posted by dave on Monday, May 7, 2007 at 6:01 AM in category general

Okay, for the sake of simplicity, let's say I'm normal on this imaginary scale I just thought up.

In fact, let's stipulate that everybody is usually normal.

It's not a looks scale. It's not a personality scale either, though that's a little bit closer. Maybe it's more of a pleasantness, or a niceness scale.

What it is, is a self-scale.

Clear as mud, right?

Let me explain.

Man I've got a lot of paragraphs already.

Does it even count as a paragraph it only has a single sentence? Is a paragraph defined by content or by spacing and/or indentation?

But I wildly digress.

What I mean is, when I feel like myself, when I am behaving like myself, I'm right in the middle on my personal scale. I'm my normal self. When my energy level is low, such as when I'm more sad or tired than normal, my position on my scale worsens. I become less likable, less friendly. When my energy level is higher, like when I'm excited or happy about something (hey, it can happen) then my position on my scale is higher.

Remember, the stipulation that everybody is normal on their own scale. This means that Richard Simmons is normal. A high-school cheerleader is normal. That Virginia Tech fucker was normal, assuming that he was always sad or moody or homicidal or whatever. Hitler was normal. He was an asshole but when he was being his asshole self, then he was also being his normal self.

There is a point to this, really. I'm not just typing to kill time. Well, maybe that's part of the reason, but it's not the only one.

I almost digressed again. Whew!

I don't know if it's really relevant, but any changes to your position must be, by definition, temporary changes. Because if whatever mood swing that's going on lasts too long, then that becomes the new you, and you become normal again. The scale just gets recalibrated. Like, I'm a lot more sad now than I was five years ago. But I was my normal self then, and I'm my normal self now. It's just that normal has changed for me. Does that make sense? I hope so.

We can also affect others, and they can affect us.

And this is the part where I finally get to the fucking point.

Couples can be similarly rated. Ditto for friends and coworkers and siblings and whatever else might bring two or more people together.

Take your average man and wife. He's normal, and so is she. But when they're together, what happens? Do they act differently than they normally would. Does he shut up so she can dominate the conversion? Does she get angry at the way he talks to other women?

What are they like as a couple? Better or worse or the same?

Do they boost each other up, so that their sum is greater than its parts? Or do they drag each other down? Do people really enjoy time with one, or with the other, but never with both at the same time?

When I was with MixedSignalGirl, we boosted each other up pretty well. Most of the time. People generally liked spending time with us. Most of the time. WeirdGirl also seems to be immune to my powers, so the two us together are probably more fun when we're together than when we're separate.

I know a few couples who don't seem to change at all. My sister Neisha and her husband Chris. My friend Eric and his wife Teri. They are exactly the same whether they're together or apart. This, to me, would seem to be the goal of all this.

I also know a few who, like the married couple in the example above, are real downers for each other. Spending time with one of them is great. Spending time with the other one is great too. But put them together and suddenly everyone starts making excuses to get away from them. Or trying to kill themselves because it's just too fucking depressing being around them.

They drag each other down, and then a sort of a singularity forms, and they start affecting everyone around them. And once that happens, the only hope is that some super-positive couple like TeamHotness shows up and reestablishes the balance in the universe.

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