Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Self in Perspective...err...Perception

I do stupid things all the time, but more recently, one instance of remarkable stupidity stands out above the rest. Although smashing my face into an open door today does, in most cases, qualify me as a candidate for the Dumb-Arse of the Year Award (and is deemed by most doctors as a symptom of either drunkenness or debilitating klutziness), this is actually not the stupidest thing I have done of late. You see, I am a participant in a virtual pseudo-circle of friendship otherwise known as Facebook. (Can I say this? Should I, like, use a made up name here? Like in movies when the characters are drinking Popsi?) Don't get me wrong, participation in MugTome in and of itself is not the qualifier for dumb-assedness, nor is taking stupid quizzes.
Creating a stupid quiz just might be...more to the point, creating a "How well do ya freakin know my arse" quiz is probably the lamest, bad-ass-dumber-than-the-world's-dumbest-criminal-caught-on-film sort of dumbest thing I've yet to do on VisageVolume. Okay, maybe there are some other things---for the record. There are, after all, a lot of time-wasting, pointless, ridiculous things you can do on said social networking site. Quizzes are but a fraction of the mindless, memory-sucking, potentially-virus-welcoming applications you can have all sorts of fun with on CountenanceCatalogue. Yee-haw! The create-your-own quiz is merely the latest and greatest of these; but the let's-see-if-you-can-prove-to-me-you're-really-my-friend-by-answering-questions-about-me-that-you-should-know-the-answers-to-from-having-seen-the-results-of-all-the-other-quizzes-I've-taken quiz really tops the cake (probably not, but for argument's sake, and for the sake of this blog, just go with it and pretend this really is the dumbest thing).
The thing is, not one--not one!--person got 100 percent of the questions about me right. Aye, not even my husband (This, more than anything, highlights the idiocy of my attempt to do something that might otherwise have been totally cool). So, this means what?
1. I should never ever, ever write my own quizzes. I am clearly a failure in the quiz-writing department. (Apologies to all my former students. I swear, I honestly thought it perfectly normal to have you write a pop-quiz 3-page essay on the significance of the prophecizing hat in Parry Hotter.)
2. I derive some sort of sadistic pleasure from making others feel stupid, ignorant, and cranky.
3. I am a masochist that prefers to feel friendless and alienated.
4. Others know me better than I know myself.
This last one really stings, actually. Wouldn't you know that most people scored exactly 73 percent (including above mentioned hubby). Upon reading others' quiz results I felt sort of bereft wondering how my dearest friends didn't know that I have considered getting a tatoo on my hip or that I wanted to be an actress growing up or that my nickname was once flaquita (no, this is not some derivitive of a rolled up tortilla with chicken or minced beef). But then, oi, my stomach dropped and I nearly gagged on my own psycho-emotional vomit as it occurred to me that the answers I thought correct--my answers!--were, in fact, wrong. And here I thought I was just beginning to identify myself. Come to find out, I had tagged the wrong toe.
Is it possible that there are more sides to a person than that which we reveal to others?
Is it possible that others see you as they want to see you?
Is it possible that we believe ourselves to be something all together different than what we are? (I sometimes wonder if others see colors in the same way as I do. Like, for example, maybe my husband sees red as my blue and blue as my red, but I wouldn't know it because he calls it red and blue respectively. It's all about perception right?)
There is this reality series on tv that features some woman getting a makeover to look ten years younger than how she is perceived by the general public. Now, this doesn't mean ten years younger than her actual age, but ten years younger than the decrepit old age she appears to be after letting herself go. So, recently I witnessed this new momma who appeared at first to be 40 transformed to look 30 in the after shot, and she said in the end, "This is how I feel inside! This is who I am!!" Now, funny thing is, she was actually 29. But that's beside the point, yeah? The important thing is that she now felt like she was finally revealing to the world the self within. Or was she?
Maybe I never actually told anyone that I'd consider getting a tattoo. Maybe, for a little while, I just want to believe that I would want a tattoo.
Maybe no one can ever fully know another person because we change who we are all the time and we keep large chunks of ourselves stored away for future use. Maybe tomorrow I won't sort of maybe want a tattoo anywhere at all (as I hadn't for most of my life).
Ah well. Perhaps next time I'll create a different sort of quiz: the "Please Fill in the Answers and Tell Me Who I Am" quiz. Fact is, I don't think we ever even truly know ourselves. Truly, the Self changes from one day, one idea, one dream, one whim, to the next. And all depending on who we're talking to.

But don't quote me on that. I'll probably change my mind tomorrow.