Friday, June 8, 2007

On Being Interesting

I have an interesting name. Does that make me interesting? I get a lot of comments and compliments about my name. What does it mean? Were your parents Persian? Were your parents hippies? Is that your real name? It's so beautiful.

What can I say about this? Perfect strangers are not entitled to the painful and tragic history that led to my rebirth and rechristening as B___. Nor do they deserve outright lies. My parents were probably hippies since they were teens in the 60's, so I say "No, they aren't Persian, but they probably were hippies." My French last name also draws queries, but it's simple enough to admit that I come from "mutt" blood as a mixture of Prussian, Irish, English, Native American and African American. My aunt swears by the African, my mother prays by the Native and my grandmother denies them both, so who's to say that there wasn't a little Frenchie thrown in somewhere?

At any rate, I didn't start intending to portray my entire genealogy, but rather my dismay at being interesting. It's become a strange sort of ritual in my life that after I introduce myself, I am automatically ready to say "Thank you, I like it, too. It's Persian. No, I'm not." It's almost become my long introduction, such as those given in the south when debs are given (in)to society.

My name is not the only thing publicly but inanely interesting - I also wear vintage glasses admired by all. "Yes, they are prescription. Yes, they are old. I got them at ___." Be careful trying on vintage glasses - wear them around the shop for at least 20 minutes. I bought two lovely pair at once and can only wear one set because the others are too heavy. Although vintage glasses are sized, so once you find a pair you like the fit of, you can easily weed through a stack looking for the same size. My eyeglass size is 5 1/2. My shoes are 38 European or 8 American. My dresses are 12-14 and my earrings are preferably huge.

But I didn't start this post intending to give tips on buying vintage or to elucidate the size of all my body parts. It's about being interesting. I think being interesting is just like being invisible. My invisible friend V once threw a fit in class and flipped everyone off, double handed, while cursing them all vocally. Neither the instructor or any of our 10 classmates noticed. Only I and the person on the other side of her noticed. Not seeing her is their loss because she's really an admirable, gifted and kind person. I wish I could see more of her.

Having these interesting things for people to latch onto, they become you, you become them. I am my interesting name and my funky glasses. And to some, little else, but I know better. I know the really interesting things come at night when I wake up in the middle of the night, when I dream big - win, lose or draw, when I dance, when I sing or when I cry. I just hope to recognize those things that are really interesting in you.

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