Self-Doubt and Cereal

I’ve often wondered how good writers find such interesting topics about which to write.  I have no skill in this regard.  I don’t like to write personal details.  So usually I settle for outrageously silly or too damn serious.   I write about Cocoa Puffs or Wheat Chex. Not literally, of course.  This is the first time I’ve ever mentioned Cocoa Puffs or Wheat Chex.  Figuratively, though, that’s my entire repertoire;  Either sugary cuckoo puffs of meaningless ranting with lots of pop movie references or mind numbing diatribes about my personal views on religion, politics or  …hmm must be something else I diatribe against, there’s always 3, but it escapes me at the moment.

Anyway, my literal favorite cereal is Lucky Charms.  I so wish I could write Lucky Charms.  Most of it is wholesome bits of nutrient and vitamin rich wheat that soaks up the milk just so, with just enough colorful marshmallows tossed in to keep things entertaining and sweeten the milk.    I try.  I really do try.  Usually, the best I can do is Raisin Bran, though.  I don’t care how many scoops of raisins you toss in, though, you’re never going to turn Raisin Bran into Lucky Charms.

I’m not just going to write about cereal here.  I have a point.  Thinking of cereal analogies is just helping me compartmentalize some of the emotion here.  Basically, I have a lot of self-doubt.  That’s the root of my humor.  I personally think that’s near the root of just about everybody who is funny.  Anyway, today, after a meaningless outburst of mine on Twitter about news, I was treated to about 1000 characters of just putrid rotting criticism of my entire value as a person.  I responded with humor.  1) Because I found the entire incident more than a little creepy.  2) I was half-expecting them to snap out of it and say ‘just kidding, hope you didn’t think I was serious!’.

They were serious, and I shouldn’t give 2 shits about their hateful comments, but I did; I do.  It feels like someone pissed in my Wheaties, as the old saying goes.  Twitter is generally a safe place for me.  Occasionally, something awkward happens.  My wife will get jealous about a friend.  A ‘witty’ comment will offend someone I actually wanted to cheer up.  Worst of all, like today, I meet someone who just spits out all their vitriol at me and tries to improve their day by making me feel like shit.  I really don’t do well with that.  I haven’t figured out how to shield my bowl very well yet, as it were, and it’s hard for me to toss out that serving and pour a fresh bowl.

Maybe someone has some interesting Kashi-like comments to contribute to help me out with this stuff.   I also apologize to anyone whose favorite cereal I may have slighted.  I’m sure they’re all lovely cereals and given time I could probably come to appreciate them all.  Well, probably not Fruity Pebbles.  You have to draw the line somewhere.

8 comments for “Self-Doubt and Cereal

  1. May 12, 2012 at 12:52 am

    I like Kashi. It’s MY favorite cereal.

    I just read that whole thing. I know it’s hard not to obsess over something like that (I do the same thing), but if it helps at all, I think he might have been a looney with a lot of big words and a lot of anger and you happened to cross his path, that’s all.

    Some people are just mean to be mean with no thought at all to how it will affect others. And some of us obsess over our every word and action and are filled with self-doubt and worry and worry. I’m glad I’m the latter and not the former, although I sometimes feel I’d sleep better if I were the former.

    • Patrick Smith
      May 12, 2012 at 1:04 am

      Thanks, and Kashi is what I would WISH was my favorite cereal. I like it. It’s just not something I sneak downstairs at 3am to eat… speaking of which.

  2. May 12, 2012 at 1:27 am

    I wanted to respond to something you tweeted earlier today but I’m glad I kept my response to myself, wouldn’t have wanted to start an argument and end up with hurt feelings…even though sometimes I want to dump your bowl of cereal and say Really?

  3. May 12, 2012 at 1:31 am

    I caught some of that conversation, if you can call it that. There have been a couple of times when I was blindsided by such a thing.
    It is usually from someone I wasn’t following who just pushed their way into the back and forth.
    I will make one attempt to clarify what I am saying and leave it at that.
    I think you handled it fine.

  4. May 12, 2012 at 11:41 am

    My writing is a lot like Honey Bran…it’s kind of sweet at first, but pretty soon you have to run to the restroom.
    Seriously though, I’ve yet to see an Internet-comment pissing match accomplish anything besides making two people mad instead of one. I believe that face-to-face or telephone are the best ways to address disagreements, and if those not possible, then private written correspondence. Keep doing what you are doing Patrick!

  5. Lisa
    May 12, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    I had a situation on twitter where a person I considered a friend there argued with me on the opposite side of a situation we both felt very strongly about – he ended up insulting me and I ended up calling him some sort of name, so frustrated I thought about blocking him. I didn’t, and I don’t regret it. I think it’s hard to express feelings sufficiently with the character allotment – in the case of my friend he wrote a blog about it to explain that I haven’t bothered to read. I just wanted to put it behind me, and I have. I totally get the part about wanting Twitter to be a safe place. It’s hard to trust again when someone violates that!

  6. May 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    i really like ‘let me google that for you’. i have a childish sense of humour, yes. when someone pulled that trick on me i laughed like a drain. imagine my shame and disappointment when i really hurt someone else’s feelings by passing on the LOLZ.

    what can you do? it seems quite easy to have banter online most of the time, but sometimes it just goes pear shaped. don’t sweat it, you aren’t HORRID or anything.

  7. May 15, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    People who spew hate like that do so because they have huge self-esteem issues, and attacking somebody anonymously makes them feel better about themselves. They want to bring you down because they feel down; it’s not personal. It’s not about you, no matter how personal their attacks are; it’s about them.

    I usually respond with mockery. I like to exploit their low self-esteem issues, because I know what motivates them to act like that, and I know how to make them feel worse. I’m mean.

    You, on the other hand, are awesome. Anybody who says differently can come and tell me about it; I’ll gladly take care of them for you. No, really….. it would be my pleasure.

Comments are closed.