Friday, October 17, 2008

I am the most wretched of critters

For several reasons. One, I've got a cold. Not the worst thing that can happen, of course, but irritating. Two, I forgot all about locking down my credit reports and--naturally--my brokerage account requires them to pull my credit scores (not sure why, I'm not trading on margin; again, crazy, not stupid) and I'm too tired to write to each credit reporting bureau and ask to have them unfrozen for a while, so that's down. And third...well.

I realized this week that I'm really not a nice person. I can be horribly catty, which makes me very sad. I mean, I don't like it when people are catty about me, so it's more than a bit of cheek when I go getting catty about them.

After feeling more than a wee bit chastened by this thought, I had the thought that when I'm catty about other people, I'm really being catty about the aspects of them that I see in myself--in other words, I'm just putting myself down by proxy--because the things I'm sniping about aren't fair, aren't really true and aren't how I really feel about the people who get my claws. Putting yourself down by proxy isn't nice (least of all to the poor proxies), and I'm starting to wonder what people think of my sanity, as I seem to rarely have anything nice to say about anyone else.

So, I thought, maybe if I can find a way to be more kind to myself, perhaps I'll stop feeling the need to poke and prod and snipe about others. At this I began pondering ways to be nicer to me so I will stop using other people in such nasty fashion, and one thought led to an online article to an advice column to another thought to a conversation with a co-worker and so on, round and round until I came to the thought: I should start taking myself out on dates.

Let me 'splain. I mean, it does make sense, if you follow the train of thoughts I did, but I don't remember all the steps and it would take too long, so here's the gist: I'm told that to know someone is to love them, so the only reason I'm not so nice to me (and therefore rude to others) is because I don't really know myself. Which I don't. So how do you get to know someone? Right. By spending time with them, and going into the experience willing to look at said person with favorable eyes. Which sounds an awful lot like a date to me.

This weekend, I'm taking myself out to the movies. I'm going to see The Duchess, and I'm going to take myself to the art theater with the nice seats and I'm going to sneak in some chocolate for me and I'm going to spend the evening making my acquaintence. And then I'm going to journal about the experience (which I didn't think of, but it made excellent sense when I was advised to do so) so I can really reflect on what I've learned about myself, even if it's only "I hate driving at midnight on the highway", because that will be the time I'm coming home.

Oddly enough, I'm kind of excited about the prospect. I'm excited about getting to know myself--even if it is a bit posed. Then again, name for me a kind of getting to know someone that isn't.

And I was thinking the main difference between my 'dates' and just 'doing something nice for myself' would be...the circumstances. If that makes sense. I mean, when you love someone, you forgive them for doing little asshatted things and try to inspire them to be better, right? When I used to think of 'doing nice things for me', the doing tended to be predicated on whether or not I blew my budget or was 'good' that week (for whatever value good held that week) and all too often I fell short of whatever mark I set, and doing nice things for me began to feel like slipping a treat to the dog under the table. I'm going to start dating myself and actually get in the habit of doing so just because I want to spend time with myself, not because I've "earned" it. Maybe such generosity to myself will inspire me to be more generous to others. I certainly hope so. I want to be a nice person. Maybe it should be important to then be nice to myself, as well?

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