Archer honey, don’t even start. This is a reaaaally long one.
I don’t like Gregory House. I know everyone thinks he’s fab because he’s such a genius, and because he says what he wants when he wants, and flaunts his flaws, and won’t apologise for being an idiot. But frankly, I think he’s an a…a donkey. And I can’t see Sylar in Star trek without bursting into giggles, Vulcan-finger-thingie notwithstanding.
There’s a season in House where he’s actually happy. I don’t mean the one where he gets to walk, or the one where he is ‘cured’ of syphilis and gets progressively nicer [though that one was funny]. I mean the one where Stacy comes back.
Of course he eventually chases her away, and his pal [whatsiname?] tells him that he enjoys being miserable because he believes that if he lets himself be happy, he will stop being special. According to Dr the cancer specialist, House believes that his misery is what makes him unique, and that’s why he grips it so tightly. Being happy would be like being ‘normal’, and House can’t stand being normal.
I feel a bit like that today – like I’m afraid to be normal. I see myself as this serious, stone-faced, no-nonsense brainiac, and that’s the face I show to the world. Especially to the boys I love. They don’t know that when I’m alone, I turn on the radio and sing to veggietunes and do weird dag jigs, or that I like to imitate cartoon voices and talk in funny accents, or that I sometimes wish I was Mary Poppins, or that I like to let my hair down and play air guitar.
They don’t know that I sometimes talk to myself because I like the squeaky sound of my voice, and that I sometimes howl at the moon, especially when it’s not there. They don’t know that I giggle when my microwave dings, or that I tickle when no one else is there.
My baby brother knows this side of me, as does my baby, but no one else. Not my roommate in college, not my housemates at the office bunk, not my other brother who thinks I’m scary and goth, not even my three loves or my baby’s daddy. To them I am a dull, stern, serious type, all hard and rigid.
I fantasise about a soulmate that I will be so comfy with, I will show him this silly side of me. And there’s this one guy who almost saw this side, in person, bless his gorgeus hairy head. It was our first actual meeting too, after palling online for over a year. But before she came unlash, a third friend joined us and Ms Cheeky ran back inside. I don’t know why I hide her from people – I’m happiest when I’m her.
Ms Cheeky comes out best when I write. For some reason, I express her better there. So people who read my blogs, chats or tweets only know me as Ms C, and get surprised when they meet ‘the real me’. I always say that if they hang around me long enough, she’ll come out. But then some people have hung around me for weeks, months, years, and they don’t even know she exists; while one very special person saw her shadow within minutes of meeting me at Prestige Plaza.
I keep saying that my miser-side is the real me, but is she really? She’s the side I wear consciously – at work, at school, with strangers. But then a good comedy, a sudden compliment or a moving song brings Ms Cheeks blushing out, and if anyone had a cage, they could grab her before she snuck back in.
I think it’s time to let her out for good. Mtotowajirani says he is jazzed by my peppy mornings, and Maximilus can’t believe I’m a loner. I say I have no friends, but truth is I freeze them all out, I won’t let anyone near me.
A few times I’ve let my guard down, smiled a little, said hello to strangers, and always they’ve burnt my fingers. Give ’em an inch and they’ll take a mile every time. I like the mystery that comes with being deep, dark, broody, even though there’s nothing underneath. I can be – and am – warm when it suits me. It just doesn’t suit me very often. I like my space, can’t stand to have it invaded, and once you let people in, they lose sight of [and wilfully ignore] your borders.
But I want to let this little girl out. I want to sing out loud instead of whispering when I walk, to dance in the open, not just behind my computer screen, to not go silent when the office door opens in mid-chant.
I want to not be afraid that by smiling more, I will look like an ordinary girl and not have a ‘standout’ factor. I know it will draw even more unwanted attention, but even ninjas get catcalls, so hey. I will not lose my secrets if I walk around with a warm look and a curious smile, I don’t have to be crude and frowning all the time.
I don’t have to wear a mask to have my space. When I’m online, I’m so open, so free. I want to like that all the time. I know I still won’t like visiting people or being visited, except by a few **speshul** people, but it won’t kill me to be open, to let some gentry in, to allow some more special ones into my circle. I’ve met some already that I’d like to know, and I don’t want to scare them away.
