I like to think that I know myself fairly well. I always thought I had a pretty good idea of how I would react or what I would say to the little things that go on in my life. I’m not talking about some big decision making event, just about those small occurrences that pop up in normal everyday living. And most of the time I do react as I think I will but sometimes, for some unknown reason, I do a complete flip-flop and do the un-expected.
The first one I really remember is when I was about 10 years old and I went to stay with my relatives for about a week. This was the first time I had ever gone anywhere without the rest of the family. Granted, at that age there were probably a lot of things I didn’t really know about myself, but I certainly knew what I liked and what I didn’t like.
Everything was going along swimmingly until I went to spend a few days with my Grandma L. who lived in a big, old house. When asked if I wanted to sleep in an upstairs bedroom or down in the basement, I promptly said basement. WHAT??? I hated basements. I was afraid of the dark back then and basements were dark, dreary, scary places and I hated them. I knew I hated them, and yet I picked the basement to sleep in!!!!! And not only that, after being scared the first night down there I was asked if everything was okay and if I wanted to sleep upstairs the next night. I said, you guessed it, no, everything was fine and I’d sleep in the basement again. I remember that incident very vividly and to this day, I still have no idea why I would do such a thing.
Another time that sticks in my mind is the one about the anchovy, of all things.
This time I was an adult (supposedly) and we were about to buy a new house. The sellers invited us over for a little get together and served crackers with cheese, crackers with other goodies, and crackers with anchovies. Yep, I hate anchovies. I don’t like the taste or texture of the smelly, salty little critters. When she came around with the tray of assorted crackers, I passed over all my favorites and picked up the one with the anchovy, and I immediately thought “what the hell did you just do?” I sat there holding this cracker in my hand, staring at that ugly little thing lying on top and didn’t quite know what to do about it.
I sat like that for a little while but I knew I would have to eat it eventually because there was no house plant nearby to hide it under, and I couldn’t very well hand it back and say that I changed my mind and didn’t really want this disgusting thing. So, I gritted my teeth, swallowed hard, popped it into my mouth, and chewed as fast as I could while holding my breath. (I had read somewhere that if you didn’t breathe you couldn’t taste.) But that little trick didn’t work this time because I could still feel that hairy thing on my tongue and I swear I could still taste that yuck. And no, I did not repeat that one. When she came over again with that tray, I did not pick the little fishy. I did ask for some more wine though, (of course that was just to get rid of the taste).
So, how well do I know myself? Are there instances in life where I am not who I think I am, but instead somebody completely opposite? Could it be that I have multiple personalities, and the naughty one shows up sometimes to make me scare myself silly, and the mischievous one pops out to embarrass me in front of strangers and yes, even my own family? Hey, I kinda like the idea. That would mean there is also one in there who is snide, sarcastic, snippy, with a dark sense of humor, and who is totally unlike the sweet, smiling, kind, true me, and therefore none of the weird stuff is really MY fault.
I / we can live with that.