There’s a moment in an episode of Hannibal where his therapist says, “You’re wearing a very well tailored person suit… more of a human veil.” She admires its “meticulous construction,” but it is a constant reminder that he isn’t completely honest with her, and the version of Hannibal she sees isn’t the truth.
I wear a person suit, too. Some of it is constructed, and some of it is just… me. I psych people out. Sometimes, it’s because I mean to, and sometimes it’s just because the sheer “me-ness” of being me makes me hard to read and impossible to predict. I instinctively mess with some people and ignore others. I’m impossibly ornery yet very kind. Neither one is a put on. I really am unpredictable. One day, I might get up and be in a Lady Gaga, sci-fi movie mood, and the next I’ll listen to Josh Groban on repeat and watch six solid hours of a costume drama. I’ll like things no one thinks I will, and hate things everyone thinks I’ll love.
My nature is to be quiet, so that makes people think I’m shy until I open my mouth and either sheer sarcasm or shocking observations about human nature comes out of it. I’m the girl who can write and understand a complex, truly evil villain that makes your skin crawl, or a devotional that touches your heart. My kitchen might be a mess, but I’ll also line up pencils on my desk and it drives me nuts if a photograph hangs crooked… except when I hang it that way on purpose. I’m not bipolar but I am changeable. I’m soft on some issues, and hard on others. Some things bother me, others don’t and I can’t predict either one.
The person suit I wear isn’t necessarily to keep people at a distance, except when it is. People don’t know me as well as they think, in part because I’m not very know-able, and I don’t even truly know myself. I can’t tell you why I like some people right off the bat and not others. I can’t tell you why some people drive me nuts and others don’t. I can’t tell you why I love some things and not other things similar to it. I’m not very personable but I can be charming. I can make you feel at home and welcome or I can freak the hell out of you. I’m baffled when people like me. Do they like my unpredictability? Do they like me messing with them? Or do they like the person suit I wore that day?
I think in some ways, I simply challenge people… will they stick around long enough to watch the person suit shift between different behaviors or will they give up? Men in particular find me mystifying, because I’m not like anyone they’ve ever met before. I’m not a girly-girl, except when I am. I eat my meat medium-well done but carry bugs outside instead of smashing them. I know I’m a walking pile of contradictions and am un-phased by it. I have a sneaking feeling I’ll either never get married, or someday will find someone who just happens to love my unpredictability, raging contradictions, and ever-changeable person suit.