Tuesday, October 04, 2011

I've got a secret.

One of the things I have been doing since I became aware of the set of behaviors linked to being an ACoA is reflecting as to how much of that is an influence in my regular life.  One area where it seems to be a surprising factor for me is super hero comic books.

Comic book fans love super hero comic books for many different reasons.  Some like the soap opera aspect of them.  This has never been much of an attraction for me for much the same reason that soap operas themselves lost their fascination for me.  Part and parcel of soap operas is that something always has to be happening to the lead characters.  But at some point the only way to keep having dramatic things happen to characters is by changing a character's defined characterization.  In wrestling parlance this going from good to bad is called turning heel and it is also a reason that I am not fond of professional wrestling, too.

Some people like super powers.  For those people the genre is similar to fantasy.  And while I like the idea of powers and people being able to do more than a regular person, that is not the only nor even the chief attraction to me of super heroes.

What I like the most is the dual identity, that by day people think you are one kind of person, generally a meek or ineffective one.  But yet by night or when the chips are down, you actually have a reservoir of abilities and aptitude undreamt of by those around you.

The sight of Christopher Reeve unbuttoning his shirt, or Adam West sliding down the pole, or even Ryan Reynolds materializing his costume gives me a thrill.  I think I empathize because people don't have a true picture of me and underestimate me.

Now sometimes that is deliberate.  I believe in the Montgomery Scott philosophy of under-promise and over-deliver.  But sometimes it is just people looking at the surface and not at all paying attention to what they are really seeing.  Call it Lois Lane syndrome if you like.  Sadly the most recent place I experienced this was in my relationship.

As I was telling my closest friends about how the break up occurred and the charges about my behavior laid down by my ex, they pretty much all said that it sounded like she did not really know me at all, which is sad indeed, because if anyone is supposed to see me with the mask off, it is the woman I love.


Here are some Japanese kids playing This Could Be the Start of Something Big a song written by Steve Allen and used at one point as the theme for the game show I've Got A Secret, that point being when Steve Allen himself hosted the show.

1 comment:

Kennnn (I'm with the banned) said...

Actually, if you consider the classic Lois Lane syndrome, the twisted thing is that all Lois saw was Superman, and she was unable to see Clark. But the thing of it is, there's an ongoing debate among Superman fans as to whether or not Clark is the fiction and Superman is his real personality or if Superman is the fiction and Clark is the real personality. And the people at DC seem to change their minds about this. Fans from pre-1986 argue Superman being real, fans from after 1986 tend to say the other.

I tend to argue that neither Clark nor Superman is a fiction (withing the fictional reality), but neither is the complete person. And that as both Clark and Superman, he actually tries to keep people from getting close. Clark is mild mannered, and sometimes clumsy and bumbling. Superman wears blue and red tights with a cape, and stands with his arms akimbo like a demigod. You tell me which is more approachable.

Which is actually really the point. I suspect your ex only saw your Clark side. In fact, I'm sure of it because the nominal reason she broke up with you is because unlike Clark/Superman you are a mere mortal.

But the fact is that people like us (and I have that whole double identity thing happening too) there is a tendency for us to want people to see the real us - the combined self. But we don't know how to let both sides be seen because we are so used to being Clark OR superman we don't know how to be Clark AND Superman at once.

And when you consider the "strong and sensitive" thing that you mentioned elsewhere, that's what they're looking for too.