Okay. Well that maybe didn't go so spectacularly well.
After spending much of the day eviscerating myself over this morning's interview, I headed down to the holding pen to prepare for the dreaded Pecs And Personality segment. As in me, on stage, wearing a jockstrap, responding off-the-cuff to what is termed a "lighthearted question." It's kind of the big moment in the contest when you have the stage all to yourself.
First of all, there's my self-consciousness about my body. It's too bad that all those years in psychoanalytic psychotherapy were spent dealing with my social anxiety issues and my passive-aggressive tendencies and my self-sabotaging behavior (much progress was made!), because I would have devoted some time and effort to my body issues if I had known that in my forty-sixth year I'd be standing up on a stage wearing only a jockstrap. Did I come off as awkward and ill-at-ease as I felt? Probably.
I started to relax listening to the questions that my fellow contestants were getting. The questions were drawn from the autobiographical details we provided in our applications. For example, a man who was a competitive volleyball player was asked to describe his sexual prowess in terms of his volleyball skills. In my "Skills/Activities/Interests," I mentioned such things as my fascination with werewolves and my love of detective fiction. Either of these, to my mind, would be fodder for great questions.
What did I get? "So, you mention an interest in 'sustainable construction strategies.' If you were to design a new house for (IML Founder) Chuck Renslow, which strategies would you employ?"
For one thing, about fifteen to forty times a week, I'm doing energy conservation education with my customers. I have this whole spiel I say over and over and over again. For another thing, design problems have on me the effect that bright, shiny objects have on people with Attention Deficit Disorders. So I heard the question and panicked. "Don't make this work-y! This is neither the time nor the place for work-y! Make it funny and laden with sexual innuendo!"
Uh huh. Discussing sustainable design and construction strategies just lends itself so well to humor and sexual innuendo.
I did the best I could. I talked about "passive" (wink wink nudge nudge) and "active" (wink wink nudge nudge) thermal comfort strategies. I talked about the need to recycle things (beer, piss). I talked about how one should cut down on waste and use every drop.
That was a terrible question. I gave a terrible answer. My only hope is that at least some of the judges realize that my question was a dog and take pity on me, possibly finding it laudable that I didn't drop the microphone and run crying from the stage.
I'm better now.
Tomorrow is "Wheat From Chafe" Day. Some of us will be in the Top Twenty. Some of us will not be. I'm letting go of all of that. It's about the journey, not the destination.
So right now I'm going to go downstairs and watch the parade of unbelievably attractive men pass by and smoke a meditative cigar.
And then I'm going to bed. It's been a long day.