Friday, July 13, 2007

Ode To No One

Allie wrote about a Chuck Klosterman essay the other day where he says that to be successful a person needs both a nemesis and an archenemy. She invited everyone to blog about the topic and who am I to not take on a challange?

First, an overview in bulleted form:

•At some point in the past, this person was (arguably) your best friend.
•You have punched this person in the face.
•If invited, you would go to this person's wedding and give him a spice rack, but you would secretly hope that his marriage ends in a bitter, public divorce.
•People who barely know both of you assume you are close friends; people who know both of you intimately suspect that you profoundly dislike each other.
•If your archenemy tried to kill you, this person would attempt to stop him.

•Every time you talk to this person, you lie.
•If you meet someone who has the same first name as this person, you immediately like him less.
•The satisfaction you feel from your own success pales in comparison to the despair you feel at this person's triumphs, even if those triumphs are completely unrelated to your life.
•If this person slept with your girlfriend, she would never be attractive to you again.
•Even if this person's girlfriend was a hateful bitch, you would sleep with her out of spite.

Even though I referred to her as my nemesis in the comment section of Pink1sneat's blog, I know who my archenemy would be. This bitch (RIP) went after my sister when she was 16 and tried to mess up her reputation at our job. The one rule about sisters is that if you mess with one, you mess with the other. Sisters stick together like glue so even though I had been trying to get along with this bitch, once she was blatantly mean to my sister, it was over and I hated her guts. I don't use hate often, but I truly believe I hated this woman. What 32 year old picks on a 16 year old?

The problem arising when trying to label my nemesis is that I do not want to waste mental or physical energy on a person I don't like. Sure, I may bad mouth someone I dislike and make fun of them as a pasttime, but when it comes down to it, you could wipe my mind clean of their presence and I wouldn't know the difference. "So and so, who?" I don't think my nemesis is just someone I don't like, I would think that it is someone actually on my level. The example that comes to mind is someone from band* in high school. I definitely had a friend in band with whom I was incredibly competitive with, yet we were still friends. I didn't wish bad things on her, but I also took pleasure in doing better than her. This is because she served as the bar against which I could judge myself. She was my nemesis in that she was a worthy rival. There are plenty of people in my current and past life who I just don't like for different reasons, but I wouldn't call them my nemesis. It's more like they're in the way and I definitely do not use these people as the bar against which to judge my own actions and accomplishments. That bar would be way too low.


*Cough. Dork.

+Title from Smashing Pumpkins


Anonymous said...

I totally understand about the current situation. It's kind of like how I felt about Ogreface at MWC.

minijonb said...

My girlfriend loves Chuck Klosterman. I think I should start getting a little jealous and make CK my Archememy (or my nemesis???)

= : - )

Randi said...

I had an arch-rival and a nemesis in band. Kristen Anderson, my competition in the clarinet sections (every year, we tried to duke it out for fisrt chair) and Barbara, aka, the most evil Asian on the planet, who secretly plotted to destroy my friendship with Mark, since she was his gf and he used to spend a lot of time with me. Hee hee.

Smack the girl who has beef with your sis in the face. That will make you feel better!

Anonymous said...

Did you read the essay in Chuck Klosterman's "Sex, Drugs, & Cocoapuffs" about Big Cuntry? It's short, obnoxious, and unimportant.

Miss Scarlet said...

ARC- Haha, I was totally thinking about you and ogreface when I wrote this:)

Minijonb- Yeah, that was the first CK thing I had read. My friend Noel staff rec'ed SD&CP years ago, but it didn't strike my fancy at the time.

Randi- Well, that woman actually died, but I'll pass along the advice to my sister:)

Anon- "OMG, I think I love you.";)

Ant said...

Very interesting - I think I do have a nemesis/archenemy but I'm not sure what the distinction is. We were good friends once upon a time, but I have kind of side-lined her (yup, it's a her) and life is sweeter as a result. Because she's a woman I would of course never punch her in the face, but I imagine it would be quite satisfying... :o)

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

You coughed up a Dork?

I need to get myself an Arch enemy and a Nemesis. After all, I want to be successfull.

Katie Alender said...

Those lists of qualifiers are hilarious. And now, because I came to your blog, I am once again seized with the need to go catch up on So You Think You Can Dance...