Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Emily the Egotist

In case you ever, you know, mistook me for the sort of person who never thinks the whole world revolves around her, here's some proof of how egotistical I am:

1. I like to check out my sitemeter readings to see what sorts of searches people are doing to get to my blog. When I see that someone has found me via a Google search for "Monday lyrics" on a day in which I posted no lyrics, I immediately feel bad, assuming they have become accustomed to my (somewhat) weekly posts about favorite songs, and that I should never skip a week (or two). The thought never crosses my mind that they are looking for the lyrics to a song called "Monday."

2. Also, when I'm checking sitemeter and discover that someone has done a Google search for "Emily Barton blog," I think, "Cool. Somebody's told someone else about my blog, and they're trying to find me." The thought never crosses my mind that they might really be looking for that other Emily Barton.

3. When I am in Connecticut, I automatically assume that everyone I know in Fairfield County is dying to see me and is going to be crushed if I don't make an effort to get together with him or her. This would be impossible, unless I just moved back for a year or so, but that doesn't keep me from feeling bad about not seeing everyone. The thought never crosses my mind that everyone is busy with his or her own life and would probably rather not have to cram in a visit with Emily, just because she happens to have breezed into the area for a few days.

4. When my back has been out for a few days (okay, forever, really, it seems), and I have been unable to take my usual morning walks with my neighbors, I suspect they are spending every morning discussing me and what a terrible pastor's wife I am. The thought never crosses my mind that they might be discussing much more important matters (like how to reach out to the poor, how to help the directionless youth in our community, what needs to be done about our education system, etc.), despite the fact that this is what we tend to do every morning.

5. I tend to read every book I read with one of two questions in my mind: "could I have taken this same idea and written it better?" or "should I give up all hope of writing, because there are people out here like this who have real talent?" The thought never crosses my mind that I should read a book without thinking of it in terms of being a writer.

6. Okay, I lied. Sometimes I do read a book without thinking in terms of being a writer. I have no desire to write mysteries or "chick lit" or long biographies or, basically, any nonfiction that requires extensive research. So, when I read such books, I find myself thinking, "Where the hell was the editor? Why did he or she let the writer get away with that? Why didn't anyone question the author on that absurd point/catch that hideous grammatical error/note that this fact is wrong? This publisher ought to hire me. I'd do a much better job." The idea never crosses my mind that most editors are over-worked and underpaid and under extreme pressure to find the next "big thing" and are lucky to get anything out at all these days.

7. I really do believe that the only way any sporting team I am supporting will win a game is if I don't watch it (a trait I inherited from my father. His children have been known to call him and tell him to "quit watching the game" in the midst of major events involving our teams). Proof: Carolina won the NCAA tournament this year because I refused to watch it. The thought never crosses my mind that teams win or lose depending on how well they do or don't play the game. (However, this one little bit of egotism means I don't have to waste time and risk heart attacks by watching sporting events anymore -- unless, of course, someone gives me tickets to a baseball game, which I would never turn down, no matter who was playing.)

8. I believe that President Obama will choose to focus on my email out of the hundreds of thousands he gets every day in order to pay attention to my great plan for getting more fuel efficient cars on the road: all gas expenses for those who own cars that get 30 or more mpg should be tax deductible. The thought never crosses my mind that he probably has advisors who have already come up with this brilliant plan and that it has been discussed and vetoed for all kinds of reasons I've not been able to see.

So, how egotistical are you?


litlove said...

I completely agree about not watching the team you want to win - I am the kiss of death to sports competitors! Several of the others look terribly familiar too. Okay, I hold my hands up, I'm an egotist! lol!

Watson Woodworth said...

I once heard that a person believing in luck thinks that they are special (in a piece about gambling).
That if you have good luck you are receiving special favor and that if you are having bad luck you are receiving special disfavor.

ZoesMom said...

You are actually correct about number 3. We are all dying to see you. We try to understand when you can't fit us in every time, but it is very hard.

Anonymous said...

You mean the world doesn't revolve around us individually? This is going to be a tough one to swallow today. The world is rotating on my orbit as we speak - is it not?

Emily Barton said...

Litlove, once again, I find myself in your good company, so I won't fret about it.

Nigel, I tend to be someone who receives special disfavor more than special favor (from whomever is handing out the favors).

ZM, awww! Proof that I have AWESOME friends in CT.

Sara, well you know, come to think of it, maybe it IS your head I see rising every morning and setting every evening :-)!

Rebecca H. said...

I agree with ZoesMom -- we'd love to see you! It was great getting to see you at the meeting last night -- I hope you can continue to join us now and then.

Anonymous said...

Yes, number 3 is spot on. We are all waiting to see you.
Generally, I think the earth is not revolving around me. But sometimes it damn well ought to be!

Pete said...

Me egotistic? Check. When I make eye contact with a speaker or a performer during a play etc. I am convinced that they're speaking to me. Ok not all the time but a couple of times the singer will make eye contact with me and, ok, this just sounds dumb now! But I like your post, not least because it relates to narcissism which is a subject which I really enjoy!

Unknown said...

This is fabulous! Especially regarding the sports teams - I've been known to stop watching a game or two in my day in order for the team to win as well. It always works! But if I lived in Connecticut I am pretty sure I would always want to see you!

mandarine said...

I have a better plan for fuel efficiency: you set a progressive price at the gas station. It would be 4$/gallon for the first three gallons, then 8$/gallon for the next three, and then 16, etc.

This would do many things: make large gas tanks useless; create lines (and certainly riots) at gas stations because people would have to fill their tanks in three or four turns to avoid paying extra; create fast lines where you are only allowed one turn; make people realize how much (or how often) they need to go to a gas station; and finally push automakers towards drastic fuel efficiency to make a car with an acceptable range with only three gallons in the tank.

Sorry about that. I am missing my stupid ideas blog, I guess.

honeypiehorse said...

What? Why are these egotistical?

Emily Barton said...

Dorr, it was great to see you, too, but it wasn't enough.

MFS, yes, the world damn well ought to be revolving around you, during those moments when it isn't revolving around me.

Court, fortunately, you are one of only two people I know in Pittsburgh, so whenever I come to Pittsburgh, I will always see you. Unfortunately, I never come to Pittsburgh. Absurd: we must remedy that.

Mandarine, brilliant! Then again, I've come to expect nothing less than brilliance from you.

HPH, you're right. Not the least bit egotistical, just perfectly normal behavior for a world that revolves around me.

Heather said...

I don't visit as often as I should and owe you a long, long 'note' but can I just tell you that I LOVE the way you write? I had to say it.

Emily Barton said...

Heather, you can tell me that ANY time! It's something I would never, ever grow tired of hearing.