I started using this term to describe actors in sitcoms who played outrageous characters so well that they became believable (like Wendie Malick as Nina on Just Shoot Me or Christine Baranski as Maryanne on Cybil). These actors didn’t turn their characters into a joke but instead really got behind them and delivered their lines with intensity and seriousness. Those are the characters that stand out to me, and those are the actors I really admire.
I’ve always been an outrageous character myself, but have never, ever had the courage to “sell it” like the actors I so admire. No, when I’m getting crazy I always back off just as I am about to deliver that harebrained Jon that’s deep ingrained in me and turn everything into a joke with a sarcastic tone of voice or expression.
Crazy Jon isn’t the only one to suffer from this habit of mine. Slightly-more-civilized-and-professional Jon also wavers all too easily, retreating into sickeningly-pleasant-and-completely-ingenuine Jon, whom I’ve come to deplore.
I know the real Jon is in here because a couple times he’s shown himself, full force, no apologies, I couldn’t put a cap on him if I tried. And people loved him. I’m certainly more proud to show him than that vague Jon I am most the time. Unfortunately, the honest Jon falls to the counterfeit Jon at the first quiver of my confidence.
I want to stop twisting everything to make crazy Jon into a joke. I want to get behind that raw Jon and deliver myself to the world with that same intensity and seriousness and not back down. I want to bare the Jon that goes to my core, and do it without hesitation or dither.
I want to really sell it.
When I was five years old that movie Twister came out and I just had to see it, and once I did I just had to build my own Dorothy. Of course the closest I came was spray painting a tall cardboard box silver and writing “Dorothy I” on the side. Then I filled it with balls of aluminum foil like the sensors.
I just recently came across my DVD of Twister and had to watch it. I really love Helen Hunt, and I still really want to chase down a tornado.
So, I went to Wendy’s today to get some dinner and wanted to use two coupons (I was really hungry and really broke). Well the fine print says “one coupon per customer visit” so when I was ordering I asked if I could use the second coupon. Before I even finished my question the lady says “only one coupon per visit” in a really snotty voice and then tacks on a fake “sorry” in a really irritating voice (you know what I’m talking about right?).
I can deal with them not accepting two coupons. It’s dumb, but I can deal with it. The rude way she spoke to me though really made me fume, so I pull up to the first window, pay, then pull up to the second window to get my food and immediately recognize the woman’s rude tone.
So I grab my food, pull around the building and get back in the drive through line. I ordered again, using my second coupon this time and pay at the first window. The girl there did a double-take and just laughed. Ahead of me at the second window the snotty manager was holding my bag of food out the window, so I just kind of rolled real slowly past her and took my food without ever coming to a complete stop. The look on her face made my week!
I know what I did was hardly aggressive, but I at least think it was assertive.
Do you think that qualifies as asserting myself?
And maybe assertive is better than aggressive. What do you think?
What would you have done?