I'm a frayed knot

Why are we so reluctant to speak our minds? I find it hilarious that we describe or define some folks as "someone who doesn't pull punches," or someone who's "not afraid to tell it like it is." That kills me...not afraid. People actually fear telling the truth. Is it then safe to say that those people fear the truth? Maybe. 

Why is it so much easier to lie? Rather, why do we think it is? Have you ever tried living with a lie? I have. They make terrible roommates. Dirty laundry everywhere. Perpetual guilt trips. It's so not worth it. I'm of the ilk that both telling and learning the truth should be done in one swift motion. Like ripping off a band-aid or jumping into a pool. Sure, there's a brief sting or chill, but then it's over, and things get easier. Life gets easier.

On that note, let's explore that second cliche.

If the pool represents life--bear with me, fellow cynics--then I propose there are three types of people out there: Those who dip their toes first; those who cannonball; and those who steer clear of the water altogether. Within those three groups are two subsets:

Toe Dippers: Practical/Timid
Cannon Ballers: Selfless/Selfish
Land Lovers: Once-bitten/Brainwashed

Toe Dippers:
Practical - They're going into that pool. Hell, they're looking forward to it. Maybe not today and not right away, but sometime indeed, dammit. Count on it.
Timid - Their curiosity is weaker than their fear. When they dip, it's with uncertainty, not anticipation. Even when they're finally in, they never get comfortable, and they always stay in the shallow end.

Cannon Ballers:
Selfless - I want to enjoy myself, but not at the expense of others' enjoyment. 
Selfish - I'm jumping in, no matter who gets wet. Outta the way, shitbags, here I come. 

Land Lovers:
Once-bitten - And that's all it took. Never again. That pool is a death-trap. I won't even get in the tub. But maybe someday. Maybe.
Brainwashed - That pool is evil! EVIL, I tells ya! How do I know? It's what I heard. I've been told my whole life there was no lifeguard on duty, so I suggest we all stay indoors.

Each group's subset is either positive and beneficial for growth; or damaging and stunting. Even the Once-Bitten Land Lover may find the courage to try again.  As much as I'd love to consider myself a Selfless Cannon Baller, the truth is I've been a Practical Toe-Dipper my entire life. But I'm due for a promotion. Overdue, actually.

It's at this point where you might expect me to encourage everyone to "dive into life," (ewww) but here's the thing: The pool is only so big, and I rely on the Land Lovers and the Timid Toe-Dippers to keep the deep end relatively empty and urine-free. Furthermore, society has a way of rejecting and eventually forcing the Selfish Cannon Ballers into finding another swimmin' hole.

As far as skinny-dipping? I'm all for it. Just as long as I can take my trunks off after I get in the water.

Fear this (points to crotch),

p.s.  any/all comments must contain equally-moronic water metaphors.

I'm not arrogant, just shy and better than you.

I have this ability--either apparent or self-perceived--to turn people off. People who don't "get me." Which is laughable...what's there to get? I must put out this vibe or tone that makes me look snobby and pretentious...which I am, but I hate the fact that it's visible.


I can feel their stares, heavy and obvious. And more dramatic than the previous sentence. They get this chin-disappearing, Judgmental Judy look of disgust on their face like I just parked my Hummer in a handicapped spot. Seems like I've been fighting this my entire life, too. It's not arrogance, I'm just shy, and awkward and better than you.

ha hee.

Of course I keed, and that reminds me, I hate being misunderstood. Hence the need to constantly explain myself or defend my actions. Is it a paradox to have plenty of self-esteem, piggy-backed by a shit-ton of self-loathing? I have to deal with me, pretty much on a daily basis, and I just get sick of myself sometimes. Perhaps people pick up on this and react likewise. Hmmm.

Here's a dumb example; I rarely smile with my teeth and people see that as unfriendly. Those people can suck it. I just hate my stupid smile. With the little fangs. All those years of braces and head-gears and foul-smelling retainers and the results stay hidden behind my lips in photos. Sorry, mom. 

While I'm at it, I hate how every pair of jeans make my ass look all invisible-like. Wow...it just goes straight down! How does he shit? Maybe it's like tapping a maple tree. I could always switch to Wranglers, I reckon. But then I'd have to get the boots, the buckle, the GED, the sticker of Calvin peeing on a Volvo logo. It's too much of a commitment.

Additionally, though I managed to avoid the hairy Italian gene, what little patches I do have makes me wonder how women (and gay dudes) find any men attractive. Who wants to lick a vanilla ice cream cone and come up with a tongue full of leg hair? For some reason, however, my ankles are totally bare. Like I stood in a kiddie pool filled with Nair. People have actually asked me if I shave my ankles. Do you swim? Is that why you do it?  Yes, Mensa, I'm training to be an Olympic wader. Idiots.

So until I find the time (and courage) to wax from the waist down; or the discipline to squat thrust until I herniate, I've been making a conscious effort to smile--teef and all--and it's a challenge. It's the equivalent of Fonzie admitting he's wr-wr-wro-...admitting he's wr-wr-wro-...can I stop now? Do we catch the reference? Side note: was the Fonz really cool? Mid-thirties; garage apartment; hung out with high school kids. What has two thumbs and smells like leather and failure? Correctamundo.

Anyhoo, here's the forehead-slapping, "sonofabitch!" epiphany: it fucking works. Especially on stage. Smiling spreads like syphilis, only you're glad you caught it. On top of that, I look goofy when I smile, which makes my darker chunks of material seem semi-sweet. As a friend put it, I'm able to sell the inappropriate because my delivery is all cupcake. I like that contrast. Eloquent filth. Like belching the phrase, "Pardon me."

So. To anyone who either knows me, or thinks they know me, or has an inexplicable urge to get to know me, please know this: I'm not a condescending prick. Just uncomfortable in my own skin.


p.s.  y'all do you know what condescending means, right?