There is a running joke in my house, when we are feeling silly and simultaneously misunderstood and/or judged, one of us will invariably say “You don’t know me! You don’t know where I’m from!” a la Jerry Springer guest, complete with wagging finger and attitude driven head bob.
I’ve been thinking about this because I finally put two and two together (yep, I’m a little slow and math is not my strong suit). Since it began popping up, I’ve had an issue with people saying they want to be me “when they grow up” – these are adults, mind you, some older than myself. I did not, until very recently, understand just why this admiration bothers me so much.
This past week, I spent a bit of time at the local dungeon with a new visitor. We’ll call him Tony. He asked for a tour. I gave it. That night he kept coming back to speak to me … coming back like a homing pigeon. Every five minutes he turned up at my elbow. (ok that’s an exaggeration … it was probably more like fifteen) Though he was never inappropriate, by the end of the night I just wanted him to go away.
Since then he has remarked via fet mail that he wants someone just like me and, if only I could be cloned. My issue with these two scenarios is that none of these people genuinely know me. Not Tony who wants to be with me. Not the people who say they want to be me.
While the sentiments are nice and I would like to be flattered, I’m just not. Tony is judging me mostly on my appearance and perhaps an hour, total, spent with me over the course of an entire evening. Others are judging me based on my public/scene personae which doesn’t come close to being an accurate representation of who I am. They see the pretty, sparkling water. They do not see the rip tide beneath.
They don’t know I become emotionally unstable when I’m sleep deprived. They don’t know that if they reach for one of my fries, they stand to lose a finger, especially if I’m hungry. They don’t know if they motion with their fork toward my desert I will cut them. (That’s a joke … mostly.) They don’t know that I can’t remember much of anything, regardless of importance. They don’t know that I let down the people I love on a daily basis, in numerous ways. They don’t know that I often feel like the man behind the curtain, all smoke and mirrors, playing at something I can never be. They haven’t had to endure me questioning and analyzing everything before I will commit to a simple yes/no question. They don’t know the million other things that regularly make the people I love want to exile me from their lives. They know none of this.
These people who think I’m so wonderful … They don’t know me. They don’t know where I’m from.