If you’re a twitter buddy, you’ve seen me use that a few times. What’s it mean?
Glad you asked.
A little history: I first came across this peculiar piece of vocabulary in “The Glass Menagerie.” Y’know, that part when Laura and the Gentleman Caller are all alone and he kisses her and realizes she’s damaged goods? He steps back and kind of hems and haws and calls himself a “stumblejohn.” And when my high school drama department did it, my friend Paul played the stumblejohn in question and the way he delivered the line was just…perfect. Kind of on an exhale, equal parts frustration and defeat and apology. It made a HELL of an impression.
So whenever I am a bit of a cad or have to tell someone bad romantic news, this ALWAYS flashes into my head. And for one reason or another I’ve been feeling like a bit of a stumblejohn lately. Lately being the past few months.
As regular readers (there’s a few of you, right?) know, I went through a bit of a tough spot w/ a break up some months ago, and as such decided to play it close to the chest. Work some things out. Turn myself into the Steve Austin of love or some thing (the 6 mil. dollar man, not the stone cold one). But for one reason or the other the past few months have seen a few romantic mis-steps (nothing major, cue sad trombone) that have actually led to me operating with an unchracteristic amount of honesty and clarity. So why do I still feel like a fuck-up?
This isn’t a woe-is-me thing. Apparently I’m not too bad looking and fun to be around, and I realize that the hang-up is on my end. I’m working on it. But there are days where I wonder if it’s worth the effort, y’know? I mean, I’m really, really, REALLY learning to embrace this relatively newfound sense of adventure and realizing that even if I fail at things it’s only a temporary setback and that will make the next success all the better. But I hate hurting people’s feelings.
I think Elvis said it best:
I’ll figure it out. I swear. And if you’re reading this and I’ve done ANYTHING to hurt your feelings ever, I apologize whole heartedly.
Take care, be good.