Perceptions are an odd thing I've decided. The other day my son asked me how I survived in the Police Force being a non-drinker. I told him that I didn't know any different, but unlike a lot of my peers I didn't spend a lot of time socialising at the Police Club which in those days was adjacent to Russell Street Police Station and always full of coppers, most of them off duty, unless you were a detective and then given you were on duty all the time it didn't really matter whether you were on or off shift, if you get my drift.
Anyway, the truth was that I was never at my best in crowds or social situations. I was shy, I didn't enjoy smoky, beery environments, and at the time, I was a young married man with a couple of young sons and I much preferred being home than out. I don't think I was ever given any credit for that. And that doesn't mean I think I deserved it, just that the homeliness wasn't appreciated.
The being home thing is the one true trait that reveals me as a Cancerian I guess and not much has changed over the long years since. Looking back [and maybe some of you who have regularly read this blog will know] my loner personality was evident pretty early in life. I've heard recently that someone I used to be close to had described me as a boring man and as someone no one would look twice at, and to be fair, that has an element of truth. Social situations and building relationships used to scare the crap out of me. I'd much rather lock myself at home rather than put myself in a situation where I might have been vulnerable.
So son, if you one day read this. I have no regrets about spending the time at home rather than getting pissed with my mates. I wonder sometimes whether I may have ended up with closer and better friends than I had, but it is a waste of time wondering for too long. In the end we do what we do because it seems the right thing at the time. Sometimes experience and hindsight may tell us that we should have explored some things more fully, that letting walls down and friendships in may not be such a bad thing after all. But two wise men have left behind two wise comments -
"To thine own self be true." and
"I yam what I yam and that's all I yam"
And for those who don't recognise the quotes the first is William Shakespeare, the second is Popeye, which simply proves that wisdom can be found in the strangest places.