A Struggle in Self-Efficacy

In which I continue my mighty aversion of talking about myself by talking about myself using the alphabet as prompts. Parts one and two are…well, you can figure it out, they were sequentially prior to this post.

This is the only Jeff I know. Jeff Bridges Caricature by Marzio Mariani.
This is the only Jeff I know. Jeff Bridges Caricature by Marzio Mariani.

J-Jeff. I’ve never met anyone named Jeff. I’ve met a Geoff, but not a Jeff. Isn’t that kind of strange? Jeff is fairly popular name. It has been in the top 20 baby names for boys 22 times in the past 50 years. That’s a lot of Jeffs. We are lousy with Jeffs. Yet, I have not met a Jeff. Is it because I’m not very sociable? Is it because I don’t meet enough people? Nah, it’s Jeff’s. C’mon, Jeffs of the world, get out there and meet more people. I have so little knowledge of Jeffs that I don’t have a sense of whether or not Jeffs are good people. I know a few Steven/Stephens, and I’m a fan of Steve. I’ve met a few Chet’s and they have all been into cars. Heather’s seem to like booze a little too much.

Jeremy, Jen, Jensen, Jim, Joey, Justin, Jack–scratch that, Jack sucks (blanket statement, nothing persona)–Jane, Jan, Jess, NOT Jim, John who is iffy, and Jay, I know, but Jeff? What kind of a person is Jeff other than a recluse? Phillip and Ellen, you’re both a little socially awkward, but Jeff? Who knows, could be the life of the party or a date rapist, not sure. C’mon, Jeff, make an impression. And if you are a Jeff, please don’t tell me. It’s more fun to speculate on Jeff.

K-KKK. For those unaware, the KKK or Ku Klux Klan is a loose organization of racist, costume-minded redneck dummies dedicated to the idiotic notion of racial purity despite not knowing the definition of “race” or “purity” despite many of them seemingly being inbred. That said, there’s a tiny part of me that sometimes envies being part of a group, no matter how inane and terminally idiotic. There’s nothing I feel passionate enough about to join an organization that involves making or buying costumes and joining rallies and bonding with like-minded people, regardless of how staggeringly stupid the cause may be.

There’s a lot to be said for a sense of belonging. But also, how excited do you have to be by friendship to sit in a room and have a friend say, “hey, I think we should wear white gowns, and a pointy hood, and scare anyone different from us,” and, rather than run screaming, say, “great, I’m on board”? That’s an amazing sense of community (or blind passion for racism, if I was to be honest and not trying to make with the ha-ha’s) to engender blind commitment to some doofus dumbness.keep talking most interesting man meme

L-Less is More. Something I have struggled with is knowing when to shut up. My mouth often exceeds my brain. Just this weekend I was working a sale benefiting charity. A man was at checkout with his wife and multiple children, claiming everything was half-off. We told him that it certainly was not. He said, “well, you’re going to discount these eventually, right?” Thankfully, the CFO of my organization was there to respond with something sensible before I started an argument by saying, “do you wander into Walmart demanding everything be marked down because it will eventually be on sale?” But she couldn’t stop me from, when he stormed off in a huff, from muttering to his wife, “he must be a real treat.” I could and should have just shut up. Less is more, know when to not say anything. Maybe some day I’ll learn that, some day my brain will catch up with my mouth.

I hope this little of experiment of mine is okay with all of you.


Add yours →

  1. I have trouble belonging to any group. Basically, it doesn’t take long for me to realize that the pople I think I agree with are just as stupid, vile, and petty as the people outside the group.

    I’m consistently amazed by people like political diehards who seem convinced that their side is inherently kinder, better, or more moral than the “other side.”

    If only things were that simple.


  2. I used to work for a guy named Jeff. Best boss I ever had.


  3. Great comment on the benefits of being in a group (KKK). I’ve never understood how some of those bizarre situations get followers, but it happens pretty frequently. I don’t have any Jeffs in my family, but do know some.


  4. My brother’s name is Jeff and he’s a douchebag. So I guess that’s why there aren’t many Jeffs out there in the world. Too many douchebags like him would be bad for us all.


  5. You are a real treat. Jeff Dougherty was my age and lived in my neighborhood when I was in elementary school. We were sad when the Dougherty family moved away. They were replaced by the first black family to live in our area, which should have been a step forward but didn’t go well because they seemed to expect that everyone would hate them. Maybe some of the neighbors were rude to them. I only know I said “Yes, Sir” and “I’m sorry, Sir” when the man yelled at me for walking in their yard. I love Jeff Bridges. You know, the dude abides.

    Jumpin’ Janie Flash


  6. There are many people I don’t know with many different names, but that is ok many people don’t know me either, as you know my name is Jo-Anne, not Joanne just saying


  7. I’m okay at not blurting stuff out, but had to deal with this when working at a 5k once:
    Woman: I don’t want race number 666! Give me another number!
    Me: Why?
    Woman: it’s the sign of the devil.
    Me: That is……………..[plenty of time to think carefully about my next word]…….
    Woman: …
    Me: …stupid.


  8. I dated a Jeff. He’s a decent guy, but he got us stuck in the mud in his truck overnight in the middle of the desert. I was cold and tired and scared I’d die. I don’t advise ever dating a Jeff.


  9. Now that you mention it, I don’t know any Jeffs either. Maybe this “Jeff” isn’t even real. He’s a fabrication, a hoax pulled off by “them” to subvert our free will & trick us into pledging our allegiance to the corporations & Hollywood so they can clear the way for world domination (didn’t they already accomplish that, though?). Don’t trust anyone who says they know this Jeff person. It’s a trick! They’re one of “they”. Either that or they’ve already been brainwashed by pop music. I think I’m onto something!

    …Or I’ve had too much caffeine today.


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