I’m me, I think

In a world not very unlike the one we live in today, an old friend and I were chat-chat-chatting about how long we’d been friends and how much we’ve changed over the years but still remained friends like no time had passed at all. I realized then how much I truly have changed over the years – priorities, tastes, mannerisms, etc. I’m a different person than I was two years ago than I was two years before that. So this got me thinking: how much of our personality is actually OUR OWN? Like, really ours and not borrowed from this person and that one, from the myriad people we come into contact with on a daily basis? Are we just patchwork quilts of boosted characteristics, a little from him a little from her? Are we each Frankenstein’s freaking monster?! Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!

He wore those glasses before it was cool.

He wore those glasses before it was cool.

Well, I can’t answer that for you. But for me, personally, I’d like to think I base about 96.4% of my personality on Jennifer Aniston’s character in Along Came Polly. She’s just. So. God. Damned. Quirky! You just look at her and you know that she has an innate ability to decorate a room. And not just using neutrals, oh no, she would fucking combine different patterns. Chevron and awning stripes or whatever and make it work. If you asked her, she would pick out the perfect throw pillows which would completely change the feel of your ugly and outdated living room. She probably paints for fun and knows exactly how and when to wear fashion scarves. And she never talks behind someone’s back ever because she is too busy eating spicy ethnic foods and trying new spicy ethnic things. (Ethnic – is that word over? Are we not using it anymore? It seems like it should be over, like Nana calling people Oriental.)

So, back to the important stuff. In a nutshell, pretty much none of that crap I went on about above describes me whatsoever. And sometimes that makes me sad, namely when I’m watching Along Came Polly. So like once every four and a half years or so. But regardless, I am convinced that I’ve stolen (adopted, acquired, other thesaurus suggestion) personality traits from people throughout my whole life, whether consciously or not. Don’t you think you have? Admit it. Don’t try and make me feel all Jennifer Jason Leigh in Single White Female here. If you notice a quality in someone that you admire, it’s human nature to want to try it on for size, right? Go ahead and call me crazy, but your college roommate told me that before you two lived together senior year, you preferred Backstreet Boys and Amaretto Stone Sours to your current selections of Neutral Milk Hotel and at least 10 year old rye aged in charred oak barrels.

Quitcher bitchin’

Everyday it’s the same thing as I scroll through Facebook (I can’t quit you, Facebook!) Someone is upset about something. Someone is offended and enraged and indignant and literate enough to write an entire article about it. I am being attacked, my deeply-held beliefs are under attack, I am being shamed. Shame, shame, shame – it’s everywhere! Fat shaming, skinny shaming, short shaming, slut shaming, smart shaming, poor shaming, woman shaming, mime shaming, puppy shaming, whale shaming I am so fucking sick of these terms aaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!

Let’s all agree on this one central idea, this keystone of the human condition: it’s no mystery that there are a lot of d-bags out there. I encounter several just on a five minute trip to Starbucks. Very much like a moo-moo on Old McDonald’s farm, they’re here, they’re there, they’re everywhere. And because it’s our right afforded to us by the Constitution of this great nation (which everyone seems really, really well-versed in these days) we have the unique freedom to say whatever the hell it is that pops into our d-bag brains. Isn’t that magical? I can spout off all day long about economics, thermodynamics, thigh gaps, carbohydrates, the military, the common core, Creationism, evolution, whatever it is that I may know little or nothing about. I can do that and create a hashtag for it and link to an article on Upworthy and attach a picture of a sad, abused animal. That’s some 21st century shit right there.

And what are you going to do about it? I bet your blood pressure is going to go up a little bit when someone says that you have no idea what religious liberty ACTUALLY MEANS or that the Earth has only been around for a few thousand years or that Bill Clinton was the best president we’ve had in decades. What are you going to do about it? You’re going to waah waah waah all over a piece of paper and pitch it to Thought Catalog. Or how about, HOW ABOUT we stop allowing ourselves to become offended? How about we control the only thing we can in these situations, which is how we react to the billions upon billions of opinions everywhere in the world? Right?!

Anybody want a peanut?

Anybody want a peanut?

I’m working on it, I truly am. And I hope others will, too. Think of the shitload of free time you’ll have when you’re suddenly not compelled to write all those angry articles or rude comments or hateful letters to faceless corporations. All that time you spent furrowing your brow and foaming at the mouth could’ve been spent drinking moderate amounts of whiskey and catching up on The Walking Dead before Season 5 premieres. Sounds like more fun to me, especially since those new people they met at Terminus are totally cannibals. Plus that’s really going to free up my Facebook feed for more videos of cats trying to jump onto things and failing.