Thursday, February 08, 2007

My Platitude Juju

An example of “Inspirational Nietzsche”
from the world of graphic design

Buried among my worldly possessions is my collection of “inspirational Nietzsche” memorabilia. I’ve collected cards, travel coffee cups, watches (the “Eternal Return”—that one’s pretty funny), and bits of paper. I get such a kick out of Nietzsche, of all things, being taken out of context and used to inspire ladies to write nice cards and such. Our soul flies to Hallmarkland.

It’s not just inspirational Nietzsche that brings out my inner snob, though. It’s platitudes and inspirational sayings in general that raise my hackles. That’s not to say that I don’t love hearing words that make people think. Twist those words into smarmy advice and share proverbial wisdom with me, though, you’ll get a sneer and rolled eyes, and if I’m feeling especially prickly, you’ll also get an earful about why the wisdom is crap.

I’m not mean, really. My resistance to the proverb is a reaction to my churchy upbringing. I enjoyed exploring the complexity of life, and having observations and questions reduced to something Benjamin Franklinesque seemed insulting and cowardly.

Today, though, I need something insultingly simple to channel my nervous energy. So I’ve re-crafted a proverb for the digital age. A watched inbox never gets any mail.

See, I’m waiting for a message. After yet more shenanigans from the Mean Online Dating Gods who once again tried to foul in my cyber love life, I’ve been having a most interesting exchange a most interesting lad. Too bad PhilosopherPants is taken, because that would have suited him too. I shall call him IntriguingPants instead.

IntriguingPants is well-read, well-traveled, and funny as hell. He’s tall, and his photos show someone who is good-looking and happy. IntriguingPants has said that he’s intrigued by me. Since we’ve both had trouble with the Mean Online Dating Gods interfering with our messages, he suggested that I write him at his “real” e-mail address. So I did.

And now I’m waiting for the reply. I have checked my damn inbox a hundred times. I’ve received other messages. One guy’s into ballroom dancing, which could be really fun. Another seems like a great guy who might be fun to have a beer with sometime. But I have yet to hear again from IntriguingPants.

I have work to do. I need to stop checking my inbox. He’s going to write. I can’t see why he wouldn’t. Things seem to be going just fine. The only question is when he’s going to get around to doing it. I keep hoping that the answer to when is now, and so I keep checking my inbox. This has to stop.

Hence, my platitude juju. A watched inbox never gets any mail. The efficacy of this wisdom saying is two-fold. First, it tells me not to check my inbox. Second, it implies that if I leave my inbox alone, a message will magically appear.

I’m sneering and rolling my eyes at myself. Maybe I just need to give up and get back to my knitting. Nietzsche’s pissed at me.
***Update: It worked like a charm. I'm a platitude convert.***


Dear Prudence said...

Trust, my dear Sassy! All in good time. Or so I am learning. But it really doesn't make it any easier to pretend to have "it" under control. Afterall, it is just pretending, a facade, a pretense, a veneer. I get it baby!

Carissa said...

lol. I have to admit that, I, too am a compulsive mail checker.

Can we call him McIntriguing instead?

Sassy Sundry said...

Prudence, I can't stand it. Really. I'd almost rather have him say, "No thanks. You smell" than have it continue on like this. Of course, he'll never know, but still...

Carissa, I think that's an excellent name. McIntriguing it is.

Old Knudsen said...


its me isn't it? don't listen to germans.

Sassy Sundry said...

Of course it's you, Knudsen.

Dear Prudence said...

I hear ya. See, trust!

RICH said...

not sure I would trust a guy who uses such words as "intriguing"

or maybe he's just intriguing the pants off you?

dive said...

So. Now he's replied, what's the news? I'm intrigued.

Sassy Sundry said...

Crap! My comment went the way of my e-mails!

Prudence, thank you. I knew he was going to e-mail, but I wanted to him to do it sooner! It's not good to keep a lady waiting, you know.

Rich, and that would be a problem why?

Well, Dive, so far I really like McIntriguing (the "Mc" comes from Grey's Anatomy, not McDonalds). He's interested in life and he's living an interesting life. Those are excellent qualities. He asked me if I ever get into "the city" (it kills me when Bostonians refer to Boston as "the city"). When I e-mail him back later on this evening (two play at the waiting game), I'll let him know that I do indeed get into "the city" from time to time and mention a few places. With any luck, he'll ask for my number, and we'll be in dating business.

dive said...

My fingers and other extremities are crossed.
Do keep us all up to date.

Kav said...

All's well that ends well, sassy. As you may know, a stitch in time saves nine, and I recently heard that a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.


Sassy Sundry said...

Thank you, Dive.

Thank you for being a friend indeed and helping out this friend in need, Kav. You're a sage. Those poor birds.

Robyn said...

I'm glad I got here late enough to read the update. How exciting, or is it intriguing?

Waiting by the e-mail box, waiting by the phone--they're the same thing, and they serve no purpose but to frustrate you--how's that for a platitude? I hope this goes well, Sassy. We'll be waiting for updates.

Sassy Sundry said...

Thanks, Robyn. It is kind of fun at the same time.