Wednesday, June 22, 2011

You Are What You...Act?

Lately I've been reading a lot about white collar criminals for research purposes. And by "research purposes," I mean I'm researching identity theft issues, etc. for a novel idea that's working its way out of my head and onto the page.

But there's an extremely interesting trend to all of my reading so far: all of the people I've read about who have successfully posed as something they aren't had one thing in common--they all acted the part.

I've grown up in a culture that encourages the idea of faking it until you make it, even though I'm pretty sure this isn't what they mean. But it's still intriguing to think that if you enter the right environment and simply act as though you belong there, there's every chance the people will accept you for what you say you are.

This whole concept would work better, it seems to me, if you have a certain amount charisma: but not necessarily, from what I'm reading. Sometimes you have to affect an air of snobbery and superiority to be accepted by the snobs. And certain sets of people seems perfectly willing to believe you if you look a part and if you act a part even when you aren't the part.

Anyway. I'm fascinated by this because it assumes a certain amount of trust I would presume isn't inherent in most cultures. But maybe we want to trust people after all. Maybe we want them to be what we see.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I'm My Father's Child, Too

Toward the end of April, I sent my dad a text message asking when he'd be taking me out to lunch for his birthday. It's a move that, in any other family, might well have backfired. But not with my dad. He chuckled, I'm sure. Maybe ruefully shook his head. And then we figured out a day we could go out to lunch.

We're creatures of habit: we eat at Jason's Deli, and between the two of us, we probably rotate through roughly four or five of the items on the menu. If that. And then we sit and eat and talk, and it's pretty much a delight to know you're giving your dad firsthand information that your mother has not heard.

Just as it more or less makes his day when any of us call and say, "Hey, I was hoping to talk to you!" instead of asking for Mom.

I mock him for some of his habits of organization and tidiness, but let's face it: I inherited some of them. My DVDs are alphabetized. My books range from shortest to tallest. I have a tendency to rearrange the dishwasher and/or refrigerator and/or freezer when space isn't being well maximized.

Practically without fail, I arrive anywhere I need to be earlier than I need to be there. That's his fault. In a totally un-bad way.

And what I suppose I'm actually saying with all of this is that I'm glad he's my dad, and I'm glad that he taught me well.

Monday, June 13, 2011

This Rainy Day and Monday Might've Gotten Me...Up?

I got caught in a microburst shower on my way to the library today to drop off some highly overdue materials. (For the record, I still feel immensely guilty whenever I take things back to the library late. It's as though I'm depriving people of opportunities. Although in this case... I wasn't terribly impressed with some of what I took back. But that's a different story.)

Anyway, I love summer showers--the type where the rain falls down, but the air's still warm. And they are a delight to watch, as well. I couldn't help but pause and watch as a bunch of trees near my neighborhood were misted...along with some people too. Many of the people looked less than pleased, but oh well. It's weather. What do you do?

There's a certain feeling of insulation that comes with the rain; I tend to feel as though I'm enveloped in my own drenched bubble and that nobody can see what I see in the quite the way I see it. I suppose that's actually true of most times, but the rain just seems to accentuate the sensation.

The smell. The sight. The feeling. They all make me feel Is that strange? That was one of the most wonderfully calming walks I've had in a long, long time. So perhaps Karen was wrong: rainy days and Mondays don't always get me down.