Healers and builders, of which I am neither.
November 25, 2007
I went to an old friend’s birthday party last night. Aside from myself the rest of the crowd, without exception, were engineers or doctors. I’m not generally sensitive to that sort of thing, but there was such a glaring accomplishment gap between me and every single other person, I was discomfited (1).
And then the inevitable ” so what do you do for a living” conversation surfaced…and I was tempted to just claim I suck dicks down at the bus station, to avoid recounting the minutia of my entry level IT job. At least there would be some blue collar dignity in cock swallowing; my job combines the toothless banality of accountancy, with the mental acuity of sorting buttons… and these would be fairly dissimilar buttons. I honestly take more pride in sleeping under my desk regularly, than I do any function I am paid to perform. I can only assume the Doctors and Engineers feel somewhat more validated by there professional duties.
Eventually I got drunk enough to project some ablative charm: I was clever and engaging, but there was a falseness and calculation that made it joyless. It was the arty extrovert equivalent to talking about my sweet car and bank balance; I wanted them to know I was as good…as valid they were, and that social currency was the only thing I had to put forth. It seemed to work: people were warm and attentive, but I still felt like a high school cool guy in a rundown Camero.
It wasn’t so much that I have a crappy job that bothered me, it was the overwhelming urge to try an explain it. To provide some justification for why I was better than my situation, or at least had to capacity to be so, had I worked at it. Somehow it was important that these strangers were aware of my unrealized potential…as if that were more representative of who I am that my actual life. I wanted to make sure they knew I was lazy, not stupid. That is a pretty low standard to fight towards.
I’m going to have to think on this.
(1)And yes I used discomfited, instead of uncomfortable, to bolster my ego a little.