Friday, September 4, 2015

Too Much Original Sin

4th September 2015

A young man, over whom I languished in my youth for longer than was respectable, eventually told my best friend that he could never go for a girl like me because I was too emotional. In my late teens and at the height of my emotionality, I could make little sense of this assessment. I wasn't given to thinking I could be too anything. That he ended up in market research could be seen as par for my  course, but I have since had pause to consider what he might have meant and why he viewed this as a killing epithet.

I have just put down Tobias Wolff's terrific memoir "This Boy's Life," and it seems that people distanced themselves from his youthful self for similar reasons: too suffering and self-destructive, too rebellious, too emotional to hide all that very well behind a veneer of bluster. But perhaps this is the stuff of writers. Too much. Too much. People who knew me in my childhood and youth still shake their heads and think she's just a bit much. Not that I have ever had any bluster. My own Christian upbringing in the shadow of Original Sin put paid to that.

I do have a habit of being sure that I am right. This is a fault, I admit, and yet, if I didn't feel that, would I bother to put my thoughts down on paper? Would I flinch so severely at outright injustice and want to speak its name?

People have a problem with the ungilded truth.  I have a problem with spinach. It's tastes awful. I am quite sure of that. Just as sure as I am of the fact that being too emotional is not a sin. And might even be helpful.

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