Imitation is the sincerest form of crazy

06

Mar

Imitation is the sincerest form of crazy

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I’m highly suggestible. If I read too much of one author’s writings in one sitting, I start talking like the books. After seeing a Howie Mandel show in college, I was walking around waving my arms for days. I mimic people’s accents. I even developed a stutter when sharing living space with someone who stuttered. Most of that’s not a good thing. People take offense if they think you’re mocking them, no matter how accidentally it happens. The up side is, once I’m aware I’m doing it, I can usually stop.

I read once an article on how mimicry can help develop friendships. The idea is that if you mirror someone’s behaviors, he or she will see you as “like” him or her and want to be friends. I’ve wondered whether my “skills” are more developed than others because we had to make new friends as kids, moving as my family did. But, then again, I’m not sure either of my brothers suffer from the same suggestibility I do and they made those same moves.

So, maybe it’s just my personal blessing. Because, while it does have its pitfalls, my suggestibility also leads me to new things. Like learning the guitar. We’re a musical bunch, my family, and I’ve had lessons on piano, clarinet, oboe, and violin. I can play most woodwinds, the noises I make with brass instruments are disturbing, and the triangle is my percussion instrument of choice. When it comes to strings, I can usually pluck a tune, thanks to my year of violin, if you have four strings. The more you add, the less capable I am. So, why pick up the guitar?

Well, because I’ve been watching movies with people playing guitars, of course! And then listening to music from singer/songwriters who are usually playing a guitar. Just as I got into baking because I read about someone who worked at a bakery, I’m developing an interest based, essentially, on mimicry.  I am aware of it but, in this case, it’s not something that I want to stop. Instead, I can fuel my interest by feeding myself a steady diet of suggestibles.

And, for the record, I’ve got about nine chords and can even play a slow song. I’ll never take the music world by storm, but that’s not really the point.

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