I know this is mostly a Facebook meme, but I liked it as a thought experiment enough to reproduce it here. Of course, I cheated a little bit, and did it twice, but I had good reasons for doing so. I described my “outer self” first, the version of me I turn outward to the world, and only later did I upload the 3 characters who represent the “inner” me, beyond my flinty exterior, the “real” me, the deeper me I share with close friends and fellow Aspies whom I trust. All human beings do this to an extent, of course, but for most Aspies, it is an important defense mechanism and a survival tool. It’s not as though the exterior is “fake” and the inside is the genuine article. Not at all. They’re all facets of my personality, all genuine, and I cherish them all, too.
My “outer” personality is represented thusly:
Probably best captured by (upper left) Bernard Black (Black Books), (upper right) Rodney McKay (Stargate Atlantis), and (bottom) Chika Oguie (Genshiken). They don’t suffer fools gladly, are slightly neurotic, constantly annoyed, are fiercely intelligent and can be kind of an asshole yet also full of self-loathing at times.
Bernard Black, of the eponymous BBC comedy series Black Books, a misanthropic bookseller, London. As masterfully portrayed by Irish stand-up comic Dylan Moran, who I strongly suspect poured a good deal of his own heart & soul into the writing of this character. He’s a highly literate fop, disinterested in actually running a successful business, and mostly hates people, especially his own customers. An angry, moody Irishman living in central London.
Dr. Rodney McKay, Stargate Atlantis. Brilliant scientist, not so brilliant at dealing with other people. Probably the least polite Canadian character in all TV fiction.
Chika Ogiue, of the anime Genshiken. Backwards country girl trying to forget her humble origins. She proclaims to “hate otaku” but actively is one….which means she’s in denial about her own self-hatred and self-loathing. She’s frequently angry, especially with stupid people who annoy her, and is sometimes even unexpectedly violent. She has to learn to love herself before she can fall in love with anyone else.
The trio of fictional characters representing the “inner” me, however, are very different. These I mostly kept hidden from strangers and the hostile outside world. This is the me behind closed doors witnessed only by close friends, former lovers, etc. Keeping them below the surface is a matter of protecting myself from emotional harm, etc.
Thus unguarded me is more like these chosen three: (top left) Haruyuki Arita (有田 春雪 Arita Haruyuki), the pudgy but lovable unlikely hero of the anime Accel World, then (top right) Charlie Brown, then lastly (bottom) Hoban “Wash” Washburne of Firefly / Serenity fame, especially for his free spirited “goofball” side. Only people that get to know me really well learn just what a zany goofball I can be in my unguarded, more relaxed moments. Arita because I’m sensitive about my usual condition of being slightly obese. But also because Arita possesses an inner strength, resolve, and beauty. In the digital world he is represented by the Avatar “Silver Crow” and becomes the main hero of Accel World, and wins the love & admiration of a beautiful princess who sees his inner beauty and accepts him for who he is in the real world as well.. Charlie Brown because I’m honest to a fault and kind of an overgrown boy scout. Semi-autobiographical with his creator Charles Shultz, I also have a “little red haired girl” of unrequited love in my past as well (though in my case it was High School and she was a blue eyed brunette); “Wash” is the pilot of the good ship Serenity and the above picture is my favorite scene with this character, an unguarded moment where he is playing with a pair of toy dinosaurs. “Wash” is married to first officer Zoe, a veteran of war and a capable black woman. I myself an very attracted to Latinas and Asian women. This goofy “me” really surprised my ex-wife, since I only felt comfortable letting my guard down and letting her see it after we were already romantic partners. But outer me is still me, still a part of me 24-7, and I’d feel incomplete without those aspects of my personality. Leave it to an Aspie to overthink a “fun” Facebook meme, but whatever, this is my (shared) blog space and I thought it was interesting enough to share with our readers as well….