DATE: 2/11/2004 03:28:00 PM
Holy crap, you guys. This shit actually works.
Never fear, minions, I am still alive, though me not blogging in four days is often cause for alarm. I've been afflicted with yet another cold, and so this week has been a pattern of drag myself to work, drag myself home, sleep, repeat. Not much time / energy for blogging in there.
I would have called in sick, but I just took a personal day last week, and as with many companies it appears that I have sick days here, but I am not actually supposed to use them. Witness the fact that George, who has pneumonia, has been stumbling into work despite the fact that he's hacking up small reptiles and looks like one of the dancers in Michael Jackson's Thriller video. So it's not like I can call in when he's wheeling his deathbed over to his desk every day.
Of course, the cruel irony here is that once again, as happens every so often here at this illustrious workplace of mine, I've run fresh out of work. Yep. That's right. Nothing to do. Sitting here on my thumb. Sneezing. What a wonderful world.
In other news, to keep myself occupied, I've been reading back over my previous blog entries. I went all the way back to the beginning, because I realized a few days ago that this month was my two year bloggerversary. I only meant to skim through it, but I found myself reading through just about all the entries (another reason I haven't had time to write). It was interesting, to say the least, and I have come to the conclusion that I have a two-year statute of limitations on my writing; in other words, after two years, things I've written seem good to me. Inside that two-year window, though, look out.
So, at first, reading through my own drivel, I was inspired. "Hey!" I thought. "I am one witty motherfucker! I might actually be able to swing this whole...writing deal after all!" But little by little as I inched closer to the present date, I found myself more and more skeptical and critical. By the time I reached the most recent entries it felt pretty anticlimactic, like, at best, I've been running in place if not getting worse, let alone actually improving.
But another thing I've noticed reading back through my blog is that I'm probably the only one who really feels that way. Looking back at my long-ago entries that I'd forgotten about was like reading someone else's thoughts, and I actually found myself impressed with them. Seriously. Me. Impressed. With something *I* did. Call the newspapers.
Well, anyway. On a loosely related topic, the other day I was walking into the receptionist's booth to mail something (I'm in and out of that room all day--most of my physical activity during the work week is walking the 20 feet between it and my desk) and I found Renee, Susan and our receptionist temp, Alison. All nice ladies. But they were looking at me funny. That they all stopped talking as I walked in confirmed that something was up.
There was a pause. I weighed my mail, dialed in the numbers, set the envelope in the machine, presssed the button. Printed the postage. Finally Alison blurted out at me, "We were all just talking about how fucking smart you are."
I froze. I know she (they) meant it as a compliment, but I felt caught. Chagrined. Embarrassed. Like discovering suddenly that your fly's down, and you don't know how long it's been that way, and then remembering that you wore your really ratty underwear today.
I don't know why it makes me so uncomfortable when people comment on my intelligence. I guess I'm afraid that if they notice it, I'm coming across as pompous or snobby. More often than not it separates me from people, and I don't like it. I've seen it in my college classes enough to know that most of the time if somene feels (however erroneously) that they're not as smart as you, they resent you immediately. You intimidate them, often without even meaning to, and then they start acting in passive-agressive ways that aren't very nice. So when Alison said that and Renee and Susan nodded, I was scared that was happening all over again, almost like I was in some kind of Brainiac Witness Protection Program and now I'd been found out.
"Um..." I said, the irony of this dumb reply to a compliment about my brains not lost on me. "What makes you say that?"
"The other day you were talking to me about this Onion website, and I had no idea what you were talking about," Renee said.
"So? Not a lot of people know about that site. It's kind of obscure."
"See, but you use big words like that," Alison chimed in. "It's cool. Like the other day when we were talking about Bowling for Columbine and Marilyn Manson and stuff. It's cool talking to you because you have a really good way of putting things."
I was flattered but still enormously self-conscious. "Well, now I feel stupid," I said. "I hadn't meant to seem like I was this big geek."
They assured me it was okay. Then Alison, who doesn't really know me all that well, with whom I've had only a few conversations beyond the perfunctory, looked at me and said, "You should, like, write a book, or something."
Ker-slam. Ker-slam. That's my head against the wall.
Figuratively, of course.