Sunday, April 29, 2007


Em and i had an interesting conversation on the way home the other day. I was thinking about affectations; beliefs that people hold dear about themselves so that they feel special that are not true.

I can tell you about affectations that the Mister has. I won't, but i could. (For example, he spent the first 18 months of his life in Japan, on a military base. So he fancies that he has a "natural feel" for Japanese culture and language. I feel that this is not true, and that the people that we encounter at Japanese restaurants are just indulging him because he is spending money. Em, who has taken Japanese for 6 years now, says his accent and understanding are terrible.)

There are more about the Mister that i could point out, but i really won't. So i asked Em, "What do you see as my affectations?" She couldn't really think of any that weren't true. I asked her to keep thinking.

I couldn't think of any about me either. Until today. I thought of one. But i am too embarrassed to tell you because i have indulged in that affectation here. The best i can do for you is to promise, now that i have seen the affectation, is to promise to TRY and not indulge in it again.

Can you think of any of your affectations? Leave me an anonymous comment if you like. Ask a person close to you if you can't think of any. I'll bet they know.


thailandchani said...

Hm. Interesting question. :) There are some who might say my whole "Thailand Gal" thing is an affectation ~ but truly it's not. It's about the closest thing to the "real me" I have at this point.

As for others, can't think of any. If anything, I am too much "out there" with the real me.

You know, there's no protective barrier.



Lynn said...

The kicker is that "you have beliefs that you hold dear about yourself so that you feel special"... to have an affectation...since I don't feel all that special...I guess I don't have any :~)'s that for a cop-out?

Melessa Gregg said...

Well, I think I'm a talented writer even though other bloggers make it obvious that I'm mediocre at best. But I'm OK with that and will keep writing anyway.

luckyzmom said...

I recently discovered an affectation about myself through blogging that I too am not ready to divulge. Subsequently I am thinking there are probably more that I am not admitting to. I will have to see what others have to say about that.

Special K ~Toni said...

All this deep thinking- I am sure I have plenty and family and friends will point them out to me. I will not ask. I'm not about to shatter my world. I like it.

Anonymous said...

I grew up very close to Boston in a neighborhood that, while it wasn't by ANY means "inner city," had its share of those kinds of problems. As a result, I occasionally like to fancy myself as street-wise and tough. In reality? I am neither of those things, but I can put on a good show.

What IS true about that part of my life is that I am not afraid of driving in the city. Need a ride to Logan? I'm your gal....

Lucia said...

This takes some thought, doesn't it?

I'm sure I have some (or, hey, at least one). I'm sure they come out in my blog.

They seem to live deep, so can't just be pulled from the surface. I'm definitely going to see if I can tease them out, although I'm sure they'll be embarrassing as hell.

Bob said...

I speak (or write) as if my opinions are facts. When I was a teenager I was frequently called a "know-it-all". I guess I project a confidence in expressing my views such that people take them as if I were relating facts. I work at ameliorating the impact of what I say by sprinkling in some "I think"s and some "how do you see it"s, etc. but I expect that there are those who still see me that way.

SUEB0B said...

I think I am more affectation than anything else. Sigh.

Girlplustwo said...

ah. this is very good, meno.

it does feel a bit nekkid, just laying it out here. will ponder.

is yours that you think you are tall, but you are really not?


Marshamlow said...

I just got done writing a blog post about how I believe that the Japanese restaurant here in Mississippi (run by actual Japanese people) does not taste authentic to me and hubby. I believe I have the same affectation as your hubby.

I like SueBob's answer best.

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting one. I have to think about it some more. I don't know who I could ask...people close to you often set their thinking at some point and don't see reality any better than we can see it ourselves.

So curious what you thought about yourself. Too bad you went ahead and met bloggers in real life, because otherwise, what's to be embarassed about? We're all human.

jaded said...

Hmmm. I only refrain from leaving my comment anonymously, because I have been working to acknowledge who I am, flaws and all. That's isn't to say that shame is not included.

(1) I fancy myself to be more of an artist than I am. I spend more time thinking about art than actually creating it. No doubt, art is a cerebral experience, but it is also an active experience. So what I am saying is I should be more prolific before I consider myself an artist.

(2) I consider myself to have good instincts about other people's character, when often I miss out on knowing someone because I was too quick to judge. I have been working on this one.

