Red Leigh Cooper

Red Leigh Cooper

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Speed Bumps and Band Aids

A recent incident with an acquaintance brought me to a stark revelation: I am deathly afraid of criticism...

...Wow...didn't think of that before I uploaded that XFactor video audition...

Anyone who drives will tell you that they don't like speed bumps. Neighborhoods will lobby to have them put in for the safety of their children, but will still harbor a loathing in their hearts for them. The reason is twofold; first, they stop your most likely hurried progress forward in a big way, and second, you have to take them at such a slow, gingerly albeit painstaking pace just to get you and your car over them unscathed.

Welcome to my speed bump.

I can honestly say I've gotten better about it over the years, but that icky feeling of possible judgement always seems to be lurking. If I'm going to get anywhere with this whole Starfish grabbing stuff, I've got to get over!

So I'm left with the question do I treat this like a speed bump, and go over it slowly until I can get back to my normal pace or do I treat it like a band aid and just rip it off with a momentary intense pain but I can be okay in like five minutes? Can you do that with something so deep seeded?

Have you seen the end of the movie 8 Mile? Rabbit, portrayed by Eminem, decides in order to win the rap battle and get over the fear of "choking" and being laughed at, criticized if you will, for it, he has to do something drastic. Rap battles are a lot like "your mama's so fat..." contests. Who can throw the best insults at the other people using the most prolific rhymes.

Rabbit has heard all his life that he won't amount to anything and that what he wants is sincerely out of his league. I particularly liked the ending of 8 Mile because I've felt the same way. From the time I was probably around twelve years old I heard from my mother how I would never sing as good as, be as pretty as, be as smart as, or be anything like my mother. Apparently, she either thought a lot of herself, or was just trying to cover up her fear of being criticized by making someone else feel bad about themselves. Classic profile of a bully...and I was bullied a lot...

So back to speed bumps or band aids. Given the rich emotional tapestry that has been my life, one would think I would need to take the caution, slow down way to get over this...

I cant help thinking though that there was a reason Eminem's character was nick named Rabbit and it wasn't just because as a kid he was cute. I suspect it had something to do with being quick as well. Getting over his fear, and winning the battle, had to do with owning who he was. He had to say it before they did...

Time to rip off the band aid...

I am a dork.  I am goofy, sometimes too cheerful, and can be utterly obnoxious. I can make jokes that fall flat and be unflatteringly loud.  I am often times really tired and boring. I am slightly overweight and have forgotten how to dress fashionably. I don't know what I am doing most of the time and should think before I speak.  I am not the best at most things and have been mediocre at a great many.  I sometimes sing flat and have problem finding pitch.  I may not write about anything you care about, think is clever, or remotely ever make you believe I was an English major...

...and after seeing it all written in front of me, I am a lot less afraid of criticism...and it only hurt for a moment.

Happy Fishing!



  1. Where I come from, "dork" "geek" and "nerd" are accepted with high regard, usually because we heard them so often it was the only way we could hold on to our pride. If you are a dork, I salute you!

  2. Thanks, Thax! I always found "dorks" to be pretty loveable myself! ; )

  3. You do realize that you could be describing me, too . . .


    I read all of your posts, I'm just not good at commenting. I'm going to be better at it from now on!

    You rock!!!!

  4. Aaaawwww...thanks! I read all of yours too...the ones about you turning 44 have really made me think! I need to do a better job of commenting too... : )

    And I probably described alot of people... ; ) It's not so bad over here on this side of dorkdom!