As I am a fat, stupid jerk, naturally, my favorite topic is... me. Here are two more little factoids on that fascinating subject.
1. I have a horror of being bored. It's remarkable, really, considering how little it takes to keep me amused. I try not to go anywhere without a book to read. Before I go out of town, visit a doctor, or have my car worked on, I grab a book to take with me. I usually bring one to Symphony Chorus rehearsals, to read during down-time. More than one person told me at tonight's rehearsal that they wouldn't recognize me without a book in my hand. Sometimes I even take a book with me to church, in case I have extra time to blow before the service starts, or what have you.
One story that goes with this trait of mine dates back to my grandfather's funeral in August. My Mom, brother, and I were heading to the funeral home for the wake. I guessed (correctly, it turned out) that it was going to be three hours of tedium, surrounded by people I don't know. People from the old neighborhood my grandparents moved out of before I was born. Relatives I haven't seen since my age was in single digits, if ever. Friends, co-workers, and neighbors of my aunts and uncles, who quickly lost interest in introducing me to everyone.
I have, as I believe my mother & brother understood, a profound horror of boredom; but they wouldn't let me bring a book to read during this three hour ordeal. I was highly peeved. It felt like they wanted to hurt me. What really got me was that my brother hooked up with one of his tarty girlfriends and spent the entire time tucked off in a corner with her, where they sat heads together, amusing themselves and not bothering to make conversation with anyone else. I came off with the better end of the deal. I renewed my acquaintance with some cousins who were actually fun to talk with, while my brother complained afterward that nobody paid any attention to him.
Poor baby. The schmuck nevertheless arranged to have his tart meet him at the graveside and at the dinner afterwards, with identical results. I guess my brother also has a horror of being bored, only his defensive weapon of choice is women; or perhaps it's a horror of not being paid attention to. Actually, the latter sounds more like him.
2. I look like some guy. I have been told many, many times that I remind people of someone else they know. I guess I just have one of those faces that could belong to anybody; there's nothing original about it. I'm often mistaken for my Dad - once, even by a parent of a childhood friend who hadn't seen me in years. Nevertheless I've also been told I take after my mother and my stepmother, in looks.
One couple told me I was the spitting image of the son of their pastor back in Colorado. Someone else swore that I was the twin of an ex-classmate. A waitress at a bar where I stopped just once to use the ATM mistook me for a regular she hadn't seen for a while. In the eeriest incident, a librarian at my alma mater - a lady, mind you, who had known me when I was a student there - almost passed out during an alumni reunion because of my resemblance to her former boss, who had passed away years earlier.
Some of these resemblances aren't very flattering, I must say. I knew the guy who had passed away, and if I resemble him at all it's in being a flabby, hairy, ungraceful slob. The more weight I gain, the more unremarkable I look. I'm practically invisible, except when my oafishness isn't forcing people to turn their faces and hide a pained expression. So it's just as well that I have books (and music, besides) as a shield against boredom. I'm not going to get the attention from women that my brother gets. Not if they were ever so tarty.