(3) I consider myself to be more sensitive to society's needs than government, but I don't volunteer to make things better for others insomuch as I take care of my personal responsibilities.

I guess that's a start. I'm sure I'll think of others as the day passes.

Joan said...

Hmmm...this is one I really need to think about. It's not that I think I'm affectation-free. I just need some time to ponder which ones I want to admit to.

Josephine said...

Boy, this is a tough one to pinpoint. I'll need a little time to mull this over. Thanks for bringing it up, though, I think it's important to try to think of yourself in different ways than you normally do.

QT said...

Wow - I have been thinking about this for awhile. I can't come up with anything right off the bat. I guess the one criticism that is leveled at me on a regular basis (by those close to me) is that I put too much drama into things.

In my mind, I am a very rational & sensible person.

Go figure!

Anonymous said...

I don't need to ask anyone, I'm afraid. And more disturbing, I'm fairly sure I don't need to tell anyone what they are, either. They've likely already got them nailed.

Lynnea said...

I thought of one I'm going to admit because it has shown itself here in my comments:

I like to think I've gotten this whole mother/daughter thing in hand but in truth I am still scared that she will waltz in here and push my buttons and I will forget everything I learned and cower from her.

Also, the fact that I survived single motherhood makes me sometimes feel like I have the strength of 10 women, but in truth, I only survived it, I didn't excel at it and now, i still struggle. Besides, I also run screaming from spiders.

But hey, if nothing else, you are the great cat whisperer - never forget that.

Mignon said...

I think people that disagree with me are ignorant.

I think I'm the best female athlete ever. Yes, I said ever.

I think my smart-ass remarks and witty banter are charming.

I think I can make witty banter.

I think my hair looks good.

(I'm a Leo - I could go on and on.)

GEWELS said...

Interesting question.
I will most certainly get back to you on that. I ned to think about this to answer honestly. And, it may take a long time- I believe I have many.

Mother of Invention said...

I'm not really entirely sure what you mean by this....but maybe the one I have is usually believing people when they say I'm always positive about everything and all the downs of health problems I have and how I handle them so well...and that's what I show people mostly...there are times when I am pessimistic and complain just like many other people. I am not a strong person really regarding my health and mortality/longevity issues. I am rather overly realistic. My strength comes from my lighthearted, imaginative, humourous personality but it isn't there as much as people think it is.

Te irony of answering this question, is that in so doing, you are really negating that it is still an affectation.

Anonymous said...

My affectation is that I think I have no affectations.

Someone pointed out to me last weekend that I'm always acting like I'm all wicky wacky woo disorganized when in reality I'm quite together and efficient. So I guess I have to drop that one now. Feck.

urban-urchin said...

I'm coming back to this because I need to think about it (and if I want to post them as me or not).

Mona Buonanotte said...

This will require scotch and a few hours alone.

So far all I got is that I can tell when people are lying. But not all the time. So I'm not really THAT good at it.

meno said...

chani, i think the thing about affectations is that only you can say with truth, if it is an affectation or not.

lynn, i had to think about this for about 4 days before i came up with any. Now i can think of several. Damn!

melessa, how do other bloggers make it obvious?

luckyzmom, it's embarrassing isn't it? To admit my little vanities is almost more than i can do.

toni, it is tempting to just keep on going in my happy little bubble.

mrs.chili, Good one! I think the only people who are really tough are people who don't have much to lose. Otherwise, we will be afraid, which is not so tough.

lucia, it does, and it's not comfortable either. This would be easy to ignore. But to quote Freud, "when you encounter resistance, you've hit pay dirt."

bob, i can be a know-it-all too. And then i catch myself and wonder why the hell am i pretending to know something i don't? Excellent!

suebob, i know what you mean. But if that were true, i wonder why so many people like you.

jen, i really am tall, but truthfully, i bring it up a lot because i enjoy the attention. *running away in shame*

marsha, i don't know, because you actually have some knowledge with which to compare. The Mister doesn't.

Anonymous said...

OK, I am back and I still have no answer.

Of course, I don't spend a lot of time with people, so I don't have anyone to impress. I mostly have a lot of bad (immature) qualities I try to hide (laziness, impatience, bullying) and some good qualities (attachment, love, willingness) that I'm too lazy and impatient to do anything about.

