This is my reputation. I’m just writing it down so it exists somewhere, not for any other reason.

All of the following may be true. They might also be true enough, which is the same thing. They might also be false, but it doesn’t matter, because the mythology is more interesting. Anyway, here goes:

• I was the pinchfarthing bastard who used to pay the bare minimum share on checks at dinner, until I came into some money.

• Now I’m excruciatingly generous to help you out, as long as it’s something I want to help you out with.

• In the same vein, I apply undue pressure on family and friends to do shit I want to do, and frequently throw money at them to get them to do it.

• I’m immediately defensive about my supposed faults, until I turn maudlin and self-loathing and start listing faults I don’t even have.

• I’m occasionally a brilliant writer, but I don’t like rewrites, and I’m a dabbler, wholly uninterested in making something perfect.

• I’m occasionally a fantastic musician, but resist rehearsal, and pooh-pooh any preparation, which leads to the occasional massive fuck-up when it really matters.

• I like to have everyone around, and then disappear.

• I am a foul-mouthed, acid-laced vulgarian while playing sports, a trait that has only been vaguely attenuated by anti-depressants and therapy.

• I’m a hopeless prep-school bi-coastal snob with absolutely no appreciation for the way real Americans live.

• I’m a hypocritical environmentalist with a penchant for flying back and forth across the country lugging tons of electronic shit made of plastic.

• I’m intermittently funny and charming, and might have a lot of “big thoughts”, but after a while, you start wondering what I’m actually made of.

Phew. That covers a few of them, hopefully. How about your reputation?

0 thoughts on “kyfp

  1. Piglet

    Mine is the Path of the Frosted Mini-Wheat. If there are two valid and opposite sides to something, I’ve taken them both.
    I’m considered strange, but intensely loyal to my friends, and will always have your back once I’ve taken a liking to you.
    If there’s a party, I’m the one in the corner, holding court and explaining the meaning of life to three or four people younger than me, while I sip some drink that contains at least two full servings of fruit.
    People tend to get a bad first impression of me. Those who stick around anyway tend to change their minds. If I knew why this was, I wouldn’t make the bad first impression in the first place.

  2. LFMD

    Oh dear. This is a rather brutal question for the day, but I am going to take a deep breath and answer.
    I am an unhappy,moody bitch.
    I am terribly judgmental. Everything is black or white. . . no shades of gray.
    I am an anti-social hermit. I would much rather read books than interact with people.
    I used to be a total Type A driven perfectionist, but I burned out early, and now I often “call it in”, “squeeze by”, “do the bare minimum” in work and in life. I can’t even focus or devote myself to a weight loss program these days.
    I am quick to anger and am prone to meltdowns.
    I don’t have much impulse control. I am terrible at saving money and planning for the future. Husband has had to bail me out of financial trouble a lot in the past few years. With every important family decision, I have been the albatross around my husband’s neck, and he drags me along towards all of our positive goals (buying a house, saving for daughter’s college, saving for retirement). Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if I had not married. When I picture it, it is not a pretty image.
    I am often silly and have a good sense of humor. I think this is mainly due to the anti-depressants I have taken since 1999.
    I am a good mother. With my daughter, I am kind, patient, engaged, fun, and attentive.

  3. Lee

    i have no idea. maybe i’m not interesting enough to talk about?
    or maybe i don’t wanna know.
    i love Path of the Frosted Mini Wheat, Piglet!

  4. Anne

    Hmmm. It seems many of us are MUCH better at cataloging our faults than at listing our charms and talents. Laurie! Tsk. You cannot be all that bad or you wouldn’t have so many friends. :-) Also, I’m terrible with money too. And silly/funny. And grateful to be on antidepressants that keep me from being morose.
    Ian, you are especially funny when you’re criticizing yourself. The things you see as flaws, whether they really are or not, are part of what make you interesting. Who wants to read about perfection? Plus, in general I think you are amazing, and Tessa too. And of course the Lulubeans.
    BAD: Lazy, undiagnosed ADD (now taking Concerta and doing a little better), gossipy (working on that), a fast starter who tends not to finish things, snobbish about things like intelligence and taste, former crazy party girl who made many bad choices, I was not always a very patient or respectful daughter.
    GOOD: I try always to be kind and compassionate, and usually succeed; I am much less snobbish than I used to be; I am bright and a very good writer/editor and love helping others get the most out of their writing; I’m fun to be with; I’m silly (bad thing to my kids; good thing for me) and “play young” — like going to rock concerts and Star Wars conventions); I know when I need help and don’t hesitate to seek it – medical, psychological; I’m reflective and spiritual; I’m a very good mom and grandma and a pretty good wife.
    So Santa, have I been a good girl? :-)

  5. John Galt

    Ian: In other words, you’re a self-loathing narcissistic man-child who finds fault in others to detract attention from his own issues. Basically embodying all of the stereotypical traits of the modern liberal. You share much in common with the current resident of the White House; don’t know whether you see that as a comfort or curse.
    Anyway, thanks for confirming my initial assessment.

  6. gadfly

    John Galt: Another self-important coward. Embodies the stereotypical right-winger trait of smearing others’ liberal opinions as character flaws, rather than what they are: thoughtful political positions.
    Its so much easier taking cheap shots than actually discussing the issues or defending the Bush years. Unfortunately, it’s going to take a lot more than a mop to clean up this mess.

