Saturday, May 1, 2010

Unmasking

For those of you who still don't know it, I'm a hopeless nerd. I love Star Wars (and hate Start Trek. A true geek must choose!), comic books, mangas, cartoons, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and RPG; I think that Batman can totally hand Superman his own ass (a geek must take a stand on that), that Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers was the best franchise of them all, and that the new Marvel movies - leading to what will definitely be an awesome Avengers movie - totally rock. 
There was a small event (an understatement of mine) going on in the Marvel Universe a couple of years ago, called The Civil War: should heroes reveal their secret identities before society or not? In the middle of it, Spider-Man unmasked himself, revealing to be Peter Parker in a press conference.



I thought to myself "shit!". It's a pretty... err... "un-turn-back-able" move, if I may say so. (Not to Marvel, of course, they just erased the whole damn thing by having Peter make a deal with Mephisto, but let's not get into that). A ballsy move. I mean, to come forward before every single one you know and reveal yourself to be, well, yourself, sure takes a lot of guts. How often does one take off his mask and stand before us, stark naked? (Metaphorically speaking, please. I'm a family girl.)
I know I hardly ever do.

Unfortunately, living in society can be a test of will; it demands constant adaptation, chameleon-like skills, prudence and flexibility. Try to balance it all with honesty, and you're in for a challenge.
Something that many have come to agree is that society life demands masks. You've got one for every person you encounter, one for every situation.
For my boss, I'm the helpful responsible li'l one; for (most of) my work mates, I'm the funny li'l one - sometimes downright sarcastic, sometimes plain goofy and clumsy; for some of my friends, I'm the erudite; for others, I'm the clownish geek li'l one (always the li'l one, mind. This is what I get from being less than 5'2"); for my dad, I'm his lazy-but-brilliant daughter (and, I have to add, only daughter, so that was an easy one, really). Mom thought there was just no stopping me - while my aunt spends a lot of her time trying to convince me that I won't get to the places I want. My bro thinks I'm one of the few he can rely upon, and my grandma shall never know I'm an atheist, despite my Catholic upbringing (that would be the biggest disappointment of this 82 year-old lady's life, no need for that). What about the parts they don't see?
How many of them get the big picture? How much of their big picture do I get?
I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way: there's an incredibly small amount of people with whom one actually feels comfortable enough to be oneself - as a whole. No masks, no facets; only nakedness. (Again, metaphorically.) 
One of my best friends, M.H., says that I'm a "social cripple". Yeah, I know: ouch. He and I, we haven't eaten a ton of salt together yet (proverb: to really know one, you must eat a ton of salt together) - but he guesses everything he hasn't seen. He's got a pretty good hunch of where the good, the bad and the ugly lie, and thus, is never surprised by anything I say or do. Such a lack of reaction, such a lack of judgement, it makes me feel home. There's only him and a couple more of people around whom I simply sit back and relax. People who think the whole is much better than the mere sum of the parts, and with whom I have no masks - only entirety.
As for the rest of humanity, they have the bad habit of forming mental pictures before they actually do get to know one, of having certain expectations, certain standards to which one's gotta live up to. Hence, we mask the part that would not survive the test. This is just so fucked up. Is it too childish to say that I hate adapting? (Yes, it is. What? Uh?)
I'm still plucking up the courage to leave home withouth the crutches and, you know, just walk on.



(P.S.: As GoogleTalk would say: ...aaaaaaaaand we're back! Still not as often as I'd like, though, due to my tight schedules - got my master's dissertation to hand in in a month. Still, better than completely gone!)

5 comments:

RicAdeMus said...

Dpending on how you look at the word "judgement", you can make a case that there is too much of it in the world, and yet we'd be so much better off if people had a little more of it.

People who judge us and look down on our differences will say they have the strength of their convictions, but I think that is a sign of weakness. If they were comfortable with who they are, they wouldn't need others to be like them.

But masks are needed. I've wondered about the ways in which I am different in different settings. I'm still working on figuring that out. Maybe your post will help me with that.

Diego Garcia said...

Finally you're back! \o/

The only problem is when we have to wear two masks at the same time!

Miss you, little one!

Iris H. said...

"There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet"

(The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock - T.S. Eliot)

It's good to have you back! :D

Rml said...

@Rick: ohhh, I loved your take on "judgement"! Indeed it depends a lot on how you look at it... And I agree: when you're comfortable in your own skin, you don't feel the need of standardizing everyone else around ya.
MY post might help u?? Wow, thnx! =)

@Diego: hey sweetie! I miss you too!!!

@Iris: thnx! And of course: you've mentioned these lines so many times to me! They're awesome, really.

beanizer_05 said...

http://beanizersinstincts.blogspot.com/2010/05/recognition.html