Wednesday, May 27, 2009
While relaxing alone on the patio this holiday weekend, waiting in vain for any of our several invited friends to drop by, my dearly beloved husband and I came to an annoying revelation: we’re boring. Vanilla ice cream boring. Okay, hand-churned, organic, whole bean vanilla, but still plain, easily-taken-for-granted boring. Most of the time that’s fine, I guess, but there are days when I long to be mango pineapple sorbet with chilies – exotic, interesting, different.
“I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like you,” his boss says. We’re ‘nice,’ which reminds me of the Bernadette Peters song from Into the Woods: “You're so nice. You're not good, you're not bad, you're just nice.” Not completely true; I’d like to think we’re good – whatever that is! – but nice. *sigh*
As I’m writing this, reality hits: we’re boring when we try to be nice. We don’t want to offend, to make anyone uncomfortable, so we hold back. We bite our tongues when a controversial subject comes up. We avoid raising issues about which we are passionate because we know that far too often our opinions are not welcome in the narrow circles we frequent. So we’re nice to avoid confrontation, to avoid being rejected by the in-crowd…how sophomoric!
We’re 50 years old, for goodness sake! Okay, he’s got four weeks yet and I’ve been there for eight months, but when do we drop the high school antics and become individuals with the right, maybe even the duty, to speak our minds? And it’s not like we can’t talk about other things. He’s a computer security expert, an “ethical hacker’ with stories to tell. He raises bonsais and crafts wood and is learning to be a luthier. I read, voraciously. I can discuss books, philosophy, ideas. I write, with stories of my own to tell. Boring?! Far from it!
Maybe we just need to allow ourselves to be ourselves. Either that or find new friends…