There are always two of me thereBy Steve Estes
I know I’m not the only one, but I may be one of the few that will admit to being a full-time split personality.
I’m not talking about the genuine, nights-in-straitjackets, mental-disease type split-personality, also known as schizophrenia.
I’m talking about the split that shows one side to the world and another side to ourselves.
And I’m speaking specifically about what we say to be polite, and what we want to spout to the well-wishers and information-seekers in the world.
This always comes to the forefront of my thoughts just after the winter holidays.
I mean let’s face it, I’m already in a foul mood because it’s colder than I like it to be and because the traffic is heating up to the point I can barely make a left-hand turn on a normal day, not just a weekend.
And this type of scenario is generally reserved for people I don’t know well, because those I do would expect me to spout to them what I would spout to myself.
So here’s the personality split.
Beginning about the third week in October, people start each other wishing a Happy Halloween.
What I say is, “Thank you and a Happy Halloween to you, and I hope the kids get lots of good stuff.”
What I say to myself is, “Why don’t you just turn into a witch for Halloween so I can have you burned at the stake? Or maybe dress as a vampire and I’ll be the one to drive a wooden stake through your heart.”
See, one makes me acceptable to society, the other makes me a little strange, perhaps scary, and definitely a “half-bubble off plumb,” as my grandfather the carpenter used to say.
Then along comes Thanksgiving and folks begin wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving, Great Turkey Day, or some variation thereof.
What I say is, “Thank you and I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving as well. May your table be laden with all your favorite dishes.”
What I say to myself is, “Carve off your middle finger when you chop into that bird, hope the turkey is burned, the house gets smoky and you have to eat baloney from the grocery store in the rain.”
And then the day after Thanksgiving begins the Christmas season.
As it gets closer, the choruses of “Merry Christmas,” or “Happy Holidays,” or “Happy Holiday Season” begin to ring out from all over the place.
What I say is, “And a Merry Christmas (Yep that’s the word) to you and yours. Hope the season is good to you.”
What I say to myself is, “Merry long lines at the store, happy driving through shopping-crazed traffic, and a season of woe and grief because you can’t talk anybody into buying you that ultra-expensive gift you so desperately want but are too cheap to buy for yourself. Wanna make me happy, slap some mistletoe over your head in front of a grizzly bear.”
Just when I think I can catch up on sleep from Christmas, along comes the New Years holiday.
For three days, the first thing you hear from anyone is, “Happy New Year.”
What I say is, “Happy New Year to you.”
What I say to myself is, “Yeah happy-smappy. Taxes are due, I’ve got to catch up the books before midnight, another year older and nothing from the lottery again, the planet gets warmer, the dog gets lazier, I need an oil change and my back hurts.”
And thus we roll into another year on this planet. Now I get to look forward to February to be lambasted with Valentine’s greetings, March for Easter greetings even though I subscribe to no religious belief, May for Mother’s Day, July for Independence Day and then back to the winter holidays.
What I say is, “Going to be an eventful year.”
What I say to myself is, “Someone will get thrown into jail in the middle of the night and call me for bail, my bad knee will collapse in front of the prettiest girl in the store, the truck in front of me will toss a rock through my windshield, and I still won’t get…..whatever it might be.”
And most believe I’m a happy person.
Actually I am.
Have a Happy New Year.