Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Here is a list of things I am not:

1. A "people person" type. People make me nervous and when I’m talking to someone I spend most of the conversation trying to figure out if I have something in my teeth.

2. A "cheerleader" type. I don’t generally get enthusiastic about things, and when I do I don’t assume that it’s my place to get other people on board. That makes me feel creepy.

It used to bother me that I was not these things. Because looking around at all the popular, smart, capable people, their degree of popularity was directly proportional to their level of spunk. Therefore, THIS was the RIGHT way to be, and damn, was I ever preoccupied with doing the right thing.

So that stuck, that there was something slightly wrong with me for not being a freaking cheerleader, and I’ve been compensating for it ever since.

All of this might explain, in some tightly woven psychoanalytical tapestry, what could possibly have possessed me to volunteer for ESPRIT… that is, "Employees Supporting Public Relations Identity and Tradition." That is, "Let’s plan an employee bingo night and see if any fools show up!"

It might lead us to understand how I came to be sitting at a small table in the cafeteria on my lunch break selling tickets to an event which I had no intention of ever attending myself.

It might begin to explain why I agreed to not only participate in March of Dimes WalkAmerica, but also to volunteer as "team captain." To wake up in a cold sweat every morning because I haven’t yet recruited our quota of walkers. To glance up periodically at the calendar in a panic and quickly calculate how many more days until I have to start groveling and begging people for donations.

No. It doesn’t explain a damn thing.

It’s been many years since the last time I heard my P.E. teacher say "everybody partner-up!" and send my stomach wrenching into a convulsive knot. One of the best perks of being a grown-up is the god-given right to extricate oneself from situations that make one uncomfortable. Smart little weasels learn what it is they don’t like to do and then avoid it like the plague.

And some of us are still pretending we’re cheerleaders.

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