I MAY Be a Nudist, But I’m Not an Exhibitionist (A Belated Manuscript Monday)
1.NUDITY vs EXHIBITIONISM
I say the distinction lies in the point that while I enjoy the freedom of being in my birthday suit, I don’t enjoy anyone other than my husband seeing my birthday suit. Living in the woods I’ve gotten spoiled on taking my dog out, both of us in nothing but our fur, collecting firewood by just throwing a coat and shoes over gutchies and socks, and taking summer breaks in a hammock letting the sun shine where, well, the sun don’t shine.
My nephew may disagree, having been on the receiving end of an accidental over-mooning.
And my husband may disagree, having doubled over laughing on the riverbank, witnessing my epic skinny-dipping failure in Smoky Mountains National Park, in which I may or may not have fully flashed a fisherman while bobbing desperately downstream in overwhelming currents.
2. This post may or may not (may) be a metaphor for writing this manuscript.
It’s impossible not to expose myself when writing about my life. In this case, the work contains material related to very sensitive female issues, but it also contains a lot of raw revelation of self. It’s the kind of nudity that’s probably the most difficult for me. I have generally only allowed people to receive the part of me that’s effervescent.
In life it’s my way of keeping people at arm’s length. While the general consensus is that sullen people are attempting to keep others out, I contend it’s the opposite. The “introverts” (whether intentionally or not) are actually attracting more people to pursue who they are and what they’re about, while we “extroverts” are putting on a show that often draws a crowd, but who thankfully go home when the show’s over. Or perhaps a better way to look at that is that “introverts” tend to have a few close-knit, deeply bonded friendships, while “extroverts” have a million acquaintances, and rarely that one person close enough to know anything of substance.
Sound like a generalization? Of course it is, but it’s also basic psychology: we want what we can’t or don’t have; we take for granted what’s given to us freely.
When people think you wear your life on your sleeve, and that your life is pretty easy, they actually tend not to look deeper. I call it personality slight-of-hand. It’s often why the bubbly, gregarious people surprise you when they blow their brains out. (No worries there, by the way. I’m way too narcissistic.)
Those already up in arms about the above generalizations can take relief that the manuscript also exposes my own flaws of perception as well as acknowledging the hubris it takes to make assumptions about anyone other than ourselves. It’s difficult trying to write from the perspective of both my younger self and my current self, and the one thing I can promise you is that while I am pretty much naked the entire time, it’s not exhibition-style. Nothing for the sake of anything but discovery and understanding.
3. Is it Weird that I Invited my Gynecologist to Visit us in South Africa?
I guess that question does answer itself, doesn’t it? Maybe. She’s actually a wonderful woman, despite the knowledge that she has listened to my monologues. (Get it? Writing “monologues” was how I implied “vagina” without writing the word “vagina.” Oh dang. I just wrote “vagina” anyway. Accck! I did it again!)
Seriously, I hope she visits. Although maybe I won’t tell anybody she’s my gynecologist.
4. DID YOU WIN?
Last week I held a contest to give away a Red Sox hat (see my Sean Thomas Dougherty post) and guess who won? Meg Scott Harris. Congratulations, Meg! Please email me with your address so I can send you the blue hat ( marla at marlasinkdruzgal dot com ).
ALSO – Melissa Tkach was announced in last week’s “Poping and Hoping” blog as the winner of the Andrew E Kaufman signed book, While the Savage Sleeps. Melissa – I need your address to send the book!
TOMORROW I WILL BE GIVING AWAY A SIGNED HARDCOVER OF WILD BY CHERYL STRAYED!!