Sunday, 11 July 2010
Asshole, revisited (for the third time)
Heather! Anne! note: You can't believe a word of this post. It was written by someone who loves me too much to tell the truth.
Most parents tell their children that they can grow up to be anything. They tell their children that they can do anything they want to do if they just set their minds to it or apply themselves. At some point in our lives, we all realize that isn't true. We all have intellectual limitations, physical limitations, emotional limitations and circumstantial limitations. No one can really do anything they want to do, except for Heather.
Heather is 31 and in her whole life she has never wanted something she didn't get. She has never set a goal she didn't achieve. She has never wanted to do something she found impossible to do. She is good - great actually - at everything she tries. (With one notable exception: She will never be able to dance. It is genetic. Her dad dreams about shooting good dancers in the head.)
I wish I could find a way to explain Heather to you (She does car commercials in Japan. I hear hair is insured for ten thousand dollars.) but she is the one who is gifted with words. Of course, she would never use her own words to describe how she is on the inside. Not really. I tell her that she is not made for this world because she is almost too warm. She is almost too gentle. She is almost too forgiving and too open. She just believes all the best things. She jokes about her third grade teacher ruining her life by telling her there was no Santa Claus, but that really does still bother her because she does believe in magic. Well she believes very deeply in the power of imagination - which is the same thing, she says.
She shares that part of herself a little with her stories and her blog posts, but it's very diluted compared to how intense it is in real life. Everyone she meets falls in love with her - dogs, cats, children, men, women, your own boyfriend or girlfriend. Because her personality is like a forcefield in reverse. It pulls everything and everyone into her.
Dealing with Heather sometimes is like dealing with a genius-child. She'll walk out into the street because she's busy imagining. And if she says she can't do something, it only means she doesn't want to do something. If she says she doesn't know the answer to a question, it is only because she doesn't feel like answering. She knows how to do everything, and if she does not know how to do it, she could learn it in five minutes. If she's in the mood - or if she is drunk - you can ask her any question and she will tell you the answer and it will be the best story you have ever sat through. Ask her to tell Bible stories to you. Ask her to tell you about history.
She talks herself down to everyone and pretends she's mediocre at so many things, but none of it is true. (Except dancing. I tell you, she cannot dance. We call it The Pterodactyl when she tries.)
For every page she writes for work or for her blogs, she writes 50 pages for herself. Sometimes she goes outside in the middle of the afternoon in jeans and a t-shirt. She lies in the grass and it is like the sun is telling her the secrets of the universe because she goes back inside and writes for 20 hours without stopping to even eat.
When we were in high school, she joined the track team. She hated it, but she did it because they needed more girl runners. Most people are good at one or two things. You are either good at sprinting or long distances. She was better than everyone at everything. The day of the meets, she just waited to see where the team needed a runner and she ran that event. She always won. But here is what is so Heather about it ... she only ran fast enough to win. She could have probably set state records, but she didn't want to make people feel bad on the other team.
That's why you'll never see those 60 notebooks in her closet, I think. It's why she pretends not to know answers to questions too. Also, I think it's because she's afraid her genius will run out and she won't be able to meet your expectations.
Heather has a lot of annoying habits that mostly have to do with losing stuff. She literally can't keep up with her phone or her car keys. (She's doing better with her wallet now that Abigail bought her one with dinosaurs on it.) But that's only because she has a million things going on in her head, so keys and phone are trivial to her, like eating and sleeping.
The point is that Heather is an asshole because she can actually do anything she wants to do, and because everyone loves her best no matter what. She will always be better than you at everything she does. But unless it's basketball (or sometimes video games) she won't let you know she's better.
She would hug the whole world if she could. She would gather the globe up in her arms and give it a big Hogan squeeze. But she hugs you different if you know her inside. You will know it if it ever happens to you. That's when you know that yeah, she is an asshole, but she's your little asshole. And you would jump in front of a bullet for her. (She's not bullet-proof even though you think she is.) And you'd jump in front of a bear for her too. (She's not bear-proof either - but that you already know.)
Posted by Heather Anne Hogan at 10:08 pm