Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Try a little tenderness

Writing here is a thing that cannot be dashed off. I must have the time to savor the process. If i am in a hurry, i can’t express myself correctly.

A thing about me that comes out here, on this blog, that rarely comes out in the rest of my life is my tenderness.

I am funny. I am smart. I am cynical. Everyone knows these things about me. It’s obvious.

But i am tender too. Here, where my stiff upper lip can’t be seen, the smart-ass comment can’t be flipped out rapidly, i let my tender side come out.

I was at dinner tonight with one of my favorite people and she, who is very, very much like me, told me a tender story about a friend that she helped nurse through the final stage of AIDS.

I told her my theory about tenderness. Because this was a tender story (she showed me the ring that she wears from him, although he died over 12 years ago.) It all started with a story about body piercings. Whatever, it can start anywhere.

My friend is a Myers-Briggs semi-expert. She said that there are traits that are dominant, and that as we age, and no longer give such a fuck about what people think of us, our less dominant traits can emerge (Did i get this right Kim?)

I am a tender person. And i don't care who knows it.


Mona Buonanotte said...

I love that you're tender.

Last time my employer made us take the Myers-Briggs test (they do this every couple years just for fun), I took it three times to see how environment played a part...I took it at work during a stressful project, at home after writing poetry, and after tucking the kids in bed...and got three different outcomes.

But yes...the older I get, the less I give a fuck. I like it.

Special K ~Toni said...

See why I picked you?? You are a 'me-blogger'- I think that is your 'category'.

I completely agree with your friend... "that as we age, and no longer give such a fuck about what people think of us, our less dominant traits can emerge". That why old people are a hoot! They say what they think/feel.

Anonymous said...

I think the best people - the ones who are closest to what we were intended to be as humans - have a little bit of everything in them. It's the lack of balance that keeps us from enlightenment (see? I'm a bit of an existential flake. Betcha didn't know that about ME!)

Mother of Invention said...

That's a wonderful trait to many bury it underneath a crusty exterior. You sound quite balanced to me...a healthy way to be.
My outside is a clear window where I can't even sport mist or even a thin layer of dust. I am pure marshmallow through and open book with several ear-marked pages. Probably too much as it leaves me very transparent and a wee bit too vulnerable at times.

Lucia said...

Me too. Give less of a fuck every year. Yea for us!

Bob said...

As I age, I find I know myself better and with this knowledge comes acceptance of who I am - and therefore less worried about what others think of me.

Competent, self-assured people aren't normally those immediately seen as tender. You strike me as an extremely competent & self-assured person.

karmic said...

I second.. and third and fourth.. what the others said. I give a flying f... what others think now about me. :)

Susanne said...

Yay! And what Bob said. Definitely. It must be the getting older, nowadays I even cry in public...

Em said...

wow...what an interesting theory. I like the idea that as we age/mature, our less dominant traits emerge. I wonder if that is why people in my age range seem to return to spirituality and other things like that?

And I'm glad you are tender. Tenderness is such a wonderful trait...and not enough people demonstrate it.

Liv said...

oh, meno! i really relate. it's hard for me to be tender on the outside sometimes, too.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

Interesting, because you've always struck me as a tender person and I only know you through this blog.

I can't wait to see the New Me as I get older! Yeehaw! I've always regretted that I didn't accomplish as much I could have in my professional life because I was dogged by that damned desire to make others happy. I would certainly love to raise my children with a little less concern for what others think.

jaded said...

You are a tender person. You're also pretty damn thoughtful. See, I've been paying attention. I've always done more or less what I wanted to do, my sister said I never felt guilty about anything, which wasn't true, I feel guilty a lot. I don't allow it to drive me, especially when it's artificial and stems from others. I'm still waiting for the self-assurance that comes with maturity. Of course I guess I'm still waiting foor the maturity too : )

QT said...

I have always thought you a tender person as well - perhaps you didn't think that came across at all? It did. :)

I hide my tender parts too - sometimes maybe a little too much.

thailandchani said...

Well, I know I am a tender person although not particularly sentimental. I couldn't hide it if I tried. :)

As for not giving a fig, well, I'm not entirely there ~ not sure I want to get there.

I was there for too long maybe. There's liberation in being able to care.



meno said...

mona, Three of my "traits" are not very clear. The only one that is very clear is the I. So i'll bet that the others could change depending upon the weather, my mood, the moon phase.

toni, a "me-blogger"? What about the cats? And are you calling me old? :)

mrs. flake, i mean chili, i am still working to become more balanced, but i a certainly better balanced than i was.

moi, you have always been tender then. So you have had to learn how to protect yourself. I guess we are all like that to some degree.

lucia, it's good to have some up-side to getting older!

bob, it's nice isn't it? I can be all of those things, competent, self-assured, tender, and then mean and insecure. Just less of those last two as i grow.

sanjay, well i do still care, but cretainly less and less. Hooray!

susanne, i've been known to do that too.

em, it is an interesting. ithink i'm going to look into it a bit.

liv, but you are on the inside! I know that from your words.

cagey, that's why, because you only know me through this writing, as do all of you. And as for your proffesional life, you will get your chance.

patches, interesting thing for your sister to say. Sounds like something designed to make you feel guilty. Almost everybody feels guilt, if you didn't, what kind of scary person would that make you.

qt, i think it does come across here, but not so much in RL. Let the tender out to be free....

chani, i still give a fig, just smaller figs than when i was younger. I am also not sentimental, i don't think the two things are the same.

