Remember Joan Jett? How bad-ass is this lady? Whether you like her music or not you have to admire that level of self-determination and perseverance. Plus she is ageing like a fucking Ninja and still playing live and basically not giving a shit what people think about her. Imagine the freedom? Her music endures and continues to show up in the unlikeliest of places…
Mary Margaret aka Snow rocking out to “Bad Reputation” while she sharpens her archery skills and blows off steam…
The theme song for this show…
and many other fun and surprising places. I first remember hearing Joan Jett while hanging out at the roller-rink. “I Love Rock and Roll” would come on and it was free skate time BIG time.
And that takes me right to the source of it – this is geeky stuff and I’m basically a geek, I get it. But do I care? Should I care? Should I be worrying about my online reputation or My So-Called <real> Life (oops another one) reputation? Do I even have a reputation or is this a figment of my coffee-fueled imagination?
It seems like there are all sorts of communities online and I don’t know if I belong to any of them. I’m not an expert in anything (unless pajama wearing, napping and coffee drinking counts – then I am a fucking Master), I am not a celebrity (I rarely get asked for autographs and only if a credit card receipt is involved), and I am not a style maven (the pajama thing, probably).
Even the “nerdy” girls have their own communities and I wonder if I’m not nerdy enough or in the right ways. Actually I think its pretty bad-ass that the eccentrics, oddballs and other assorted misfits have a dominant place online where wit can win out over what you are wearing or who you are dating. I live in a rural town with all sorts of people many of whom are gentle hippie folk that eschew sugar and television and sarcasm. I often feel a bit out of place, especially when I find myself in a “mother’s group” or “girl’s group” scene. Social situations can bring out my awkward side which manifests itself in 1 of 2 ways;
1. Cut and run. I have excused myself to go to the bathroom and simply left never to return.
2. Social Tourette’s where I start to ramble on about inappropriate shit and create a social “blast zone” around me where few are brave enough to enter. The tattoos probably aren’t helping.
But online I can go rogue as much as I like and there is always – Always – another blog that is even more fucked up and crazy than anything I would dare to put out there and I think that is my problem. I’m too worried about my reputation and what others might think. Individual voices create some of the most entertaining and unique content online so “being myself” is the only way to go but being yourself is kinda scary.
Especially in front of other people. Even virtual people.
The bulk of my day involves hanging out in my flannel owl jammies and doing scintillating shit like; my dishes, vacuuming, schoolwork and general time-wasting shenanigans like being on the internet. (That internet shit is like crack. It’s definitely cutting into my dishes and vacuuming time.) But if I am just myself then at least I can be original because there is only one me.
(Or is there? Could I possibly have an evil twin I do not know about? One can only hope. If you ARE my evil twin please flash the bat symbol in the night sky so we can meet up, kay?)
And if I am going to truly be myself then I can’t spend a bunch of time worrying what people think about me which leads me to my great “Pie Theory” (Not Pi – I suck at math, just ask my kids who have the great misfortune of being taught math by me- available math tutors please use the Bat Symbol to contact me ASAP – my children thank you)
So here it is; my Pie Theory
Now I’m not saying this is brilliant (but you can put that shit on a T-shirt if you like) but I do think it is fairly accurate. About a third of the people you will meet in life will just automatically dig you and think your great and your connection seems instant. They are “Your people”.
Another third, well, you might have to work for it. The seeds of friendship are there but some of the parts don’t mesh that smoothly. These are your “in-betweeners” – with a little work they may migrate into “Your People” OR they end up in the final third.
Because about a third of the people you will meet just won’t like you. They don’t get your jokes, don’t like the same books and movies or share any meaningful opinions with you and there is not much you can do about it. It’s not you and it’s not even them – it’s just your social life as a pie. So when I meet someone who I just truly do not mesh with I try not to take it (or them) personally – they are just not in the right section of my pie and I move on. Of course there are people out there whose segments are different – the truly awesome and the truly awful will have different “pies” – but for the rest of us I think this is pretty accurate.
I know there are people online and in the “real world” that make up my favorite slice of pie – and I am writing for you – because you get it – or you’re trying to (which I appreciate). And if you don’t get it at all? You’ve stopped reading by now and that is fine with me. Your own personal pie slice waits for you elsewhere – make haste!
So what does it all mean (Alfie)? It means you should be yourself and I should be myself and neither one of us should give too much of a shit about other’s opinions or our reputation. As long as I conduct myself in a way that my “third” approves of – which is dominated by my loved ones and my children – then I am at peace with what the other 2/3rds may think. And if I get a “bad” reputation for swearing and rambling and being hopelessly geeky and having a bunch of tattoos or whatever? Well, I guess it’s better than being boring – Just ask Joan Jett.