My husband works with builders. You should hear him speak New Jersey Italian. Now that is an affectation. (He's from Boston Italians, after all.)

Anonymous said...

I pretend to have had a worse childhood than I did. I think this makes me more interesting than I really am.

Anonymous said...

I think I am really nice, warm person.

I think most people want to hear what I have to say.

I believe I am as open-minded as they come.

I could go on and on and on....

meno said...

de, good point about those close to you. I haven't met any bloggers yet, soon i hope. We are human, hence the embarrassment.

patches, i can identify with 2). And the times when i am right just serve to make that belief become more entrenched. Because i am often right, because i am a GOOD JUDGE of people. Right?

joan, admit them all to yourself. That's what i am trying to do. Because i want to rid myself of them, as much as is possible, given that i am human.

josephine. one thing i really hate is denial. So part of not allowing myself to wallow in denial is to admit certain things about myself. That's what i think about when i try to see myself in a different way.

qt, drama? Secretly you are a teenage girl. I know i can inject unnecessary drama into a situation.

jennifer, i haven't asked the Mister because i am afraid too.

maggie, you know how when you first are pregnant, and everyone tells you how hard it is to have a baby, and that you'll never sleep and all that? It's the same thing with teenagers. People like to frighten you. I play that game too sometimes, but the truth is as varied as the kids. Mine is easy. Maybe yours will be too. Hold that thought.

mignon, you are awesome. I think my smart-ass remarkss and witty banter are funny too. Sometimes they are and other times......

gewels, It's not an easy thing to answer, it takes some time.

moi, the question would be, do you present yourself to people such that their notions of your lighthearted, imaginative, humourous personality are reinforced? Or maybe the question would be do you want people to see you that way. Not that there's anything wrong with these qualities.

capacious, ooooh, you are competent and hiding it! Maybe it keeps people from asking you to do more.

u-u, see you later! :)

mona, i went to a scotch tasting dinner a few weeks ago. Turns out, i don't like scotch. I can tell when Em is lying.

de, it may take longer. I have all those bad qualities too, at times.

anon, oh excellent! I feel like i'm reading a Post Secret postcard. The question i have, if you should choose to answer is: did you convince yourself at some point that you really did have a worse childhood than you did, so that you believed it, and are now coming to realize that you have been exaggerating, or have you known all along that you were exaggerating?

sari said...

For a long time (and still to an extent) I could hear a song and tell you exactly what year it came out and who sang it. I'm obviously a big music fan and have a horribly good memory for voices and trivial music facts.

A while back I figured out: "So what?" I mean, who cares if you can do that? It's not anything that exciting. So I've really just sort of stopped trying to remember all of that and a lot of times now I'll just say "Oh, it's around here" or "oh, it's in THAT half of a decade"...or I just won't care at all.

I'm not sure if it's good or bad, I'm not sure if it's really an affectation, I'm pretty sure it wasnt a "talent". I don't seem to have a lot of extra space in the ol' brain, but maybe stuff's working in there and I don't know it yet and POW! suddenly I'll actually have a real talent! ha ha ha

sari said...

not only is it an affectation, but it's a stupid one!

now that I read it I think SO WHAT? YA BIG DUMMY.

Oh well. :-)

TTQ said...

I think I am sane and normal.

I think I am on this earth for a reason, one I don't have or know yet so I have to keep an open mind.

Tink said...

I try to play it off that I'm "easy going." I'm not. Really. I'm kind of uptight. I super organize. I over plan. I don't like too many questions thrown at me at one time. I don't roll with the punches. I either punch back or cry. It's embarrassing.

Princess in Galoshes said...

I think mine goes an extra step. I think I am low-maintenance, but I like to pretend (see blog for bazillions of examples) that I am high maintenance.

But come to think of it, all those blog stories are true. And then there's the ones I can't even admit to. So maybe I really am high maintenance, when I think I'm low maintenance, but pretend to be high maintenance?

I give myself a headache.

Unknown said...

Can something that was once true BECOME an affectation? I'm still called (and call myself) a food Nazi, even though I buy my boyos candy and pop when we're out somewhere. My ratio of organic to non-organic food has gone waaaaay down, due to price constraints. I'm a food Nazi in my heart. Does that count? ;-)

Sienna said...

Well! I had better post this as anonymously as possible..

