Dear Dozen Readers: I am going to try to post every day I have my son with me. He arrived on Saturday, and we are once again bonded. To celebrate, pithy scribblings every day for the ensuing three weeks. Please check back daily and feel free to chastise me if I err or otherwise offend.
I've been noticing it more often these days. People with The Edge. Self-celebrators, chest thumpers, posters of awards, trophies and gewgaws.
I wish they'd get over it.
It's that too-firm handshake, that self-absorbed grin, that tight look. They say: I'm someone special and you should be glad to bask in my glow.
I encountered this, in memorable fashion, at a drum corps event. It's a very specific sport--an art form really. Sorta like marching bands on steroids. They compete on a football field. I sat near a guy who looked a little bewildered, possibly a first-timer. I politely asked if I could help him, and he posed some cogent questions.
Then I dared posit, "What brought you to drum corps?"
Then he said it. Four simple words. Syllables that carried massive gravitas. Rife with The Edge.
"I work for Disney."
As in: "I work for Disney. And you do not, you limp excuse for a human. You are an inbred, mouth-breathing commoner, unfit to share my planet. Kiss my ring. Now.
I moved my seat before I said, "Whuppty-do, you douchenozzle."
Okay, your kid's an honor student. She made the travel soccer team (don't even get me going on that). Your pets are adorable. I'm glad you clipped your nails. Oh, you're a veteran--swell. Lost eight pounds? You still weigh close to three spins.
It's one thing to say: "I had a great time at Joe's picnic." But, adding The Edge, it comes out more like, "I made the best ribs in the world for Joe's picnic."
People with The Edge are also easily annoyed. They view life as through a backwards telescope. Everything revolves around them, for they are entombed in the rosy amber of their own narrow worldview. The phrase "the common good" is an empty, wan concept.
These are the antithesis of then Nike slogan. They just don't do it. But they talk about it. Ad nauseam.
Their jobs are Very Important. I knew one such Edgy asshat who thought that his executive-type job was akin to that of an omnipotent despot. He once told me how he wished he had a bedchamber at work so that he didn't have to leave. He droned. He had the personality of a toaster. When he finally married, I was astonished. A few months later, I asked him about potential wedded bliss. He said, curtly, "We're focused and motivated."
Whither humility, graciousness, authenticity?
I still haven't found what I'm looking for. But I continue pushing that rock up the hill. It takes The Edges off.