By Ruby Quince
Don’t Touch My Box
I’m reasonably confident that I’ve got a ton of mental issues and behavioural nasties baked into my brain, but I’m quite happy keeping them buried deep, in a box, under lock & key. I don’t need anyone to go poking around for them. I imagine that the poor soul that does find the key will be greeted with an explosion of hazardous emotion and covered in the slime of a lifetime of suppressed feels.
Enough of my friends, colleagues, ex-girlfriends and, occasionally, relative strangers have suggested that I deal with the box. It’s almost always meant in a positive way and never a /big thing/ – at least, that’s how I interpret it – but perhaps they’re just being kind. I’ve progressed from rebuffing it with “what are you talking about?” to a vague acceptance that it’s probably the right course of action, with no intention to follow it.
My box is guarded by a series of statements that give rationale to my quirks and failings – “that’s just how I am”, “my bad stuff helps my good stuff”, “if it ain’t really broke…”. I’ve got this far without any major explosions, so why risk it?
To be clear, I’m not oblivious to the things that are clearly broken, and when they hold me back, compromise people or cause upset I have sought to address them. I usually know when I’m being a dick, and I don’t want to be that guy. But sometimes it’s pointed out in retrospect and I’m mortified. It’s like I’ve been walking around with my balls accidentally hanging out, and nobody told me. So I really do urge anyone to point out anything of the sort if they see it: I won’t be offended.
I guess that I have a notion of stuff in the box and stuff that’s outside of it. Perhaps my negative traits are radioactive spillage of what’s in the box. I’m sure you’re thinking that if I open the box I won’t have any leaks to mop up. Honestly, you’re probably right, but we’re not playing a logical game here.
I heard the Marc really likes people to open up on SCA, like it is some sort of self-help/therapy. This scares me. Quite a few of the ECD’s and senior creatives I’ve known have an obsession with psychology and cod psychoanalysis. I guess it’s part of the whole creative schtick, and I can understand why: marketing communications are inevitably about changing behaviour, creating desire, forming beliefs. I’m all for that side of things. But, since we’re opening up, I figure there’s no harm in stating where I am on this at this point: Don’t open the jack-in-the-box, keep your inner quack in a box.
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