Lynnea said...

I like that you're tender. I don't usually feel close to women - wonder why? ha ha - but women who have tough exteriors usually I get along with. You know the kind that are honest, don't play games, tell it like it is. Which is what I love about you. But the tenderness adds that extra trait that makes me think I would tell you anything trustingly. I don't know if any of this made sense. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Tenderness is a good thing. It is funny as we get older that we continue to change and grow and care so much less what others think of us.

Anonymous said...

Yes. It seems the aging process rids us of some of the crap that weighs us down. We wither away on the outside but become resplendant on the inside...

Girlplustwo said...

I've known you were tender for ages...that tough bit wasn't fooling me for a minute. (and i didn't even need test results to prove it)

Anonymous said...

Right. It's like when those nice little old ladies suddenly spew out vulgarities. It cracks me up. I guess that's not very tender, is it?

meno said...

maggie, well, it's true that i am trustworthy with sensitive information, but like all people, i can be tender and a real ass, usually not at the same time though.

deb, and thank goodness for that growing older thing too!

caro, wither away. Now there's an image! True though.

jen, yeah, i let that side of me hang out here more than elsewhere. Do i scare you even a little?????

nancy, no, but it's still funny, damn it!!!!

egan said...

I like the softer side of Meno. AIDS is absolutely brutal. It's very hard to watch someone suffer from it.


Tink said...

I love that it's getting more and more socially acceptable to show your softer side. There's power in tenderness too.

Dick said...

Tenderness is always nice. I think a lot of people get themselves into hot water with their writing, especially email, by not bothering to proof read their work before sending it. Also remember that not everyone who reads it will always see what you intend to be humor, so be cautious there.

urban-urchin said...

you are cynical, and thoughtful and funny and yes, tender. Tender is good, a plus. You my friend are a gem.

meno said...

egan, yes, she's had more that one close friend die of aids so it's a difficult thing for her. The Mister is an ENFP.

tink, and power in not being afraid to let people see.

dick, i try hard not to be offensive with my humor, but it is hard to translate it into writing.

u-u, oh, stop, you're making me blush. Um, i mean, thank you! :)

Bobealia... said...

Who said you weren't tender?

Lynn said...

It takes much strength to be tender.

Joan said...

I find it interesting that a person's less dominant traits are revealed as we age...can't wait to see which one's of mine suddenly emerge.
And what makes you think we don't already know about your tenderness? All we have to do is read your blog to know how tender you really are.

Sienna said...

G'day Meno and thanks for Myer-Briggs, I took the test thing, I am an INFP...hey it's really interesting, they describe my group as *healers* and are 1.5% population, or of the USA population, but I'm kind of Australian :)

I enjoyed doing it...ta very much.

Love your cats, that top tabby, the mouse catcher, that is one cool cat, seriously. Lovely aura.
Please give'm a pat for me.


Anonymous said...

Tender. Just the way I like it.

Cursed Tea said...

I saw you commented on "heartinsanfransisco"'s blog on the UK banning the holocaust from schools. I wanted to let you know this is FALSE. You can check the BBC and other news agencies.

I am British and am deeply disturbed that this report has been circulating - it is not true and will never be something acceptable in the UK!!!

I just wanted to set the record straight.
Thank you

GEWELS said...

Here's to getting older and letting it ALL hang out.!!!!!!!!!!
Just like me the other night, in a bar, surrounded by at least 30 people, crying on my friend's shoulder. Did I care? NOPE!

Anonymous said...

the older I get the grumpier I get. It's not so much a dominant trait but maybe I think I inherited that set of genes from my father.

meno said...

bo, in real life i think some might question it, but here, on my blog, i was just realizing that i let it hang out for you all to see.

lynn, that would make a great fortune cookie!

joan, it is interesting. It is just a theory, but it kind of makes sense too. You all know about me being a softie, because i let you.

sienna, hi there. I am also an INFP, except some days when i am an INTP. Both my boy cats are cool, the girl (with the bad haircut) is kind of a weirdo.

d-man, *Huff* i am more than just a piece of meat you know!!!! :)

cursed tea, thank god! It didn't sound right, but odder things have happened. thank you for the correction.

gewels, i gave up being ashamed of crying in front of other people when my husband dumped me. For a while that's all i did.

moosebuyer, (great name) i don't think of it as grumpy, i just think that i suffer fools much less well than when i was younger.

egan said...

Sweet, me and The Mister have much in common.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I've never heard that theory, but it makes sense. When we are young and trying hard to be acceptable (in most cases,) we are more guarded.

I'm not sure that in later life we don't give a fuck, but we are hopefully more comfortable in our skins by then, and relaxed so that our less dominant traits can emerge.

I hope I can figure out which of mine are which.

flutter said...

I just loved this.

meno said...

egan, either you'd like each other, or hate each other.

hearts, i don't not give a fuck, i just give less of a fuck.

flutter, thank you. :)

Mother of Invention said...

Yes, I still need to work on protecting myself and as is true with other things, this has become easier with age and experience with many different people.