Of late, more and more, I find myself talking of one of my greatest character flaws with pride to people. My tone is ostensibly regretful, but inevitably betrays a tinge of pride. I speak of it fondly like one would of a naughty nephew you dote on. “Yes, he still wets his bed at 15, that naughty little devil! I’ve never seen the likes of my nephew Spanky!” with a glad laugh and a patently false, rueful shake of the head.
In case you’re wondering which character flaw I’m going on about (I have plenty of those), let me just come out and say it…I have the most god awful temper. (See I’m bragging about it like they hand out prizes for Irritability. Or like if I yell at enough people they’ll induct me in the Bad-tempered Hall of Fame, along with Russell Crowe and my uncle.)
I began to wonder why I make such comments as: “Oh that temper of mine, such situations it’s landed me in!” with a self-deprecating chuckle. And these remarks are invariably directed at people who have been (I am tempted to say ‘victims’ but that again glamorizes the whole thing) on the receiving end of my spleen. So it’s not surprising that they don’t chuckle with you, but in fact fix you with a rather poisonous look, as if to say “Do we have to bring up unpleasant things during lunch?”
I came up with the answer soon enough. I’m ill-tempered but not stupid. Every human being needs to distinguish herself, and vies with the teeming millions on this planet to be remembered in some way. Some drop a few bombs, kill a few people. Others create art: music, literature, monuments. Still others spawn an army of kids so that one day one of them becomes famous and mentions her parents in her memoirs, maybe only with reference to their baby-making capabilities (but it’s still better than complete oblivion).
My way of being remembered and not blending into the crowd is how crazy-mad I can get. I have come across this phenomenon with other people and it has never failed to annoy me. I have met and intensely disliked a girl in the recent past who was fond of saying she was childish. “I am childish, yaa, you know that, no?” she would twitter and cock her head in the most retarded fashion. Another guy I recently spoke to proclaimed quite proudly that he has absolutely NO foresight and should therefore be excused for something I don’t need to get into.
So there you go. Trust human beings to wear their flaws like badges of honor. It was probably a flawed bloke like one of us who said “our flaws are what make us human and different from each other.”
I don't completely buy that... but the thought does make me sleep better at night!:)