Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Who Are You?

It's a simple question really...

Who are you?

Just three syllables and no complicated grammar or punctuation with which to contend. Asking it is easy. Answering it though, unless the question is only a matter of re-stating your name for someone who's never known it or regrettably forgotten it, is much tougher. It's a question that typically has me frozen, speechless, a deer in headlights.

My knee jerk reaction is to ask, "What do you mean?"

Because the answer can vary dramatically depending on the context in which it is asked. But that's not usually an appropriate response as often it comes up in casual conversation and the person asking isn't typically looking to grill the respondent for depth. They just want to know bare bones stats1  - age, place of birth, vocation, marital status, number of children.

Those answers: 40, Wyoming, [redacted], single, none (that I know of).

When I answer that way, I feel as though I might as well be filling out a census form and then waiting patiently until I can eat the census taker's liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti. At least the meal would be interesting which is more than I can say for the dryness of my responses.

So my overwhelming urge to ask "what do you mean?" is really more of a "do you want to know information that is largely unimportant or do you want the relatively juicy bits and, if so, which bits are the most appealing to you?" 

Do you see my dilemma?

The answer depends largely on who is asking the question. And, if I don't know who or why the question is being asked or for what purpose - idle chit chat or "I want to know you" -  I'm not quite sure how to respond.

However, because I'm me and because I can, I came here tonight to tell you all who I am...or, at least, tell you who I perceive myself to be which is as much as I can do. Then, perhaps, instead of having to respond to the question, I can simply hand out a business card with this url and state "if you're actually interested, it's all right here". Is that lazy or what? *laughing*  In my defense, it's easier to receive a tl;dr comment than watch as eyes glaze over as heads whip about looking for possible escape.

Aside from the obvious as stated above, I am:

* A collector of non-husbands
* A mother of lost boys
* A zen stick wielder
* A baker of pie
* A part-time Mar Face wrangler
* A sociological observer
* A lover
* Not a fighter
* A magical force to be reckoned with
* A laugher
* A cryer
* A 12-year-old boy
* A connoisseur of cheese, wine, single malt scotch, and fart jokes
* A keeper of secrets
* A writer
* A podcast creator
* A healer
* A spreader of glitter
* A drinker with an info security nerd problem
* A secret girlfriend (so secret he doesn't even know) of Dave Winer, David Sedaris, Ira Glass, & Joaquin Phoenix
* A survivor
* An occasional world-class boundary setter
* A fur-mom to one fur-kid, Vinny, cat extraordinaire
* A fan of Walt Whitman, Jane Austen, Amanda Palmer, and you

I was:
* An award-winning young pianist
* A MENSA member
* A concert mistress
* An aspiring actress
* A youngest child
* A family cruise director
* A funeral home receptionist
* A debater turned dramatic interpreter
* A literary mag editor

What I want to be:
* An award-winning anything
* A naked jen who spreads her love, nakedness, and glitter from coast-to-coast
* An author
* A world traveler
* Someone important

Me. In a nutshell.

Any questions?

1. It's been a very long time since anyone has asked me in a "who do you think you are" Principal Richard Vernon sort of way.


cdnkaro said...

Thank you for this! I loved getting to know you better through this post:)

Gaelyn said...

I think you should add:

A beautiful intelligent woman full of love and life.

Wow, a pianist. I'm impressed. Especially as one who is almost tone deaf.

Lucy said...

Thanks for sharing you with us!!

I love The Who and The Breakfast Club :)

Margi said...

What? Some crazy band took CSI's theme song and made a video with it?


You *are* somebody important. Right now. Yesterday. Tomorrow.

And what was that ruckus?

Anonymous said...

You were a funeral home receptionist, I see. That's been my dream. Not one of the big ones. Just a baby dream. If you could write a post about that, it would make me very happy.

Unknown said...

Looks to me like you have already achieved most of those "want to be's" milady. Guess I need to send you a box of glitter for your world tour...