Ask my cousin's 1-year-old son, Anthony. I have been singing him "Movin' Out" ("Anthony works at the grocery store...") since I first met him when he was two days old.
Sometimes as my train approaches the city and I see the skyline, "New York State of Mind" runs through my head.
When my nephew Andrew was brand-new, I used to sing him "Piano Man" on repeat. (That song in no way relates to a newborn baby...I just liked singing the "la da da da de da" part to him over and over.)
But, I definitely am a big Billy Joel fan. (Now that his last marriage has ended, I think he should go back with his first wife. He wrote "Just the Way You Are" about her! How could that not mean they would last forever?)
And today, I had a long conversation with a friend of mine...a close male heterosexual friend that I've known since the 4th grade. (I don't have many male friends that are heterosexuals, or ones that I've known since the 4th grade...he's the only one.)
I talked with him about stuff I couldn't exactly figure-out and needed a second opinion on...
And he gave me his opinion...the opinion of a heterosexual male who has known me for a very long time. I came to him with a certain dilemma, he read through emails I had written, I filled him in on other things.
And he told me what he thought...the opinion of a heterosexual male who has known me for a very long time and who cares about me and wants me to be happy and is giving me tough love.
He told me I joke around too much...I use humor as my defense mechanism, and I end-up giving-off mixed signals, even though I accuse other people of doing so. I expect people to understand exactly what I am trying to say and to take me seriously...even though my communication is anything but serious.
And then I realized something.
I am a walking personification of Billy's "Leave a Tender Moment Alone."
(Disclaimer, I am not currently "in love"...but the rest of the lyrics certainly seem to fit.)
I know the moment isn't right
To tell the girl a comical line
To keep the conversation light
I guess I'm just frightened out of my mind
Yes I know I'm in love
But just when I ought to relax
I put my foot in my mouth
Cause I'm just avoiding the facts
After talking to my old friend, I think I'm afraid of rejection and getting hurt, so I veil everything in jokes so I can say, "Well, I was just joking, anyway!" when things don't go the way I was hoping they'd go.
I think I AM a funny person and witty person by nature (well...I am...) and it has helped me a lot in life...so I end-up using it too much.
I expect people to interpret exactly what I am trying to say and to take me seriously...but if I'm not being serious myself, so how is that fair to them?
I'm surprised that I needed somebody else to point this out to me and am grateful for this very old friend's (and I still remember the day he moved from California and joined our 4th grade math class) honesty.
I intend to face tomorrow with a new outlook.
Thank you to my old friend Nick and, of course, thank you Billy Joel...