You're no fun anymore.

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by Stella

Sorry, no, I don’t mean you, of course. That sentence was directed at me – by myself. It’s lately occurred to me that I can be a terrible nitpicker. I can’t call it “attentive to detail” or by some other diplomatic phrasing because it’s gone beyond that point. I suppose it’s a side-effect of writing that I get stuck on certain things and then they bother me. I don’t look for them. They find me. Honestly.

I can’t help that in Pirates of the Caribbean Barbossa never could have mistaken Elizabeth for a maid given her expensive clothing, her elegant vocabulary, and her fine white hands that probably never did a day’s work. You don’t need to tell me that the point is moot. We’re talking ghost pirates and cursed treasure for heaven’s sake – I have a sense of proportion.

And somehow from making casual remarks about The Devil Wears Prada (the movie), I ended up dissecting it into teeny tiny bits while my friend’s eyes gradually widened in astonishment. Finally, she said, “But I thought you said you liked it.” I did, mostly, but... those... thingies! They found me! And then I couldn’t help thinking what I would have done instead. I don’t mean to sound elitist about it. I’m sure anyone with a particular interest in a specific subject can get caught up.

You don’t have to be a dentist to notice people’s teeth or a chef to mentally deconstruct the recipe of whatever food you’re eating. But sometimes I really want to shut my brain off. I want to watch a movie without trying to guess how it’s going to end. I want to read a book without considering whether a different point of view might have been a better way to tell the story.

Afterwards that’s all part of the fun – thinking it over, turning it this way and that – but before I’ve seen/read the whole thing through? Really! I’m like a bad dinner guest. Instead of enjoying the food and the company, I’m gazing suspiciously at a speck on my fork. (In my defense: as an actual dinner guest I wouldn’t dream of gazing suspiciously at my fork or any other implement for fear of insulting my host. I’m only bad on the metaphorical level.)

So I’ve decided to try not to be an over-analytical harpy, at least the first time around. I can’t help being over-analytical afterwards, although I hope I’ll never reach the harpy stage no matter what. I don’t want to be no fun. Ugh, bad grammar. I meant I don’t want to be not fun. Wait a minute… oh never mind!


Anonymous said...

very complicated but entertaining!

Paul Burman said...

And do you too find that you revisit your blog posts and agonise over whether you should have said this or might have said that?

A fine and reassuring post, Stella. It made me feel not quite so alone ... even though I know many people go through everything you've described. And it made me laugh too!

Mike French said...

"I’m only bad on the metaphorical level."

Now come on! What about the time you ...

Stella said...

Thanks, guys. It's nice being reassured that I'm not totally crazy... :)

(Mike! Shhh!)

Unknown said...

But sometimes I really want to shut my brain off.

I'm with you there, Stella. Time for a vacation.

Stella said...

Yes, Kathleen!

No thoughts at all. Oooh.