So, when listing my life skills in my head while trying to fall asleep at night, I rarely come up with more than a few solid entries. I have delightful penmanship. I can fry a mean egg. I know most of the cast and crew of just about any film from the 40’s. Yarl. See? Boo. Lackluster at best.
But if there’s one thing I’m really good at, it’s correcting people. I do it all the time. It’s like I have a special government-issued license for telling people they’re wrong. And I’ve been consciously trying to NOT do that for…well, not very long. Maybe just the last month or so. It was a sort of subconsciously decided New Year's Resolution. And it’s really hard. Because I think I know better about everything than everyone. And it makes life super difficult for me. Wah.
But the thing is, I don’t know much about much of anything, so I’m not entirely sure why I think I’m the proper person to correct someone’s grammar, or suggest that his/her way of making coffee is off, or point out why her/his opinions are stupid.
I’ve analyzed this shortcoming and I think it has a lot to do with my inherent feeling that people should think I’m really smart. Not that I’m the most intelligent person that ever was (read: not that I am ACTUALLY SMART), but because being passably smart has often been the only thing I felt I had going for me. You could say that I’m not quite pretty enough to model or funny enough for my own sitcom, and maybe you don’t want me on your soccer league or as a member of your band, but please think I’m smart! Please! I don’t know why this is so important, but clearly it is. And I maybe need
I’ve always been average. Average height, average weight, average hair color, average face. I hate average. I want to be AMAZING. At something.
So I tell you that you shouldn't eat your fish cooked past a sear or that you shouldn't shift into second gear until it feels right to me or that you shouldn't wear that shade of mascara with your skin/eyebrow color. It's so annoying, right? I thank my lucky stars every day that I have anyone that calls me their friend.
I think I’m the classic case of the gal who could dish it out, but couldn’t take it. And part of that is my supreme sensitivity (I guess I’m above average in that department, but, again, boo, because who wants to be above average at being sensitive?). But part of it is also that I’m so easily discouraged. Fear often addles my brain and makes me inclined to do and say stupid, WEIRD things that I don’t even think about before they leave my mouth, but that if they were said to me by someone else would kill a little part of me.
[Whispered aside: I wonder if Seth McFarlane or Rob McElhenney feel this way when people say shocking, offensive things to them. They’re hilarious, in my book, but they’re ridiculously offensive. When I’m offensive, I’m often just trying my best to be hilarious. But is it so offensive that it doesn’t work? I’m not a TV show. I’m just existing in the world, trying to maintain at least semi-healthy relationships with semi-regular people. Maybe the whole thing is just the setting? Like, if I were to channel all my “humor” into a book or an art project or TV show, would I stop being horrible in life?]
Whoa, excuse me. That was a tad too much free styling, wasn’t it? I have issues, clearly. But the end-all-be-all is this: if I correct you, it’s not because I think I actually know things. I DON’T. But because I want you to like me. And, obviously, I just want to make you a better person.