Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Monday, September 22, 2003

I like to think that I'm self-aware. I could list for you dozens of faults, annoying habits, destructive impulses, whatever. I'm a HUGE procrastinator. I'm way too impatient with my kids. I'm moody, and only able to successfully hide it about half the time. Sometimes stuff comes out of my mouth that's just plain insulting, even if I didn't mean it to be. I gossip. I'm catty. I'm critical, especially of people I love. I'm disorganized. I give unsolicited advice, stick my nose where it isn't wanted, often get carried away and try to take over a conversation. Really, it's a wonder people like me. ;-)

But just the other day, while I was ruminating (read: obsessing) over a particularly bad social interaction, the kind that just makes you cringe every time you think about it, my train of thought suddenly jumped the tracks entirely, and I started obessing instead over the fact that none of us really knows what other people think of us. I mean, the thing that makes your friends roll their eyes at each other behind your back--instead of the things over which they roll their eyes at each other in front of you. The things you constantly do or say that make your husband want to jump out of his skin. The traits that your kids are one day going to spend hours on the phone grousing about.

I know these things must exist, because I know what they are for people around me. I have a friend who makes constant plans and promises and almost never makes good on them. When he does, wow. But more often? Nothing. But there's no way to address that, no reasonable way to say "you need to stop having all these dreams and ideas and getting all excited about them if you're not going to follow through." Besides, it's part of who he is.

Baroy tells interminably long stories, usually ones he's told before, and he gets into long political debates where he so overstates his position that it's...well...embarrassing. (I can hear a few of you chuckling even as I type...) But you just don't tell your husband not to be the way he is, because it embarrasses you. It's just not right.

I think you get the point. Anyway, the more I started thinking about that, the more I started wondering which of the things I do cross the line from being personality quirks to real annoyances to the people around me. It's sort of dispiriting to think that I could spend the rest of my life trying to work on things I perceive as big issues for me, only to be completely oblivious to the one or ones that drive my friends and family nuts. And since most of these sorts of things are integral parts of the person's personality, would it really do me any good to know? Could I, would I change them?

Still, now that I've started wondering about it, it's completely spiralled into obsession.

(Hey! Maybe it's my obsessive compulsive personality that drives everyone crazy! Yeah, that's the ticket! I'll just change that, and then I'll be perfect...)

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