February 18th, 2011

Peter G

It's Time To Make A Mountain Out Of A Molehill, So Can I Have A Volunteer?

As usual, before I get to my main point, an illustrating digression....

One of the few things I liked about the movie Jurassic Park was how Jeff Goldblum's character behaved.  It was almost like his mouth ran separately from his mind.  Whatever he was saying, his brain had already moved on to something else so his mouth was just finishing up thoughts he was no longer having.

I say this because I identified with that.  If, in the middle of a sentence, I'm forced to backtrack, either because I said the wrong word or I stumbled and stuttered when I spoke or even (as sometimes happens) come up with a much better way to express my thoughts, my tongue will get tied up like it paid a $10,000 a scene dominatrix.  Curiously, as self-conscious as I can be at times, I never worry about looking like an idiot when that happens.  I stand there, make a goofy face or noise as I force my mind and my mouth to get back in sync, and resume speaking while being inwardly amused by what just happened.

(This happened once in a while when I was doing improv.  Without fail, other partners would seize on it to build characters and scenes.  So it did have a practical side at one time.)

Now, this happens to everybody once in a while.  It's no big deal.  It can be embarrassing, sure, especially when you are conscious of what nonsense is coming out of your mouth.  But while you may look like a dope for a few moments, no one really cares.

At least, you wouldn't think anyone would care.

At the Grammy awards last Sunday, Los Angeles had a local reporter named Serene Branson on the scene.  Serene was anything but serene when, after the show and on a live shot, they cut to her and she started babbling like Art Bell on a meth bender.  It was only about twenty seconds and the news studio cut back to the host.  Clips about it are all over YouTube.

Now, like I said, these things happen.  Remember Miss South Carolina a few years ago, talking about "the Iraqs."  She responded with good humor and has even moved on.  Not Branson.  As soon as the shot was over, Branson was examined by paramedics.  Wait, what?  Then news started circulating that maybe she was having a stroke on camera.  Branson released a statement saying it was a migraine that triggered the babble.  She's had migraines since she was a kid, it's never been that bad, etc etc etc.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I understand there are nervous tics and psychological disorders and such.  But for such a simple thing to be blown up into questions about physical health and for such a bogus "explanation" to follow (I've had migraines.  They hurt like hell, but they don't make me speak gibberish), it trivializes those who have real problems.  It makes those who may have severe migraines get written off as, "Oh, just like that reporter?  You'll be all right."

Here's one of Peter G's immutable Rules Of Life:  WE ALL LOOK LIKE MORONS ONCE IN A WHILE.  Even the most dignified among us will do something stupid, whether on accident or we just got caught up in the spirit of the moment (Howard Dean) or whatever.  At the lunch counter, one of the girls was dancing to the music when she saw me watching.  She stopped and looked embarrassed.  She relaxed when I told her, "I can prove you have no reason to be embarrassed."  I called out, "How many here at weddings have done the Chicken Dance?"  Literally everyone sheepishly raised their hands.  Except me.  I shot mine up, flying the freak flag, and saying, "We've all done it!  We've all looked like morons!"  A little perspective is what these situations need, not a doctor's note.  You goofed, people saw it.  Live it down, and move on.  Of all the things to get hung up about, this isn't worth it.

Here's a little something to help anyone facing an embarrassing situation cope with it.  This is a scene from a recent episode of NCIS.  You'll want to skip to 0:50.  Abby is doing the turkey trot in her lab for no other reason than it's fun.  (Notice she's also wearing jingle bells around her waist and you can hear them on the soundtrack.)  Not only does she not think twice of Gibbs seeing her do this, but once he's gone, she goes right back to doing her silly dance.  The moral?  Don't be embarrassed, just have fun.

Enchanting Mermaid

Ten Day Meme: Day Three

Stolen from clionona ....

Day One:  Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two images that describe your life right now, and why.
Day Ten: One confession.

Day Three:  Eight ways to win your heart.

1)  Be fun.  Now, I'm not saying make a fool of yourself in public.  I HATE party girls, always have, always will.  One of the first things I learned about dating women was, she wants an animal in the bedroom, NOT IN PUBLIC!!!  There's a difference between acting goofy and being embarrassing.  Here's some illustrating examples that I think sum up my perspective....




Jesus fuggin' NO!!!

2)  Have some pride, be selective.  I don't like the desperate adolescence some people conduct themselves with.  I liken it to the difference between the sex appeal demonstrated by Kylie Minogue and Britney Spears.  Kylie sings about wanting to sleep with you because you appeal to her.  Britney sang about wanting to sleep with you so she would appeal to you.  One knows what she wants and isn't afraid to say no, the other is so desperate for attention and affection, she will do anything, whether she likes it or not, just to have you.

3)  A sense of humor.  I don't know why guys don't like it when women tell jokes.  I love it when women tell me jokes on a date.  It's a sign that she wants to make me happy.  That's a real bell ringer for me.

4)  A genuine heart.  I've dated a few women who weren't as smart as me, but they were sincere and compassionate and tried to keep up with me, and I wanted to do things so they could keep up with me.  I found myself gravitating towards them a lot more than women who were as smart or smarter but left me feeling cold.  (I checked out a Mensa meeting once because I was told, "It's actually a singles club that doesn't kick its members out after they get married.  What a bunch of nutcases.)

5)  Be flexible.  A well-planned date hits a problem of some kind.  Or maybe I'm just bored and decide to do something just for the hell of it.  Or maybe she decides to do something for the hell of it.  Spur of the moment or changing plans because something sounds more enjoyable is great to me.  And anyone who follows The Rules doesn't get a second date from me, and is lucky if they get a first.

6)  It's the little things.  As I've mentioned, I'm a cheap date.  I don't need a big night on the town.  One of my earliest girlfriends was hungry on the way to see me, stopped at Taco Bell, and got tacos for both of us.  She didn't know whether or not I'd eaten, and I thought it was the sweetest thing.

7)  Be engaging.  "Whatcha doing, honey?"  Hearing, "Oh, nothing," isn't very engaging.  "I'm building a model of Tokyo out of toothpicks."  "Why?"  "Well, I just got a Godzilla doll, and I need something to do with it."  THAT'S engaging.

8)  Accept my limitations, but not my liabilities.  If I'm acting like a jerk or being rude or I need to take a shower or something, voice your opinion.  But if there is something I genuinely cannot do (e.g. play golf), please just accept that.