.” I understand now that I did it because I was so insecure that I felt it was better for me to run myself down before anyone else did—-and thereby let them know I was as aware of my failings as I'm sure they were. And I still do, and am doing right now. Dorien can see the illogic and danger in this line of thinking, but Roger, while paying lip service to it, continues to largely ignore it.

Commercials and politicians are experts at manipulating the human tendency to believe almost anything if they are told it often enough and with enough conviction, be it true or not. Logic has absolutely nothing to do with it. It merely capitalizes on another human trait: to believe negatives more readily than positives.

Perhaps, too, this might be one reason I would so like to go back in time to change things; to convince myself that I really was not all that unattractive or all that stupid, and encouraged him to truly working at thinking before he acted. It would have made me a very different person. But that would have meant that the “me” now would cease to exist, and I’m afraid I’m too selfish to be willing to give me up. I may not be perfect, but I’m all I got.

So I guess all I can do is try to be better. Really try. And I will. I promise. But don’t hold your breath.

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