Plain Talking

If you've read my bio, you know I'm from New York. I'm also from a large and loud extended Eastern European family. We talk with our hands a lot. At extreme decibel levels. Sometimes, we scare outsiders. Often, we offend them. But, honestly, I don't care. We are who we are, and I'm glad we're loud and proud. Because the other side of that coin is that we are direct. We will definitely tell you if your fly is open, you have a hole in your pants, that your breath smells like three day-old fish and you have spinach in your teeth. And we'll hope like hell you'd tell us too. Except you probably won't. Unless you're also from New York. I'm still listening to the Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward and I'm somewhat annoyed by what was a minor plot line currently being developed in the third book, Lover Revealed. Butch loves Marissa. Marissa loves Butch. But, apparently, neither of them is from New York, because they are both laboring under the misperception that the other is uninterested. I really can't stand these plot lines. This is like mistaken identity and frame-ups. Boh-ring. Eventually, you know it's going to get sorted out, so there is no mystery or even any originality with this plot device.

This storyline annoys me because I absolutely, positively cannot relate. Why the hell wouldn't these two just speak plainly to each other? Cards on the table instead of close to the chest. What you see is what you get. Shoot from the hip and ask questions later. OK, perhaps there is a small purpose to prevarication, subtlety and circumspection. But I can't do it. I hate it. I would always rather know exactly where I stand than wonder, mooning about, applying my not-inconsequential analytical skills to a black box situation.  None of us is a member of the Politburo, so there is no reason to be a black box. I shouldn't have to guess what you are thinking and feeling if we are relating to each other properly.

Because the only reason to be so stingy with the 411 on what's going on is our pride. And we all know what comes before the fall. That's right, our big, fat egos, our puffed up pride, slithering in our ears like the Khan worms in the second Star Trek movie, telling us to protect ourselves. Our egos tell us to act cool, pretend we don't care too much, so no one will see how small and vulnerable we are. Our pride moves us to wait before we call someone back, or at all, to adopt a casual attitude about people and situations about which we feel anything but casual. To hide our enthusiasm and passion and excitement and inspiration, lest others find us too exuberant.

And to my ego I say, "Bite me. Leave me alone. Get the hell out of here."  Passion is a gift. Inspiration is divine. Enthusiasm is contagious. Why in the world would we want to throw a wet washcloth on all of that beautiful feeling, threatening to overwhelm us like lava down a volcano?  Oh!  Maybe that is exactly why we do it. We're scared of the heaving magma. I get it. We might get burned. Hurt. Maybe even dead. I've heard strong feelings can do that to a person.

Wait!  No, they can't. Feelings aren't facts. Even though feelings themselves can seem like having surgery without anesthesia, but, in reality, it just feels that way. This is virtual pain, not literal torture. So we can survive it. Maybe learn something. Maybe not. But whatever happens, at least we didn't put the kabosh on our emotions in the name of preserving our street cred. Be real. Tell it like it is. Take a chance and let the hope and anticipation and yearning out into the world. Act like you're from New York. 

We New Yorkers are a direct bunch. Full frontal all the way. Saying' it, but not spraying it. We are the most exuberant people on the planet (except maybe the uptight Mayflower types--you know the ones I mean). And it's amazing. It's why New York is so full of life and why guys and gals with stars in their eyes flock to the city like flies to dung. They all want to participate in all of that teeming, vibrant, pulsing life. They want to feel.

Unlike some of us who like to pretend that we don't feel a thing. The Vulcans among us, who I've written about before. The ones with ice water flowing through their veins whose cards are up their sleeves, nowhere near plain sight. Folks like this eschew plain talk and they live by the never let them see you sweat code of conduct. I want you to see me glowing--it's how you'll know I'm in it to win it.   

I encourage all of you to put on your Rudy Guiliani and let it all hang out.