Sunday, August 06, 2006


-Albert Einstein

Run-D.M.C, Run!
-Tim Id

Einstein's Theory of Relativity has nothing to do with how or why people are related to you. It has something to do with energy, mass and the speed of light in a vacuum. So it's not the kind of relativity I'm talking about here. But this post is not about relatives, either. This post is about my own theory of relativity.

Okay, my theory is that you are only as obnoxious as people perceive you in relation to how obnoxious you perceive other people or O=O2xOCUOP. It's kind of a Karma thing.

Case and point, we were at a barbecue yesterday. It was primarily younger co-workers and some of the barbecue host's neighbors. On an obnoxious scale of 1 to 10, 1 being catotonic and 10 being a major asshole, I was probably a 5 or 6. I was more or less just being a relatively controlled version of myself -- witty with a dash or two of jerk (there is a fine line between the two).

I will be the first person to admit that I am pretty hypercritical when it comes to judging human behavior in social situations. I react negatively to loud, inane chatter, mindless small talk or idle gossip (unless it is juicy). I react positively to witty banter, stimulating discussions and good natured teasing. But at times it is difficult to be totally objective about what should require a positive or negative reaction. Because it is all relative.

Okay, here is where my theory gets complicated. I'll be chatting away at a party, feeling good, slipping in a few sharp barbs here and there, but in a pleasantly obtuse way. And then I experience an out of body experience and temporarily begin seeing myself the way others see me or the way I would see me if I was observing me. Then it is like my obnoxious meter goes off the scale and I think everyone in the room is whispering about this horse's ass who just zapped his wife with the battery powered mosquito zapper wand (it was an accident) and I know beyond a doubt that I am the horse's ass.

I know it just sounds like guilt induced paranoia inspired by my own inability to keep my mouth shut, but I honestly feel as though I am being pretty darned entertaining until this feeling comes over me. And then I am mortified that I am being perceived the way I perceived middle aged guys at parties when I was younger and that Karma is now screaming, "Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk" and poking me in the eye in front of all of these people.

For the record, I have never worn a lamp shade on my head, started a conga line or suggested everyone shotgun their beers. I have suggested that I feel like changing into my Speedo and black socks and go wading in the kiddie pool at 11 p.m. This has nothing to do with alcohol consumption. The stuff just comes out of my mouth sometimes before it registers with me whether I would consider that an obnoxious thing coming out of someone else's mouth.

I suppose the solution is to simply not accept invitations to parties. I'm never overly comfortable at them anyway. Perhaps this is why I say stupid things. Or maybe it is just something that happens to you when you hit middle age. Maybe things will be better when I'm simply old aged. Then people will just think I'm senile.

It's all just my theory anyway.
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