December 27, 2009

A few years ago Rosie and I were doing some Christmas shopping in a high end jewelry store. I remember feeling a bit low when I noticed an attractive, confident looking middle aged man at the other end of the counter. He was very well dressed and I noticed that he had on a beautiful pair of ankle length boots. A familiar feeling of “not-good-enoughness” welled up in me and I wanted a pair of boots like that. They might just do it…..might just make me OK. As we were leaving the store I happened to look down at my feet and was astounded to see that I was wearing the exact same boots. I told Rosie and we laughed at my age-old self condemning reflex which, thankfully, has been dissipating albeit very slowly for a long time.

I’ve always loved clothes but I have to admit that my primary motivation when buying them has been to look better than I think I do and to show the world that I’m good enough. Frequently I’d see someone who looks well put together and buy similar clothes thinking that they’ll complete me but some time in the next day or week or month I’d see something else and the nonsense would begin again.

This feeling of inadequacy and its attendant need for some kind of disguise has been lessening over the last few years through my attempts at awareness of my thoughts. The simple action of paying of attention to the things running around in my head has somehow restrained my former automatic responses. I continue to see people who look real sharp and my reflexive thought is to try to be like them but I act on the thoughts less and less.

Posted December 28, 2009


For those of us who know you, clothes don’t make the man. You need ankle-length boots to “complete” yourself like a submarine needs a screen door.

See you at the post office, or anywhere.


Phil,I still sometimes experience jealosy or have a resentment when I see someone drive by in a BMW, thinking somehow they are better than me, even though I am sitting in one.

What I remember most about YOU when you visited the California academy of science in SF–is that you really looked at the animals and scanned the full information quickly to distinctly identify what was interesting or uniquely special about their beauty or design. No one slse seems to do that obvious act.

Wow. Phil. Am I being obtuse?

While introspection is valuable, and so clearly part of how you generate your creative energy, I can’t help but think that this ephemeral “stuff” should be behind you?

Who honestly cares about shoes?
And who cares how someone looks?
It makes me crazy that you do.

Blast through it, would ya?

I am not being mean here.
I do get that this is part of your honest acknowledgement of your own feelings.
But what about your touching everyone else’s feelings?
What about extending this hyper-empathy so it is less about you, and more about everyone else? Who give a flying who-know-what about people’s clothing or your own????
I honestly care more about what people say, how they say it, what they do, and how they carry through. (Yeah….I know….I am an articulation snob; it’s almost as bad as looking just at the physical surface…LOL)

As Cher said in Moonstruck: “Snap out of it!” (And do it with a New Jersey accent, ok?)


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