Monday, October 16, 2006


I posted the ad from Showtime's ultra-weird "Dexter" because DW said that it was amazing how much he reminds her of me. I asked for an explanation, seeing as how Dexter kills people and all. DW said no, it's not that, but that I have an ability to appear calm, cool, and collected on the surface, even when there's tons of turmoil underneath. DW also thinks that Dexter's wicked sense of humor parallels my own.

I made a few comments at lunch the other day about specific people who have identities on the Internet and how they are either like those identities IRL or unlike those identities. I think that my persona on this blog is pretty close to my IRL self, however, the personae I've created in other corners of cyberspace can be far more outrageous, loud, bold, assertive, playful, obnoxious, and offensive than I could ever let myself be IRL. I suppose that the relative anonymity of the Internet allows for quiet, shy, deeply insecure people like me to become something else. I've always detested my inborn shyness, and it's been very difficult to overcome.

I suppose that we all put on the proverbial mask from time to time, whether to get through professional situations during times of personal turmoil, to get ahead in professional or personal situations, to deal with people we detest, to compensate for traits we don't like about ourselves, or to conceal sadness or other afflictive emotions from people we love and don't want to hurt.


Ann said...

One of the wonderful things about the internet, I think, is that it lets us indulge real aspects of our personalities that we are reluctant to let out in real life (for whatever reason). I think I have a pretty good idea of what kind of person you ARE, but sometimes, that doesn't seem to line up with the person you appear to be, especially in real life. I think that's because online and in e-mail, you seem really comfortable expressing whatever you're thinking and dealing with, but that's harder for you to do in person.

I think I come across as a lot more confident and "together" online because most of my insecurities are about things that are only apparent in real life - my tendency to put my foot in my mouth (which I can always avoid online through careful proofreading) and my looks, which have always, always, always made me feel inadequate. Online, I can pretend I'm Gwyneth Paltrow. In real life, that doesn't work.

Randy said...

Hmmm. Gwyneth Paltrow. I haven't tried to be her, not yet anyway.

I think we all have an ideal of what we would like to be/look like/whatever, if not constrained by nature, conditionining, superego injunctions, etc.--see "Fight Club," for instance. Speaking of which, I used to say, "well, I want to look like Brad Pitt, but I don't," when someone would propose something completely outside the realm of possibility.

Phoebe said...

The teenaged girl bagging my groceries the other day picked up the witch's hat I bought and said, "I love Halloween!"

I commented that most people never grow out of Halloween (I have no hard evidence -- I was just playing along).

She said that wearing costumes gives people a chance to be somebody else.

"Ahhh," I said, "You nailed it."

"Cuz I don't like being me," she said.

Breaks my heart to hear someone say that, yet how many times have I felt that way too?

It's best to at least say it's hard being in our own skin rather than never saying it -- keeping it inside out of shame's way.