Necessary but unpleasant tasks

March 5, 2011

Two of the more difficult (Well neither is really difficult, I guess uncomfortable would be  better word.) tasks that one has to occasionally do, I had to do this weekend.

1.  I had to install a new toilet seat.

2.  I had to tell a  group of people I don’t really know all about myself.

There are similarities and differences in these two projects.  Of course if the bathroom is clean (Mine is.  Always!) the task is slightly less uncomfortable, and changing my toilet seat is definitely preferable to changing your toilet seat.  That brings up a contrast;  I would much rather write a glowing review of you, a recommendation filled with superlatives (all true) about someone else is pretty simple and straightforward. When talking about others I find it easier to think of nice things to say, and I never once feel like I’m bragging.  Writing about myself sometimes feels like writing a Consumers Report evaluation about toilet seats.  (Is that hole big enough, is the wood contoured to fit a variety of hiney shapes, is it easy to clean, install, remove, will it last a long time so I don’t have to do it again for a while?)  Where does honest expression of my gifts and talents turn to bragging.  And how much of my dark side do I want to show?  How much do they want to see?  I know you have a new toilet seat, no I don’t want to see it.

Saying nice things about myself, even though they may all be true, (No they all are true.) is hard.  Modesty was hammered into me as a child, and I still find self-promotion, well, constipating.

Installing a toilet seat requires reaching around back, and sometimes even hugging the un-huggable.  Writing an honest, helpful, introspective self-evaluation or assessment requires embracing my own backside, metaphorically speaking.  I have to look at, intimately, parts of my self I usually ignore.  Not that the things I am forced look at are necessarily bad, nor are they necessarily good, they just make me crane my neck at an unnatural  angle.  (Speaking figuratively of course.)   I try to temper my successes with grace and humility, forget them and move on to the next challenge.  I try to accept my defeats (failures) with grace and humility, forget them and move on.  So writing like this requires me to dig deep, almost like a reverse flush.

And then, I don’t want to call all my friends and have them tryout my new toilet seat.  They’ll use it when the urge or the need arises, and no sooner.  No one is anxiously waiting (at least I hope not) for an opportunity to “go” at my house, feeling finally relieved (in more ways than one?  Two?) that they have a new seat to sit on.  And with my self-evaluation, there is really no one with whom I can share my thoughts, except my proofreader.  It is after all self evaluation.

Which brings up another comparison.  My proofreader did not like the idea of me writing about toilet seats;  I don’t like the idea of writing about myself.  Well it’s time to stop either way, I gotta go.

NO! Not That way!

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