It does not take very long in getting to know me or reading what I write to realize I have a slight difficulty in being a bit too prone to overanalyze everything. A day like this provides a lot of opportunities for overanalysis, and so I will oblige though for reasons that ought to be fairly obvious I will make it a point not to be too obvious about the people involved in the events that made today such a feast for overanalysis, and probably not just for me. I suppose in writing this blog I have to understand that the other people involved, especially those who are as prone to going through every possible interpretation of one’s words and actions, are likely to be much less open and public about it, but all the same this was a day that was just too odd to let it pass by without comment.
I suppose the first sort of event that put me in such a pensive mood was the Bible study before services. It was given by the local pastor and it was a whirlwind tour, with a lot of digressions, through the empires spoken about in Daniel and Revelation along with the various resurrections of the Roman Empire. There were two things about the Bible study that put me a bit on edge to start the day off. The first was that I was the only person who seemed to be alert/awake enough to answer the various arcane questions that the speaker had about the meanings of Visigoth and Ostrogoth and the son of Marcus Aurelius and so on. The whole experience reminded me of being in high school again (which is not a good thing) where I was thought to be a bit of an attention whore because I always answered the questions quickly and accurately, Hermoine-style. I suppose my own criticism about such matters has made me very sympathetic to others who tend to seem to be desiring of praise and attention, because I understand such insecurities painfully well. The second thing that I found more than a little disconcerting was that when I sat up in the front, as is my fashion, who would sit almost right behind me except for the parents of someone who still occasionally haunts my nightmares and who is largely responsible for why I ended up in Portland in the first place. To be sure, the parents were friendly and gracious, and I chatted a bit with them, but it was not a really great way for me to start the day or to put me at ease in what was already bound to be a stressful sort of experience. Although, truth be told, the experience did give me something else to analyze later, when I danced with a young lady and chatted with her, and she seemed to encourage me for not letting my fears and concerns stop me from traveling to the weekend and looking to enjoy myself, which was all the more reassuring given that she happens to be a person who prompts a great deal of concern in my own life. I should also note that Mr. Dean gave a fantastic sermon about the temple and its spiritual implications that I will muse on and possibly comment on later.
Today there was choir practice, and it was a day where I did a lot of singing. First, I was part of a very sparse choir, and got quite a few comments for singing a song that no one seemed very familiar with (which apparently discouraged a lot of people from joining it). One thing among the choir that drew a lot of attention within practice was the strength of the tenor section. I have to say that even though the song was an unfamiliar one, it was a very lovely one, from one of the most poignant passages of scripture for me, the beginning of Revelation 21. During the dance, I managed to sing one song for karaoke, “Somewhere Only We Know,” by Keane, a song that deals with a longing for communion with creation, for love, and that is full of anxiety about aging. In short, it’s a good song to relate to my stage of life, and quite a lot of people were pleased with the song, even though it’s a fairly high one to sing. I also managed to sing along to quite a lot of other songs as well, as there were a lot of songs sung tonight, some of them very adorable (like the little girl who sang “Girl On Fire” by Alicia Keyes), and some of them full of dark personal relevance, like Bette Midler’s song about Janis Joplin, “The Rose,” which is another song that adequately describes my own personal life right now. Suffice it to say that the music was definitely an important aspect of today that certainly made life more than a little interesting.
The conversations today also made the day a bit fascinating when it comes to over-analysis. A couple of conversations among many stand out as being particularly fertile for overanalysis, along with a third one that related to the dancing I will discuss shortly. One of my friends had a chat with me (and a couple of other people as well, which led a lot of young people I know to come over and enjoy a fascinating and awkward conversation) where he ‘came out’ as a fan of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. He seemed gratified that rather than condemning him for liking something that is viewed as gender- and age-inappropriate, that I was curious about why he was drawn to it and not particularly judgmental. Of course, given the amount of gender and age-inappropriate interests I have, I tend to follow the maxim that he who shares the same sin ought not to cat the first stone. I understood, from painful personal experience, that people can often tend to be very judgmental and unsympathetic but that it’s better to be open and honest about what we stand for and where we come from in the knowledge that those who stand by us will be loyal and true friends. Thankfully, in talking to me he spoke with one of the people likely to be the most sympathetic to him and to his concerns about being thought of as weird and even a bit deviant for liking a show designed for little girls . During the dance I also had a particularly wonderful conversation with a young lady I don’t get the chance to talk to very often because of circumstances, and she was particularly chatty, curious about the scarcity of people in the choir (and maybe a little pleased with such bravery as I possess), as well as pleased that I did not let my concerns stop me from looking to enjoy myself, whether that meant coming to the dance or asking her to dance, I’m not too sure, but the conversation provided plenty of material for overanalysis, and I will undoubtedly oblige.
Of course, given that tonight was a dance, I figure that I should talk at least a little bit about the dancing. Most of the time when I go to a dance I have in mind the people I want to dance with. Given that I have been single without any successful courtship or dating, call it what you will, for over seven years, I have never wished to single a girl out for too many dances, as that might look more than a little bit forward, but all the same I do enjoy slow dances, and I even had someone teach me some basic swing. A conversation about the dance that made me more than a little anxious dealt with the fact that when I dance I tend to put my hand towards the waist or lower back of the young lady, and I was told by an older friend of mine in a “motherly” fashion that a parent had complained about the way I was dancing and that at summer camp the teens learn to dance by holding much further up. I hoped that none of the young ladies I danced with were upset about the placement of my hands, and more than a little upset that I had given cause to concern to yet another parent, or more concern to a parent that might have cause to be concerned with me already. Tonight had so much to overanalyze, and I cannot help but oblige.
 In listening to the friend of mine talk about how he became hooked on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, I was struck by the similarities between his own experiences and my own. I have found that for myself personally that most of my age-related trouble in life has come from simply being open to people who happen to be serious-minded and tender-hearted and interested spending time with me and taking the time to become my friends as I take the time to become theirs. When you add to that physical attraction and casual flirtatiousness, the end result is fairly predictable. The same thing is true of television shows and other cultural artifacts as it is of people.