Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

“Familiarity breeds contempt. How accurate that is. The reason we hold truth in such respect is because we have so little opportunity to get familiar with it.” ~Mark Twain.

Why is it that the people closest to us presume to know us the best—or know us at all? I’ve always encountered people assuming my character and what I was all about. If you ask my girlfriend or any of my ex’s, they will all tell you that I have kept them on their toes a lot of the time. This is true. The reason I have chosen this route, is because in my life people always thought ‘they knew me’. Presumptuous people drive me nuts.

Madelene and I always tell one another how much we still have yet to learn about one another. Yes, we’ve been together for twelve years, but to me, I still don’t feel I know her. I think I know her only about 25%---and that’s a lot. It may seem like a very little amount, but the other 75% is all about her mind, her thoughts, her deepest secrets and her past, as well as her thoughts on the future. Who knows for sure what someone else is truly thinking or feeling? We can ‘claim’ we know, but do we? Do we truly know our partners/spouses/family members and our friends? Can we ever say, “Oh I know him/her, she would never do that…?”

You can even say that my reasoning for ‘keeping people on their toes’, or ‘in suspense’ of who I really am, is really an issue of an invasion of my privacy. I open up to the people closest to me, however, I choose to share only things I am comfortable with. It’s my right…it’s your right too. If you have read my archives in this blog, you’ve seen how I have revealed many things about myself as well as my family on here. (Of course with their permission.) There are major things I want to share with others, because it just may help someone in some way. Sharing my lifestyle and what I went through while coming out of the closet is another way I “think” may help someone struggling with their own identity.

“What are you thinking?” Couples will ask this a lot of the time. I ask it occasionally when someone’s eyebrows are crinkled up, or if someone is obviously lost in thought. It’s truly none of my business. It’s none of anybody’s business what anyone is thinking. People are trying desperately to get into each other’s thoughts; to get into each other’s minds. Why? One word: Insecurity. We have become so insecure with who we are, with who we are with, and with thoughts we can’t control…other people’s thoughts. I’m guilty of it. I get insecure a lot of the times, finding myself asking someone close to me, “What’s on your mind?” As if I am doing this in a caring ‘can I help you’ type of manner. To be honest, I’m afraid it may be negative thoughts concerning me.

Some people have called me an enigma or a mystery. Fine. I’m okay with that. Just don’t claim ‘you know me’. Those words bug the hell out of me for some reason. It makes me want to give them shocking news of some sort.

“Hey! I’m really a man! I had a sex change!” That’ll be a blow to someone’s mind—who all along knew me as “Deb” the lesbian.

Yes, that actually happened. In fact, it happened last night. Someone close to me had claimed ‘they knew me’, and that I was so honest. Maybe my life is one big lie? Maybe my thoughts, feelings, actions and words are a huge tale from Deb’s neurotic mind. How would you know? I was flattered that someone said they thought I was very honest---that’s a compliment for sure…but never say that you know me 100%. I’m not upset, or angry—I’m just baffled by those type of statements.

Complex and fickle as I am, no one can ever claim they know me. I can say I love one thing one day, and the next day I will totally hate it. I’m complicated, confusing and sometimes I can be considered a walking contradiction. (As if a Christian lesbian isn’t one in some people’s eyes…) My mind changes fast sometimes—it’s a woman’s right, isn’t it? Or is that our excuse? Maybe too much estrogen has taken over this pathological mind of mine, but it’s still my birth given right to plead the 5th.

What about cases where two people meet each other online? Say even two people meet from a blog? Okay, okay, I’ll stop beating around the bush already… So I met someone that has been reading my blog for months before I even knew them. A lot of the times, they’ll say to me, “Oh I already knew that,” or “Oh, I don’t think you would do that.” They’ve read my book as well.

Does a blog or book someone wrote create their full character in real life? I’m talking “character and persona”—not in the aspect of lying, but judging someone by merely reading their ‘text’. Sometimes people will conjur up a whole different person in their minds, due to what the other person has written in their blog or in their book. I’m not ‘holier than thou’, and yes, whatever I write in this blog is 100% truth about my life—however, this doesn’t mean they should quit learning about me since they know the whole scoop on my life through reading about me. This is just my opinion.

My blog and my book is only a fraction of who I really am. They are life events that have taken place in the past, and current issues that are important to me. Sometimes I’m joking around, sometimes I’m serious, and sometimes I’m just way too confusing and complex to even read. This is when you find yourself “X”ing out of my blog and into someone else’s who can entertain you better.

“I’m star-struck when I’m around you.” A flattering comment; but never a comment that should be made to anyone…not even Charlize Theron! I know people mean well, but they also have to keep in mind that the other person may feel awkward hearing this type of thing.

It also amazes me how people think they know certain celebrities. They talk about them as if they were part of their circle of friends. They put on their pants the same way you and I do… (Well sometimes I do a little dance before throwing on a good pair of jeans, but that’s just me.)

So in your most honest response, who do you know 100%? Who do you think you know even 75%? And what do you base your answers on?