death smiles at us all. all you can do is smile back

I’ve been musing on Perception with a capital “P” for the last couple of days now. Not in any major fashion, but enough for it to be a thing in my brain. The following musings are a result of a few conversations with different people over the last couple of days, some of them drunken conversations, so that might clue you into what you are about to experience.

Firstly, which is the correct perception: our perception of ourselves; or people’s perception of us? If we were going by mob-rule, I would be one of the coolest cucumbers on the planet, at least under first impressions. As far as I personally am concerned though, I am as neurotic and shy as they come.

The evidence. Apparently, I give off the “cool college girl” vibe the first time the CC *1* met me. That, and on the first day here at Southampton I gave the impression of seeming so laid back, that any further and I would have been horizontal. Yet inside, I was, and still am, a gibbering wreck. The memories of the first week or so on the course are a bit hazy, but I do remember the feeling of being a fraud and hoping no one found out were rather prevalent.

Again, in the last week at Liverpool, I found out that I, and the group of friends I was in, was considered to be the “cool group” (as cool as archaeologists get). So cool, in fact, that it made a couple of people loath to talk to us for the three years.

Now this is wrong to me. I have never been the cool kid. Ever. I am even perversely proud of this fact. I don’t want to be the cool kid. The cool kids made my life crap in secondary school (High School basically). My experience of the cool kids is not a good one. So I want to believe that we were the “anti-cool” group, above all those petty class rivalries, just hanging out, having fun, doing our own thing.

One time Bimbostar (her choice of name) and myself we talking about it in a lull in both of our dating escapades *2*, and I complained how guys never came up to talk to me in bars. It turns out that this is because I give off the vibe of being so cool, calm, and collected that I must be already totally hooked-up with someone, or just so not looking, which couldn’t be further from the truth. But I don’t know how to be any other way – I just act myself in those situations. I can’t help it that I’ve been single so long that I am pretty much fine that way most of the time. Nor, for that matter, do I want to look desperate. I must be a better actor than I’d thought.

Jeff holds firmly to the conviction that I will happily talk to anyone, fit into any new group of friends, and rapidly become the life-and-soul. Whilst the truth of the matter is that I loathe meeting new people, and scared out of my tiny little brain most of the time, and am quite happy to sit in my room and never talk to any one face to face.

So who has more authority to say which the true version of Claire is?

I’m not sure either how I manage to give off such a misleading vibe – the only thing I can think of is that it stems from the fact I just find life inherently funny. When this is all over, I am going to be sitting on my cloud, looking down at everything, laughing hysterically. I’ve spent so long laughing at myself and the pathetic mess I make of things, that it becomes very easy not to take myself seriously, and when that happens you start to realise that everyone is pretty much as fucked up as you are, and just as scared witless. Once you’ve made your peace with that fact, life does become that little bit simpler.

In all of the above, it’s a case of do as I say, not do as I do. Whilst yes, I do find life just one big cosmic joke most of the time (I mean, the Platypus?!), I still get excruciatingly nervous round people and I have a self-esteem so low it’s in negative figures. Then again, I have no desire to become the creepy old cat lady, so I’m working hard.

A few other random musings.

The CC holds that none of us are “average”. We are all perfect yet flawed at the same time, and are perfect in that very flawed-ness.

Yes, a bit deep for this time of day, but having just danced around the lab (long story) and tried to explain to the Godhead why I was “Cas the Supreme and Merciful” on MSN without actually explaining (even longer story), I am so not in the mood for research right now.

In the course of a few conversations lately, I think I’ve worked out a better definition, or description, of what this blog is. The best way I can describe it is as a conversation you’d have with your best friend, only your best friend is a composite of the imaginary, people that know and love you, and complete random strangers.

I was also asked if there was anything I wouldn’t blog about, and the answer is a definite yes. Some things really should remain private or for one-to-one communication. Bimbostar told me the tale of a friend who let everyone know his mother had just died via the blog. I wouldn’t do that, for example. At the same time, whilst there is shit I don’t blog about, the real heavy stuff does seem to have found its way, in the past, into bits and pieces I’ve written. Crown, for example.

That being true, I am starting to think I should hand out disclaimers to my friends before I talk to them, warning them that anything and everything they say is being taken down and might be blogged against them. Some consider this a good thing, imbuing deeper meaning to conversations and a kind of immortality to their words. To others the idea is anathema, which is why I rarely, if ever, talk about the Scouse One on the blog. He exists, is important to me, but has made it clear he isn’t happy with being on the blog, so I don’t blog about him.

Which is my way of saying, in my own inimitable long-winded style, – if you think this blog is giving you the full picture on my life, and that you ‘know’ me properly, you are sadly disillusioned. For starters there are people who’ve known me decades to whom I am still a puzzle wrapped in an enigma. I still confuse myself most times. People’s perceptions are notoriously unreliable.


*1*Yes, I’ve forgiven him. It’s hard to stay mad when he just looks at me in that way he has. Plus he’s put in some major grovelling and worshiping time over the last couple of days.Back
*2*She always had more dating escapades than myself, but at this point we’d both been in a lull long enough to class as a serious depression, verging on a cyclone.Back