Pete Schrute

I read a Facebook post yesterday about how you shouldn’t keep arguing with people who are committed to misunderstanding you. And, that’s very true. My post yesterday was at least slightly against my better judgement, as is this one actually. I’m really trying to move forward. …But I’m also an advocate for being authentic as much as is possible. Not to be confused with open or vulnerable necessarily but certainly being honest and real. Still, I’m sure someone somewhere is determined to fit all that they take in about me into the tiny space of their inaccurate first impressions or the narratives they need to make their worldview still make sense? Or something like that… *shrug and eye-roll* I don’t know… And that’s disappointing and very frustrating.

Yet, for the sake of a bit more illumination if it’s helpful I’d like to suggest a few (final) images. Aside from my mother’s father’s family who were southerners originally from the American Old South of The Age of Enlightenment, I think my family could be summarized by the following characters from popular culture: Dwight Schrute, Pete Campbell and the stereotypical blond Scandinavian who skiis exceedingly well named Sven (while wearing great sweaters). Ha!

So like…I joined the fragrance community with the intentions of Sven to understand more about perfume.

The chemistry. The art. The beauty.

Truly I had loved the art of fragrance since early childhood but I wanted to know so much more and enjoy the splendor of it with others who appreciate it as well. …But…the part of me that is a sort of Pete Campbell caused a problem for some. Unfortunately. And…that part of me that’s like Pete is so connected to the part of me that’s like Dwight that I missed certain things.

See, I’ve used Dwight in the past to describe people who are somewhat American rural, backward and unaware in a sort of hillbilly/redneck vein but perhaps wrongly so. He wasn’t a true hillbilly. No… And the thing that seemingly a lot of Americans and non-Americans alike (people in general) don’t recognize consciously when they’re analyzing American farming culture is that farming communities vary a lot from place to place and farming families vary wildly within that as well. The United States is a very big and very diverse country. A farmer in rural Kansas is wildly different from a farmer in Pennsylvania and likewise one in North Dakota. Heck, it even varies within states and forget regions to some degree. That’s too unfortunately broad, in my opinion.

Dwight however was Pennsylvania Dutch (German), I think. And those sort of people have more in common with the cultural background of the farming part of my family than many other farming cultures in the US. The Pennsylvania Dutch farmer’s Protestant Christianity (but not Anglican); dutifully pristine ideals; stoic and reserved temperament (not to be confused with conservatism); and Old-World Northern European toughness are very similar to the Scandinavian-American culture I descend from. Although, we’re more stoic and reserved than they even are, I’d argue (and on a familial level we’re a bit more “lace curtain” à la Pete).

But, Dwight also misses some things. Ha! *smile* We’re certainly not unintelligent (Dwight wasn’t either I don’t think). But, despite whatever cerebral capabilities we both posses he had a tendency to not realize his vulnerabilities or what he simply didn’t know in certain social situations until it was too late. I think there’s a strain of that sort of thing in our culture as well. *sigh* It’s amazing how well the writers of that show understood Dwight though. Maybe it was the insight of the actor as well?

…Again, I entered the fragrance community to be a connoisseur, to develop my appreciation and understanding further and to enjoy the collections of others as well as share my burgeoning collection. …What I don’t think I realized enough was that *laugh* as it’s a huge social media platform a lot of the folks on there in the community are there (to varying degrees) to become/be…well…kind of famous. Right? Glamorous? And…while I had over six thousand followers years ago and I’d have more now if my account existed because it was growing (much more slowly towards the end) I wasn’t ever trying to be an influencer. Truly. I’m not like Jim. I was never trying to be popular or famous. I did love having many followers, especially people who were sincere enthusiasts, very knowledgeable individuals or individuals with sublime tastes. I had pride in that. But I wasn’t intentionally or consciously attempting to be “cool” or glamorous. Or cute.

And actually sometimes ill-intentioned and sometimes probably kindly meant “compliments” otherwise irritated the heck out of me. It often felt like sexism. Or ageism? It depended on the “compliment”. I mean, most Millennials (or younger) post selfies or did. Etc.. It’s a generational twitch that lacks that much meaning on an individual level unless one posts too many or etc.. I probably should have been much more careful with my presentation to not so easily give the wrong idea to those who don’t understand or don’t want to.

No, I was there to celebrate the art of making beet epicurean delights you crass heathens! (Please note sarcasm in last sentence.) But…really…I do admire and respect those who were there for reasons other than to celebrate perfume in the way I do. Maybe they were and are there to engage in a bit of a taste of “Hollywood online”. I don’t have that interest but if you do then that’s fine. Obviously.

To clarify, I do have relatives who are into acting, modeling and glamor but (to reference my previous posts)…they’re honestly more Grace Kelly versus the glamor queens one finds more frequently. Grace Kelly was glamorous too but not in the same way as Marilyn and she actually was also of somewhat similar origins to the character of Dwight interestingly enough.

I’m figuring it out. And again, I’m sorry if I hurt you and you’re reading this. If you’re a little bit Marilyn please don’t let me bother you. Truly!

And for those die-hard haters you’re in luck. Here’s the version of reality you’ll appreciate:Your Daily Dose.

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