This morning I was so happy, so full of pep and zazz and bubidy babbidy. Then two words took it all away. Actually it was more like 1, 2, 3…nine words. The person that said them wasn’t talking to me, he didn’t even know I was listening. Yet for the next two hours I was too drained to do anything but zoob at the monitor. Sigh.
But then I think, what the hell?! I’m bigger than this. It’s stupid to be this way. And the unplanned wisdom of a dear friend ‘Don’t you ever learn hun?’
It’s about time I learn.
In Mine Boy [I hate that book], Eliza is the gorgeous, complex Katie Perry-esque idiot that our hero loves. Everyone knows he should love Maisy, the simple, happy, bubbly girl, but as Ma Plank says, ‘You can’t hold a man and say “here is the woman for you. Love Her.’ Hence, Xuma loves Eliza, not Maisy.
For years, I’ve been Eliza, the one they all wonder about, the mystery they long to solve. And when a few cracked it open and saw I’m just like any other girl, the fascination faded. So I hid away, kept it cryptic. But…isn’t it more fun to look basic, to be playful and light-light, and to let them see the depth on their own? Not a murky, PMS-ey depth, but a wide blue pool? A wealth of emotion enclosed in a smile? Isn’t it glorious to be underestimated, and to see the jaws drop when they see you as you are?
Maisy doesn’t get her man [well, she does in the end, but then she gets stuck waiting for him as he rots in jail, so that’s not the ending I’m looking for]. But Maisy is easy. Not that kind of easy – even Xuma wonders why when she gets a chance to bed him, she sleeps on the floor instead]; she’s relaxed, polite. Even when she’s sad, there’s a spring in her step and a light in her eye. It confounds Xuma, makes him wonder if she ever did love him, or if he’d just imagined it. I want to be like that. I want to be Maisy. Eliza is overated, complexity is bad for the skin, and Maisy is a much prettier name.
I don’t know if I can decide how to be, or if my dour face is wired into my DNA. Maybe the choleric is peeking out, hunting for some Vitamin A. But I think this Gummy Bear that bursts out when I write is alive, and she’s very much a part of me. She sneaks out when I forget myself, and she’s so much happier than Little Miss Meanie.
I start out sitting at the bus stop, looking all shtun-shtun, ignoring everyone around me. I’m afraid that if I look into a face or smile at someone passing by, then they will pounce on the soft spot. After all, you greet the watchie once and he expects you to greet him everyday, even when you don’t feel like talking.
But then a baby appears and I melt and pull playful faces at it, making it giggle. Or Poopy appears all rash and barky, and I lift her in my arms and scold her and ask her to stop b****ing, then she quits barking and licks my fingers and the watchers wonder how the Ice Queen could coo at a dog.
I walk down the street with my head high and my face hard, but then I see a black cat and start to greet this Dutchess and to wish I could float like her and swish my tail just so, and anyone around would think I’ve lost it, but in that moment, I am happy.
It will take practise. My face is so used to being stern that lately, my princess keeps asking ‘Mummy, are you sad? Have I done bad?’ I will have to consciously remind myself to think easy and , to focus on things that make me smile. Even now as I try to soften my features, the muscles ache from exertion, and my brain goes ‘WTF are you doin?’ I don’t suppose I can burn calories that way…can I? Coz that would be so cool.
The thing about being serious is that on the blue moon that you do smile, people are so jazzed, it’s like a floodlight on the dark ocean. But it also stuns them so much that they got shocked s******s, and that is not cool. I suppose after a while I will learn to be sunny, just like I learned to be gloomy. I don’t want to be a grumpy old lady – I want to have a face full of warmth and light, just like…well like some old lady whose face is full of warmth and light.
So I shall be a Maisy. I shall think happy thoughts, wear sly smile, and keep singing when the boss walks in…well, maybe that last one is a little overboard. I shall shelve Ms C for a while, and let CB out and play. Not sure if this is a good idea, or even if I can pull it off, but hey, what have I got to lose?