I have a friend, a woman, an uber-professional (I don’t know how to get those two, little dots to go over the u), a veritable saint, really, who has, within her person, an alter-ego named Guido.
Guido Corlione, to be exact.
He’s a longshoreman from New Jersey.
In case you aren’t from Jersey and/or aren’t sure what longshoremen (aka steveodores) are/do, they are men who load/unload cargo from ships at the dock. Here’s what the very reliable and research-worthy Wikipedia says about longshoremen, “Stevedore has also become common as an appellation for a person who is over-muscular or foulmouthed.“
Basically, Guido and my friend are opposites living in the same body.
Through him, my normally starched, polite and professional friend lets it all hang out from time to time as the situation calls for it. When she approaches me, whether in person or on the phone/email and opens with, “My Guido’s hanging out today!”, my first thought is, “Is today the day that I die?”
So far, the answer has been no, so I just listen and laugh internally as Guido rails, in true longshoreman fashion (sans the foul mouth…usually), about the topic at-hand. .
Thankfully, not me.
So, I’ve been giving this some thought. I think I need an alter-ego, too. You know, another personality. One which, when put to proper use, will allow me to say, if only to myself, what I’m really thinking. Granted, I’ll have to remove myself from just about any situation in which I’d find myself to “let my [insert alter-ego here] hang out,” but I think it’s doable.
Here are some potential choices for my alter-ego:
- Mackenzie, the valley girl – anytime a situation annoys me (which is basically all the time), I could bust out with an, “Oh, my gah, girl. You see that Band-Aid on my toe? My pedicurist so, totally, got me! I couldn’t believe it. I am never going back there again!” Mackenzie serves two purposes: she focuses on what’s really important in life and, two, this is a real-life scene I’ve seen here in Cali. I can see this one working well for redirecting children who are incessantly and completely focused on themselves, as only children (or adults with the minds of children) can be. They will, of course, respond with, “Mooooooooooommmmmm!”, but I’m okay with that.
- Gretchen, the foreign exchange student – annoying siutation = large, blinking eyes, raised eyebrows, and the following statement, “Sprecken ze Deutsch? No English.” Helga is great because the situation automatically stops and, two, this is a real-life scene I’ve seen. In fact, I encourage the New Girls to use this to their advantage. Don’t tell. I’m thinking this might be appropriate for dealing with those pesky police officers who insist that I drive too fast and/or anybody who ever asks me for money.
- Kat, the tattoo artist/model/biker chick – annoying situation = eye rolling, deadpan look and driving off on said bike (motor, that is). Purpose? Total denial that the situation is taking place and total avoidance of doing anything about it. As much time as I spend in a fast-food drive-thru, this one has to have a purpose in my life.
And, last but not least:
- Princess Grace who, really, is, at least internally, the opposite of what her name would imply. Here’s how she operates: annoying situation = PG immediately dons the nearest tiara, lifts her royal head so that she’s looking over the bridge of her nose at her subjects, and, with the poise of a ballerina, floats away from the situation as if to say, “Deal this this nonsense. Peasants.” This one? Well, let’s be real. This one could be used for just about anything. Only, I think I’m going to have to start carrying a tiara around in my purse.
Oh, and there was the thought that I could have Wonder Woman as my alter-ego until I remembered about all the lawsuits I’d have to deal with after people went blind from the bright light associated with me spinning around and turning into her all the time.
As far as coping mechanisms go, I’m thinking the alter-ego is right at the top. Perhaps I’ll just use all 4, choosing one as each situation demands it.