In the movie “Beaches,” there’s a quote from C.C. Bloom to Hillary: “But enough about me, let’s talk about you … what do YOU think of me?” That’s the perfect commentary on my own life. Me, me, me and me. I am C.C. Bloom.
I wasn’t always this way.
I was a shy, reticent child, always following the lead of someone more ballsy than I, until fourth grade.
That’s when we moved from the big city of Wilkes-Barre to the quiet garden village of West Pittston. I was smart enough to realize I either had to remodel my entire personality to swim with the female sharks or drown in the muddy chasm that is pre-middle school with the more restrained and tedious fish.
Such was the genesis of my learning curve, and I chose to become obnoxious and self-centered. I was also short, squat and decidedly unathletic. But that’s a whole other column, my friends.
I’ve become even more insufferable as I’ve aged. The need for me to be spinning within the vortex of all attention has expanded along with my pelvic floor. And I don’t need to be fueled by alcohol, either, although that brings out the beast that is Even-More-Obnoxious Maria — louder, more animated and less filtered. If that’s even possible. And my good friends have no problem pointing out that I suffer from this character flaw, but by utilizing my most efficient hand gesture, I tell them how deeply I care.
Additionally, I also suffer from the ailment known as Lastworditis.
Except maybe a punch in the face.
I’m telling you, I must have the last word, even if it’s tossed over my shoulder, under my breath or from under the pillow my husband places over my face.
This extends to texts as well. I just cannot sign off and be done with my tech-thought. Round and round I go, and where it ends nobody knows. But it usually ends only when the person on the other end deletes me.
My daughter tells me often I can’t always say everything that pops into the mechanical mess that is my brain. She’s always been mortified by my constant need for attention and my cavernous mouth.
I feel badly that she has gone in the other direction, with her propensity to be all politically correct, quiet and polite. Who the hell’s kid is this? Well, someone had to balance the scales of this family.
Her father used to be timid. too, but being married to me for 30 years has loosened him up. It’s called survival of the quietest.
A friend of a friend, a roller derby superstar named Elyse who allegedly also enjoys the spotlight, often hears this chant from her friends: “1,2,3 … ALL EYES ON ME” when she demands attention.
They say it like it’s a bad thing. It’s not, Elyse. It’s not. Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Elyse Over! Join my verbal volleyball team. Better than derby!
I am who I am. Swim with the chatty sharks or cut bait. 1,2,3!
Maria Jiunta Heck of West Pittston is a mother of three and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life. Send Maria an email at [email protected]