After much thought I couldn't think of anything off hand, so I asked my partner.

It was like letting floodgates open. Here is his list, and I'm afraid I have to disagree on most of them:

1.He told me I can't hold my alcohol as well as I think I can, especially wine.

2. He said I'm not as funny as I think I am ...*especially* after drinking alcohol.

3. He said when people are boring the pants off me, I *think* I am disguising my boredom....I do not, apparently falling asleep is a dead giveaway.

4.He says I *think* I am really paying close attention to what he has to say....(after I ask him his opinion), I do not....then go and do what I had fully intended on doing at the beginning.

5. He says...I say I love him and value him very much, but he says I only use him for sex!

That's just not true.

Besides what would be wrong with being a sex object anyway? Look at Brad Pitt. George Clooney. Donny Osmond. I'll bet they feel wanted.

Anyway, I will take on board what he says, I am not perfect.
Nor funny.
Or a good listener.
Or bored easily.

meno said...

caro, are none of those things true? I think i am open-minded too, but only about some things. Which makes me not open-minded.

sari, ah, a music facts geek! Getting to the point where we realize "So what?" takes some growing up.

ttq, you are probably both sane and normal. Maybe noy average, but normal. As for the purpose, that could be described as an affectation, one that many people share.

tink, i'll tell you one thing i have learned, no one, NO ONE! is easy going. No matter how they try to act that way.

princess, i agree with you. They may all be true, but as a writer you know how you can put things so they slant a particular way.

nancy, hell, show me a parent of young kids who is still a food nazi and i will show you a PSYCHO. In your heart counts.

sienna, i loved the bored one. I am easily bored and have a hard time hiding it when i am.

Mother of Invention said...

Both I think...certainly you see yourself in the eyes of others and if you like what you see, you try to maintain that picture and thus the image and actions are reinforced. Also, I know what a downer it is when I hear people complain and be negative so I'm usually aware of it and try not to do this too much.

Susanne said...

You know, that's the question I'm really struggling with right now. Which of the things I believe about me is true and which isn't. And does it make a difference either way?

But I found that people's opinions about me differ vastly. So I tend not to believe them since they are choosing to see only one side of me. The only one I trust to give me real feedback is my husband. He is quite good at it. It is humbling but healing.

Andrea Frazer said...

My writing voice is very ho ho ho and I can handle anything and I'm cheap because I like it and bla bla bla... But really, if I had a ton of money, I'd be at Nordstrom like the next gal. I'd be traveling, fears or not about traveling (it's more lack of money than fear.) I talk a big game but deep inside I fight that overly tall little girl who was picked on and so now I rely on my success to give me a better cache' - and since I don't have my niche yet - it bugs the crap out of me.

This all said, I'm pretty fabulous. (Not an affectation... that last part.)

egan said...

Great label on this post. I'm thinking about my contribution to the affection list. I'm thinking Tink stole mine. Let me mull this over some more.

Liv said...

I'm a terrible 'accent' sponge--I start talking like anyone who I find myself around whether it's my uber southern pals or my transatlantic buddies. I even screw up my pacing and cadence and it's terrible and I can't stop. Can't. It's just this weird, automatic habit I have.

Oh, yes, and like you, I tell everyone I'm much taller than I really am....hee.

sari said...

Ok. I just went and looked up affectation and it says "an attitude or behavior assumed by a person that is not genuinely felt."

So. Even though my original affectation was stupid, it WAS geniunely felt, so therefore does not qualify as an abovementioned affectation.

I will have to change it and say a) I agree with Tink and Egan, I think I pretend to be more easy going than I actually am when I am actually pretty uptight about things; and b) I guess should just carry my dictionary around with me so I know what the heck I'm speaking of, right?


Anonymous said...

I am also an accent sponge, but since this makes me good at languages I don't care and I'll take the embarrassment.
I'm with anon on the childhood thing. I am infact pretty priviledged but I act like a complete martyr and like to think I do EVERYTHING around the house etc. I even volunteer for shitty things so that I can feel like more of a martyr and assuage my middle class guilt with pity.
Is that an affectation or just a confession...?

alphawoman said...

hahahahahah!! Isn't it much easier to state anothers affectations rather than be aware of your own! I could make a list of Joe's! hahahah! I know I have many....let's see, I think I'm good with money, but I'm not,...I'll say no more.