Thursday, January 13, 2011

In Which An Introvert Seeks a Shortcut

Back in my Dickens challenge days (so long ago now...) I usually ordered the books from the library since I only actually owned three. Sometimes the copy the library would send me would be an annotated copy.

You know what an annotated book is, right?

Annotated – an adjective meaning supplied with or containing explanatory notes, textual comments, etc.

This is usually accomplished with footnotes, either at page ends or in a section at the back of the book. I've only read a few books like this but I have to say: I love it. Because if you're not up on, oh say, popular pub songs in London from the 1830's that information is right there for you. They give background, they make the story richer, they help you read the book with some of the same information the author had when he / she wrote it.

You know what would come in really handy? Annotated people.

Seriously - think about it.
"Has issues with food because..."
"Once bitten by a dog, consequently afraid of..."
"Afraid of the dark because..."
"Laughed at by her classmates when she was seven, so..."
"Struggling with infertility..."
"Loves sarcasm."
"Likes boats but not the ocean..."
"Hates being alone."
"Knows all the words to every Jim Croce song. Ever. We don't know why."

It would save so much time. It would save so much misunderstanding. ("Well, I know that she didn't just snap at me because she's upset with me, she's dealing with some complicated family issues right now.")

As an introvert who finds dealing with people singularly exhausting, I can tell you that Annotated People sounds like a great idea - unless we're talking about all my background, fears and dreams being accessible. Those files are need to know only.

Anyway, since it's not really an option, I guess we'll have to keep being patient with one another, asking questions, taking time, and understanding that not only can you not judge a book by its cover, you can't always judge it by the words on the page either.

3 comments:

Karabeth Baptist Homeschool said...

Hmm. 4, 6, and 9 are me.

7 is from Groundhog Day.

The rest I'm not sure about. Actually the one about infertility was me at one time also but that seems so unbelievable since I ultimately had you and your three siblings. Ah! See? I told you I loved sarcasm! :)

Karin said...

Three of those annotations may very well be about your mother as she writes in her comment - but there are oh, so many people about whom I know these statements - and I'm sure there are a gazillion more! Always think the best about someone - until proven otherwise! Great post!

Karen@Candid Diversions said...

Mom, if you think they're about you, then you missed the point of my post. ;)

No persons, living or dead, were intended specifically as inspiration for these characteristics.

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