Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Stuart Smalley Meme

A lot of people read this blog and say to me, "Andy, as much as I love your blog, I really wish you would spend more time obsessing about yourself and how flipping awesome you are. So far, I remain unconvinced." Well, thanks to BerryBird over at Lake Loop, I'm about to tell you a whole lot more.

The idea of this meme is to write 10 things you truly like about yourself. So here goes.

1. My self-esteem. I understand this this meme would be helpful and therapeutic to people with generally low levels of self-esteem, and most people in polite society who tend to downplay their strengths and accomplishments.

I fall into neither of these categories. Even during my annual depressive episode in February, I still feel as though I belong somewhere in the 95th percentile of humanity, and express my depression through disgust at those who can't crack the 50th. And when someone compliments me on something I've done that I worked on, I'm as completely incapable of false modesty as Albus Dumbledore. Usually I just smile and look the other way to avoid saying something smug and smarmy. This attitude lost me plenty of friends in middle school, but now I think I've gotten it to work for me. Also, I'm not convinced I should continue this meme, as it might be akin to giving an alcoholic a drink, but if there's one rule of life I live by, it's that I'll do anything that people on the Internets tell me to do.

2. My rock 'n' roll band frontmanness. I think I would make an excellent lead singer of a rock band. I've got a pretty good voice, and my high baritone range would be pretty easy to sing along with, which helps for karaoke and radio play. Plus, I'm tall and I have striking blue eyes and awesome hair, which I think would help. Factor in that I also can sorta play an instrument, and then pair me with someone who can write good lyrics, and I think I could do it. Plus, I'd get all sorts of babes, albeit the really scary, trashy babes that frequent the bars around here that I could probably get anyway. Moving on.

3. My intelligence and my memory. Despite my tendency to document the many stupid things I've done over the years, I'm actually one smart hombre. My job forces me to appreciate this all the more. Anyways, something related that I'm simultaneously proud of and ashamed of is the fact that I graduated valedictorian of my high school class, and I don't remember actually working hard to do it. More on this next.

4. My Sense of Humor. I think I'm hilarious. Truly. I crack myself quite frequently. I laugh at my own jokes.

True Story: In the last month of my senior year, some Dayton area television station wrote a letter to our guidance counselor saying they wanted to honor the area valedictorians in 30 second spots between shows, and that they wanted me to go to Dayton one day to have it filmed. I got permission to get out of class, and drove that way. I arrived in the giant valedictorian milling room in time to wait 30 minutes for someone to divide us into trios. None of the valedictorians spoke to another, and we were somewhere in the vicinity of 75% female. So I get trioed off with two girls, and it's our turn to film our spot, which featured us walking toward the camera confidently and smartly, in sort of an inverted peace sign formation. We did it wrong the first time (I walked too fast, and the two girls joined up with me way too late to be on camera) so the guy regave us our instructions. I said, "Apparently we're not the sharpest knives in the drawer," and the two girls looked at me in confusion, as if to say "ERROR! ERROR! DOES NOT COMPUTE! STRANGE MALE'S STATEMENTS CONFLICT WITH GIVEN KNOWNS!" We refilmed our spot, and I hightailed it out of there, vowing to never reveal to anyone that I was a valedictorian. It is my secret shame. I never saw the spot on TV.

5. My people skills. For awhile, Erica and I were given the impossible task to train a coworker who was just not mentally capable of understanding her job. It was frustrating, and it really did not help that every time she did something wrong, which was at least 3 times a day, she blamed someone else, usually me, Erica, or one of the residents. I grew tired of this soon, and some other coworkers were complaining about her, and I overheard Claudia say, "Even Andy can't stand her, and he likes everyone." She meant it derisively, as if to say that I tolerate more crap and incompetence than I should, but I took it as a compliment. I can work with almost anybody.

6. My patience. I've had other psych attendants marvel at my patience in dealing with our clients, who are most often difficult. My de-escalation and redirection skills have gotten rather refined. I'm pretty sure that if I should ever decide to reproduce, I'll be a good parent. But I don't see that happening within the next decade.

7. My competitive streak. I like playing games and sports, and whenever possible I play to win. However, I'm not one of those ubertools who starts intentionally fouling everyone when his team starts losing a game of pickup basketball. No, I can enjoy myself even in a losing effort. I think I got my competitiveness from my dad, who used to play my siblings and me at Risk, and utterly mop the floor with us. Then, after unceremoniously sweeping all of our armies off the board, he would shout, "I WIN!!!! YAAAAARRRRRRGH!!!!" Last Labor Day, my dad started cheating at a game of Extreme Croquet because he was so far behind me. The learner has become the master.

8. My general contentedness. I can drink cheap pop. I can watch old movies. I can play old video games. I can get books at the half price bookstore. I have very few needs.

9. My energy level. I never realized how frenetic I am before I started working at the hospital, but I really keep active. I pace a whole lot, I jump around a lot, and I have a pair of hand grips that I squeeze near constantly. I rarely feel sluggish for long periods at a time. Unless it's too friggin hot out, of course.

10. I'm going to leave this spot blank, so that when I get my apartment cleaned, I can add, "My ability to keep a clean apartment and throw away crap I don't need." That will be something I'm truly proud of.


BerryBird said...

Nice list, Andy. You got your funny back! The valedictorian story is hilarious. Imagine how great it would be to see that news clip now. Your folks didn't tape it?

Nadine said...

Andy, as much as I love your blog, I really wish you would spend more time obsessing about yourself and how flipping awesome you are. So far, I remain unconvinced.

Just kidding. I'm mostly convinced.

Blog Antagonist said...

LOL! I started this meme for women who tend to self deprecate because of social cues that teach us to downplay or ignore our own worth.

But I really enjoyed your take on it!

You *are* funny and doggone it, I like you.