I'm going to let you all in on a little secret. I can be obnoxious. I mean really obnoxious. And I don't mean the kind of fun obnoxious; I mean the kind of obnoxious that makes you want to hit said obnoxious person. Mostly, these days, I have that under control. It's taken a long time, though.
For instance, when I "discovered" music when I was in high school, I dominated music everywhere I went. Except, you know, that crap they play in elevators and department stores, and the only reason I didn't was because I didn't know how to go about changing it. I carried a tape deck with me all the time, rarely using headphones. I sang along with the radio when I was on the phone pretty much throughout high school. I took control of radios and tape decks in my friends' cars without regard to what anyone else might want to hear. I'd even make people sit in their cars long enough to finish whatever song was on, even if it was on a tape.
No one ever (and has never) said anything to me about my behavior. In fact, I kind of became the music guy, and people just let me do that. They knew I'd have music to listen to when, generally, they'd forgotten to bring anything. It was years before I realized that there was anything wrong with the way I behaved. It makes me wish someone had said something to me about it back then, especially about the singing on the phone. It's more than a little bit embarrassing at this point in my life.
So... not obnoxious because I was trying to be or trying to be funny, just obnoxious because I was obnoxious. The other really obnoxious behavior I had back then (in high school) was correcting people when they were wrong. Especially with grammar. And I don't mean when I was in a conversation, because that's somewhat acceptable, but I would pop into conversations completely independent of myself and correct people. Ob. Nox. Ious.
But, again, just trying to be helpful. And I didn't realize, at the time, that people didn't really appreciate that sort of thing. See, I was kind of under the impression that people would be grateful for being corrected. I mean, I don't like being wrong, so, if I say something that's wrong, and you point it out to me, I tend to be more like, "oh, I didn't know that. Thanks!" Other people... not so much. Not a way to win friends and influence people.
Fortunately, I did wise up (mostly) by the time I was out of high school.
I did say mostly. Because I'm about to unleash a little bit of obnoxious.
I hate (HATE) the way people misuse the word "random." HATE IT! Did I mention that I hate it?
There are these constant posts titled things like "5 Random things on a Friday" or those blog awards that say to list "7 Random Facts" about yourself. Oh! My! Gosh! These things are NOT random! NOT NOT NOT!
Maybe I wouldn't be so sensitive to this if I didn't live with a teenager who fancies himself to be random. And he's totally not. I can see it in his face when he's trying to be random. We'll be talking about something, and he will pause, thinking, and, then, pop out with something about a completely different topic. But, you see, he stopped to think about it. Weighed it. Made a judgement about what would seem the most random thing he could say and, then and only then, said it. That whole process takes all the random out of it. I lost track of the number of conversations we had with him over a couple of years explaining all this to him. He's finally stopped doing that. Just in time for his younger brother to begin fancying it. >sigh<
I really don't understand the worship of "random" currently running through our culture. It's as if something is made inherently better by being random. The problem being that none of these things are, actually, random. But why do we even want them to be?
I have quit following more than a few blogs due to the overuse of these "5 Random Things" posts. Things that were clearly related to each other, immediately cancelling any randomness. Or introduced by "here are some thoughts I was having." Again, NOT random! Or "here's what I did last night." NOT RANDOM!!! If it's not going to be random, don't call it random!
I think, though, my favorite are the awards that say to list some "random" things about yourself. How many people do that? My guess: none. Because, before anyone lists anything on those things, they decide what they want people to know and list only those things. Nothing listed is random. In fact, other than Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, not a lot in life is random. Even things that may seem upon casual inspection to be random. But that gets a little metaphysical, and I don't want to go there. The thing is, if you really want to list random things about yourself, you'd have to make out a list of all the things about yourself (or a gosh darn lot of them) and then choose randomly (and blindly) from the list and print whatever came up. The good and the bad. Not really sure we have a lot of people willing to do that.
Maybe the problem is that people don't know what random means? So... here I am, breaking in on conversations all over the blogosphere, correcting everyone, releasing the obnoxious inside. Here is what random means:
random: proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern
I just want to point out the word "reason" in the above definition. Seriously, how much do you do without reason being involved in some way? Well, okay, maybe that is valid for teenagers, especially the ones in middle school, but still... It certainly doesn't apply to anyone sitting down to write a blog post. Reason immediately begins its work to help you formulate your thoughts and get them down on paper, so to speak. So, for the LOVE OF GOD, stop using the word "random" just to make it sound like you didn't put any thought into your post! This isn't college where the freshman girls are showing up to class completely made up while trying to look like they just woke up that way. No! This is junior year where everyone (everyone!) rolls out of bed 5 minutes before class and drags themselves across campus in sweats or whatever they could conveniently get into and not get kicked out of class for indecent exposure. Stop TRYING to be random! The fact that you're TRYING negates the whole thing!
Okay, rant over. I guess. Man, it feels good to get that off of my chest. I'll put the obnoxious back in the box, now.
And, now, for something completely random...
Oh, wait... I mean "and, now, it's time for something completely different." But that's a topic for another conversation.
If you're still here after all of that, I've been interviewed over at Cally Jackson Writes. Yes, she has put me in her hot seat. You should hop over there and check it out!
Before I go, I do want to remind everyone about the Pay It Forward Blogfest. There's still time to get signed up for it if you click the linky I left. I'll be posting my three picks on Friday... once I figure out what they are. It's the whole "under the radar" part that makes this difficult for me, so I'll be hopping around to the blogs I follow over the next couple of days trying to determine which ones I think fit the description the best.