Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Theory of Else (with an ooh and aah time codicil)

When I was in college (25 or more years ago), I had friends (male) who I baked for when I went home on weekends. I was a shameless praise hussy (still am) and my ego needed the rush of males falling over themselves to get to my brownies. Jack ascribed to what we still call "the theory of else" in our house - everything's better when it's made by someone else. My son is a strong believer in this as proven every morning when he asks "Mom, what's for breakfast?" He's perfectly capable of making his own breakfast but he enjoys it so much more when I do it and since I get something out of it (the boy is smart enough to heap effusive praise upon me), I at least occasionally give in to the pleading.

I don't necessarily buy into the whole "better when it's made by someone else" mindset though, probably because of the whole ego stroking thing that happens when I am the maker not the taker, but I was not too proud to copy the link for you when I discovered that someone else had already created an annotated bibliography of knitting fiction- Books with a knitting theme . Besides, I'm getting anyone who clicks on it to read an article from a librarian magazine and that's almost as good as getting you to read library comics.

This need for praise explains a lot about me - the success of my weight loss and the incentive to keep it off, the joy of knitting for others, and yes, even this blog. It also contributes to why I was a really good children's librarian and am still finding my way as a director. There's not as much positive overt feedback in the director gig, but that's just inspiring me to find new and exciting things to introduce.

The Theory of Else only pays off because of Ooh and Aah Time. If we praise junkies didn't need our egos stroked, nobody would get a darned thing out of us. I was raised with the phrase "ooh and aah time." It was crucial to getting any work done around our house. My mother said that if you forgot to do it, nothing else would get done for a very long time, so if a nail was hammered for a picture to hang on, we all trooped into the room and admired the artful technique and perfect positioning. Note: Criticism has to be used very sparingly and must be followed by extra heaping loads of bull... I mean, praise. Hey, it's not that I don't know when I'm being manipulated - it's that I just don't care as long as you keep it coming.

1 comment:

Courtney said...

I like your post. There are a few things that my brain is ingrained to think that other people make better than I myself would. Off the top of my head, they are:

1. Coffee
2. Cake
3. Scrambled Eggs

Perhaps this is why I enjoy the local diner, with their coffee, cinnamon bun and western scrambled so much = O