  7. Anne

    PS to the Galt comment
    Most people who write for a living or keep regular blogs are, if not narcissistic, at least healthy in the ego department. You don’t put yourself out there, especially with opinions as Ian does, without an ego to feed. I do speak from personal experience, and I find nothing wrong with it. The world would be a boring place without extroverted writers clamoring to be heard.

  8. Annie H.

    Hunh–reputation–just beginning to get a sense of this, separate from my *own* sense of myself, as I approach 40 (6 days, b*tches!)
    The hoop makes me appear to be a hippie with hippie values, causing some (John Galt et al) to dismiss me as a ludicrous and useless freak (to which I respond with the first of the 10 Principles of Burning Man, “We welcome and respect the stranger”). Conveniently many of my values *do* in fact closely correspond to hippie values: live and let live, tread lightly on the earth, local sustainable economy etc etc.
    However, if I’m not carrying a hoop, I can broadcast an Everywoman sort of vibe–I don’t have what I would call an easily typified look–no strappy sandals or Talbotwear, no piercings or tats either. I can and do talk to anyone and everyone. I express and truly feel, for the most part, warmth for people. Mine is a hopeful nature.
    I can also be a snotty bitch (resonating with Anne here) about aesthetics–including the lowbrow. To see the sublime in the absurd is something I respect greatly when my aesthetic tuning fork chimes exactly with the subject–however, when it doesn’t, I can dismiss square miles of culture with a lazy scoff.
    I can get lost in my emotions, but the hoop has helped me establish an enduring sense of perspective that makes day to day life much less intense. Once a control-freak-in-denial, I am much more easygoing these days. Live and let live. It’s a beautiful phrase.

  9. littlerattyratratrat

    Why do people listing their faults always sound like they’re proud of them? Reminds me of the classic:
    Sam Spade: You’re a liar.
    Brigid: I am. I’ve always been a liar.
    Sam Spade: Don’t brag about it.

  10. Neva

    I think (but who really knows?) my reputation is that I work hard and expect a lot of myself and other people.. sometimes too much, which at times leads to dissatisfaction with both myself and other people. Still working on embracing mediocrity.

  11. eric g.

    I’m quiet when you meet me. You’ll think I have nothing to say.
    I work hard, but don’t always look like I am.
    I can shoot the three, despite Leefer’s oft-stated opinion that it’s outside my range.
    I’m pretty funny if you take the time to listen.
    I don’t always do the right thing.
    I’m extremely loyal. If you’re my friend, you’re my friend for life.

  12. CM

    My reputation varies.
    People from high school think I’m quiet, shy, and nerdy.
    People I know now think I’m just nerdy.
    People who work for me think I’m corny (think the Boss on “The Office”) because I make stupid jokes to amuse myself even if no one else thinks they’re funny at all. But if the staff bonds over their hatred of my jokes, at least it adds to office camaraderie.
    I hope that those who know me best believe I’m kind to animals, concerned about anyone who is in peril. I don’t like seeing anyone sad or suffering.
    Even though I make jokes, I have a soft side. Like Sears.
    There I go again.

  13. hector

    Incredibly lazy until the deadline waves a gun in my face, and then, amazingly productive.
    Forever curious about too many things.
    Nice to everyone, but kindness tends to be aimed. Likes to gift anonymously, but wants the friggin’ wave when I let you drive in front of me.
    Snobbish about musical taste, always.
    Looks down at people who try too hard, especially writers.
    Observant. A little nosy. Will go through all your records and books at your party (assuming they’re out in the open).
    Impatient, space seeking. Would never go to a Friday night movie or a noontime dinner at a hot spot.
    Sensitive, in the good ways and bad, but a lot less so.
    Always wants to be invited. Doesn’t always want to come.

  14. emma

    I got called spoiled yesterday, and being the youngest of five kids, it is not the first time I have heard that, and in some respects it may be true, BUT I work very hard, I am very responsible and reliable and loyal, so I don’t think I am your typical spoiled brat.

  15. Sean

    Ian! You forgot one of your most precious traits!
    – List all of your faults in an effort to deflate criticism so that when you’re actually guilty of one of the things you’ve mentioned, you don’t actually have to do anything to fix it because you’ve already owned up to it, are aware of it, and have cast it as a mini-myth anyway.
    My reputation is based completely on fact, and it can be summed up in one sentence.
    – Whereas most men live lives of quiet desperation, I live a life of intensely loud desperation. You won’t talk to me for more than three minutes without an explanation as to how my situation is more difficult than you could understand.
    My goal in changing this is not to change the behavior, but to simply shut up about it. I’m enormously lucky, and my life is incredibly easy, and it will only get harder as I get older and have more people depending on me, so I probably ought to spend less time introspecting and more time gittin’ shit done.

  16. Ian

    “List all of your faults in an effort to deflate criticism so that when you’re actually guilty of one of the things you’ve mentioned, you don’t actually have to do anything to fix it because you’ve already owned up to it, are aware of it, and have cast it as a mini-myth anyway.”
    What the hell do you think this blog is for, anyway? It’s my Get Out of Jail Free card for every piece of reprehensible behavior I can muster.


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