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Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Straight and Narrow

Last week my friend Blue forwarded me one of those mass e-mail questionnaires that most people ignore. I usually do ignore them, but, for some reason, this one peaked my interest. The questionnaire gave your friends and family an opportunity to answer questions about you, so that you could learn more about others' perceptions of your personality. One of the questions asked: Am I a rebel or do I follow the rules?

Every single responder, without question, said that I ALWAYS follow the rules. I know it's true, for the most part. Yet whenever I imagine my other self -- the person I wish to be rather than the person I actually am -- when I imagine THAT person, I am a rebel. Not a rebel in any negative way, but someone who forges ahead, who acts as a visionary, who creates social change and goes against the flow.

But I'm not.

Growing up, I was the whiny kid lagging behind the others, whimpering over and over, "We're gonna get caught." As an adult, I still fret whenever I break the rules, even if it involves being just five minutes late for an appointment. I really dislike this aspect of my personality, yet I feel powerless to change it. I do, and probably always will, walk the straight and narrow. Put simply, being a rebel stresses me out too much.

Today I was scrolling through old pictures on my laptop. I found a snapshot of the Tongginator that helped ease my pique. I don't ALWAYS follow the rules ... and I have proof! I wish I could say that I really broke the mold, but it's just a small deviation from the straight and narrow.

I realize it's a pretty pathetic example, but it's all I have. I guess this tells you how firmly entrenched I am in walking the straight and narrow. Even worse, I hate to admit that I didn't notice the "Please Do Not Feed the Waterfowl" sign at the time.

Hey ... stop laughing at me. It's not THAT pathetic ... is it?