Saturday, September 01, 2012

Not Like the Rest

I was chided the other day by my wife.  “You are scowling in most of their pictures.  That is why out of, like, 200 pictures you are in 3.”  She had been scanning the posted pictures from our friend’s recent wedding.  The wedding where I was a groomsman and was expected to help put the decorations up (while mingling), go to take pictures (while mingling), and be a part of the ceremony, reception, and after party (which all included mingling). “Why can’t you just pretend to be having a good time?” 

I am going on a ski weekend trip to Vail, Colorado in December.  This is mostly due to an unexpected airline credit I have.  “So, who are you going with?” my wife asked.  (Uncomprehending stare) “What do you mean”, I finally responded.  “Well, you’re going to want to go with someone.  I’m assuming Courtney, maybe someone else”, she continued.  “Ah, why would I want to go with anyone?”   I am met with raised eyebrows followed by “Most people would want to go with someone.”

I almost never go to parties if I can help it. I never go to concerts.  I hate most social functions. The idea of having to make small talk in a room full of people I have never met and will never meet again is my version of Hell. The notion of being surrounded by a sweaty, clamoring, mass of people in a confined, dark space while uncomfortably loud music is playing…are you kidding?  If I have to go to a store, or heaven forbid, a mall I usually bring an MP3 player to simply drown out the crowd and give me some notion of space, through auditory dampening.   This is the only way I can go Christmas shopping.   Plus, you can actively ignore any sales clerk who wants to shill out some idiotic store brand credit card, promotion, etc. I am told this makes me appear rude.

I am so exhausted.  I am so very, very exhausted.  It is hard for most people to understand this.  I am an introvert.  To most people this means shy, quiet, socially awkward, or even stuck-up.  This could not be farther from the truth.  To many, being introverted is something that needs to be fixed.  Or it means you are incapable of having a truly good time.  “You just need to get out there, don’t be so afraid of rejection.”  “Hey, why are you always going places by yourself?  Are you depressed or something?”  “Stop scowling.  It’s a party. Lighten up.” I am exhausted of having to wear a mask and go through the oh-so-tired and predictable motions so that everyone else can feel comfortable. Why does no one ever try and make me feel comfortable by understanding I don't want to socialize?  No, I have to slap on a grin and make small talk for everyone else.  That isn't to say that chilling out in a quiet bar and talking with a few people who can actually converse isn't my idea of fun. No, going to a loud, frat-style, house party and having to scream at people just to be heard and force myself to dance/grind to shit hip-hop, that is my nightmare.

It is an extrovert dominated world and anyone who is different is obviously not normal.  75% of the population is extrovert in nature.  My sister works in bars and night clubs, my brother is a stand-up comedian. They love gatherings and functions, anything with other people. I am an archaeologist and spend most of my time in a quiet archive, office, or in vast amounts of empty expansive dessert.  I go to movies alone, snowboard alone, and do house projects alone.  This doesn’t mean I hate my family; I wouldn’t have a family if I wanted to be utterly and completely solo.  That isn’t even what it means to be an introvert.  And it is concerning to me what an obstacle this can be for those I love.

Despite what you may think from what I wrote above, my wife and I have a very deep and full understanding of one another.  She truly does get me and I can same the same of her.  We can talk for hours and never get bored.  That was why I fell in love with her.  The misconception about introverts is that it is all or nothing.  If you don’t like being around people then that means all people.  Wrong.  We only want to be around those we care about and if that means you then you should feel pretty damn good about it. You may only be one in ten.  The rest of you…

Saturday, June 02, 2012

War Is Hell

So, LJ and I were having a conversation this morning and we started arguing over what turned into a quite a contentious subject.  What actor has been in the most war movies. She chose Matt Damon for Geronimo (American Indian Wars),  Saving Private Ryan (WWII), Courage Under Fire (Desert Storm) and The Green Zone (Iraq War).  I chose John Wayne who was in movies covering the Civil War, Mexican American War, WWII, Vietnam and the Cold War, though eventually we both agreed to throw out any dead actors. As with any good game there are rules to this; check them out below then submit your nominee. The winner gets total movie respect from all who dared to play.

1)      Must be a living actor.  Looking for A-list actors not stunt men or extras. *dead actors can be used for      cool points, though I already called John Wayne.
2)      Looking for variety of conflict zones not numbers of movies from one zone (eg. 8 movies from WWII only counts as one conflict zone).
3)      The actor can’t be in flashback only.  It must be a speaking bit and in uniform.  For example,  Matt Damon in The Legend of Bagger Vance wouldn’t count because he is only seen in uniform in a brief segment of the movie and does not speak in that segment.  However, Matt Damon in Courage Under Fire would count because half of the movie is in flashback and there are speaking bits in those flashbacks.
4)      We are only counting American conflicts. However, the character can play a role in the opposing or allied military force.  Just so long as American was involved in the conflict.  For Example Ed Harris and Jude Law would count for Enemy at the Gates, even though it was a movie about the Russians and Germans during WWII because America was involved.  Mel Gibson in Braveheart wouldn’t count because it is not an American war.
5)      It can be a fictional story based on a real conflict, but not a fictional conflict. This will be hard when it comes to Cold War movies.  Red Dawn and Hunt for Red October wouldn’t count because they never happened and while they are based on Cold War fears, they aren’t about real events.
6)      Must involve a fight sequence to count for Native American Wars. Not just a bunch of soldiers sitting around a fort in the 1800’s. This is because this conflict is difficult to gauge due to there not being a front-line or solid time frame.
7)      Commander-in-Chief doesn’t count or any political adviser, unless that character shows up in the conflict zone in uniform.
8)      Finally, no television shows or mini-series. Sorry Band of Brothers fans we had to draw the line somewhere.

List the title of the movie and conflict your actor is in.