Free to a good home...
I originally wrote the basis for this blog post a few years ago. It started out as an English Lit assignment for our daily journaling, and grew into a funny thought exercise. I've cleaned it up, expanded it some and present it here. It's still an interesting thought experiment, I think.
If I can give away a cat, dog, car or movie collection, "free to a good home", why can't I give away myself? Oh, I know I'm worth more than a cat, or dog, or collection of stuff; but the idea remains. We don't, technically, "free to a good home" infants or children in our foster care system; we don't give kids away from "orphanages". There is no "parents, please form a queue and we'll hand out your children" at hospitals.
But, what if we could. What if you could place an advertisement in the newspaper for yourself, or your partner. What would you ask for? What way would you describe yourself? How would you describe yourself? All of the quirks we have, all our weird habits, our insecurities, our wonderful thoughts and plans and dreams... how do you describe them in a short, sweet way, that would fit in an advertisement? Could it even be done?
That was the germ of this blog. If I could place an advert, what would it say? With all the stressing, frustration and other negative emotions that life can bring, all the things we pile on ourselves, I wouldn't mind leaving it all behind for a couple weeks, going somewhere no one knows me, and has no expectations of me. Of course, knowing me, whoever answered the advert would probably bring me back, and pay my family for their trouble, "just for the love of the Gods, keep her!"
So, I contemplated, thought and finally decided that if I placed an advert in my local news sheet, it would look something like this:
Free to a good home: One red-headed female, 34, about 171cm (5'7 ½"), regular sized, has freckles and is prone to sun-burn in the shade. Former-vegetarian who doesn't eat red meat but can grill a perfect steak, loves dark ale and can't stand "chic flicks". Socialist in politics, Pagan in religion, and loves discussing the problems with the current government. Scary smart. Can tell a dirty joke, without cracking up on the punch-line but doesn't find shit-jokes even slightly humorous. Doesn't dig American humour at all and has been told her sense of humour is broken. Can even mix the perfect Screwdriver. Handy at home, including decent auto-sense; good at tightening all those loose door-knobs. Does not do mornings or windows, but doesn't mind the toilet seat left up. Easy going and relatively calm, good temper; loves chocolate and PC games. Won't whine when you spend the night out with the boys/girls; will probably shove you out the door, reminding you not to drink and drive. Loyal to friends and loved ones, and protective of animals and small children. Please contact This Box at That NewsSheet for more details at (insert number here).
I know I could go on, and that this is not a complete snapshot of me, it's a glimpse of that photograph, something to make the reader of our imaginary pages curious enough to send that Box an inquiry. Describing ourselves is hard, especially when you're as hard on yourself as I am. I am more than my own worst critic, I should probably be tried for crimes against my own humanity! I hate myself, and love myself, and it really does depend on the day what way my internal "love-o-metre" is pointing.
What would your little add look like? Have you ever thought about it? I don't mean "write an entry for yourself for an online dating site". I mean really think about it, and mentally write an advertisement, sell yourself, and your awesomeness. It'll make you feel better, I promise.
Whenever I need a laugh at myself, when I need to feel better for whatever reason, I think about this all over again. I write the advert to myself, and then realise that I'm not as crazy as I think I am. I'm a decent person, with a good head on my shoulders, and the ability to laugh at myself-- something that far too many people don't seem to have. I might compare myself to others, unfavourably, but in the end, I do like myself... some times I just need that reminder.
You have to laugh at yourself, and at the world. The world, it really is full of funny shit. Otherwise, we'll cry, because the world is also full of really sad shit, too.