A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Sunday, 10 September 2017

Hooptedoodle #276 - Supellism: from a Dark Place



A previous blog post of mine was intended to be about the labelling of children's clothing, but it accidentally strayed into rather more touchy areas such as stereotyping in society, and prejudice.

I found the experience particularly uncomfortable because, privately, I have recently been troubled by growing doubts about myself. I have never really spoken openly of this before, and I find it hard to write about. Obviously, one has to maintain appearances; one's career and standing in society depend very much on being accepted, and there are clear implications for the interests of our families, but one also has to be at peace with oneself. It is very hard to live a lie.

Let's cut to the chase: I am becoming more convinced that I am not as I may seem to others - in my heart I am - well, to be blunt about it, a wardrobe. I realise this may give rise to some incredulity, but it is true; I am now almost sure that the real me, the me that the everyday world does not get to see, is a fine, handsome wardrobe.

There, I've said it. It wasn't as hard as I expected. I'm not sure that a blog is a good place to discuss this, but I have previously raised the topic with a couple of close friends and their reaction was disappointing, though maybe predictable - exactly the sort of unreasoning, stereotyping behaviour that we have to expect, that so-called social norms instill in people. It was pointed out to me that I do not make it as a wardrobe on a number of counts - organically, materially and functionally. Not even the most devout follower of Thomas Stahlberg could dispute that I fail on one of the key facets of being a wardrobe - i.e. no-one can keep clothes in me, at least not to any useful extent. I am not discouraged; I feel I have to stick to my guns, to follow this through. 

This self-doubt thing is not entirely new. For years, to all outward appearances, I was an actuary working for an insurance company, but there were many occasions when I seriously thought that I would rather be almost anything else. Once, on a flight to Frankfurt, having drunk too much Lucozade, I woke up convinced I was an Eccles cake, but that is a story in itself.

Another story
Naturally, I have looked around on the internet to see if there are others who feel like this, and I have been reassured to find that supellism, as it is called, apparently, is surprisingly common, especially in the USA, though most of the people affected there seem to regard themselves as sofas. I have avoided the self-help fora thus far - too easy to get sucked in (or plumped up), and too many tales of tragedy for my taste. This has to be a positive change, or I'm not going to proceed with it.

I was genuinely flabbergasted to learn that my local County Council - here in rural, unsophisticated Scotland - has a trained, specialist counsellor in exactly this field. That does seem a remarkably long shot, doesn't it? As it happens, she has been on holiday in the Farne Islands for four years, but the message on her voicemail service assures me that she will be in touch as soon as she gets back.


You can have an operation. I don't know too much about this yet, but it seems that it is carried out in stages. The first step is to get yourself veneered - I thought a nice, traditional, satin-finish, light oak would complement my personality best, though I am still thinking about it. I have written off for a leaflet.

A nice, burred oak - tasteful, restrained, dignified
I have also been warned that a number of people and institutions, Her Majesty's Department of Work and Pensions being one, may react unfavourably to my coming out as a wardrobe. No-one suggested this was going to be easy.

I am not going to bombard anyone with this topic, or give daily updates, or become evangelical about it. I shall pursue it quietly, in my own way. I felt that airing the matter like this would give me a further opportunity to examine my own feelings about it, and maybe bring comfort to others who might share my situation.

If you find that you gain great solace from extended visits to the furniture departments of large retail stores during your lunch-breaks from work (in my case, coincidentally, it was usually John Lewis), that might be a clue. If, like me, you are mystified that the bar staff cannot actually see you waiting to be served, that might be a clue. If, again like me, you find that standing motionless in a corner of the bedroom for hours is surprisingly liberating, that might definitely be a clue. And - finally - if you have already looked for Thomas Stahlberg on Google then you should try to get help as soon as you can.


One more thing. If you find any element of this post tasteless or offensive, go and have a big drink of water, look at yourself in the mirror and breathe deeply a few times before you send me a flamer.

I feel better now - still troubled, but better.


27 comments:

  1. I appreciate your honesty. Your inner self is very important and you have a very useful one as a clothing storage area. My own conviction that I am merely a worn-out dot matrix printer cannot match the heights which you have attained. It is specially noted that you are not one of those horrible IKEA types - quality will tell.

    I have tried to upgrade myself so that I can print graphics but the operation failed.

    This makes me very sad.

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    1. Thank you Rob, and bless you. Thank you for entering into the spirit of this post, and for sharing with us your story, which is very moving.

      Bless you, also, because I have just won a 10p wager with my wife, who bet me I would get absolutely zero responses to this effort. I wonder how much beeswax I can get for 10p?

      Delete
  2. It is a fine day when a man can show such courage and stand up for his (joinery and woodworking based) beliefs.

    Interesting that you should refer to the U.S. and those blessed people who believe that they are sofas.

    Their self proclaimed spokesperson the 'Sofa King' is, I understand, a bit a celebrity and purports to being 'Sofa King Good' in terms of his activities directed towards establishing the rights of sufferers...I mean, afflicted, I mean the blessed and enlightened...

    s**t...I don't know what I mean.

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    1. Respect, brother.

      One lady in the US apparently believes that she is a commode - I'm not sure about that at all.

      One thing I am sure about is that there is a worthy subplot here - with encouragement from Dark Forces, I am now going to keep an eye on how quickly supellism becomes an official term. Thus far on Google I can only find my own post and other blogs linking to it.

      I could become the only celeb wardrobe around!

      Delete
  3. Just need a lion and a witch and everything will be dandy!

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    1. I was confident you would greet this news with understanding - thanks for this.

      Delete
  4. Yes. Exactly. And some of us (me for example) would feel much more comfortable as a small, cozy loveseat, but we must nevertheless remain sofas, as you note, for the sake of kith and kin.

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

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    1. Stokes - I realise these people are not from the US, but I thought I should share this with you - this is what is out there...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMmsQGnkd9U

      Some food for thought...?

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  5. Does this mean you will be replacing all your miniature armies with miniature armoires? If so can I have the figures?

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    1. No, I intend to keep them - I shall be la Garderobe Impériale.

      Delete
  6. Is this linked to the Napoleon Syndrome? I hear he wanted to be a tallboy.

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    1. Excellent! That got us racking our brains for more Napoleon/furniture gags - we didn't do very well - best we could do was Napoleon being First Console, and then möbel-ising the Confederation forces - no, you're right - not good. I also had some vague idea about Upholsterlitz, but it needs a lot of work.

      Delete
    2. I see your problem - I felt the same about Bureaudino - needs work. Actually I think you nailed it with Garderobe Imperial.
      Leave 'em wanting more, perhaps?

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    3. Bureaudino excellent too. Nice one - you're right - lets shut this thing down quietly.

      Delete
  7. Having stepped out of the (wardrobe) closet, the consternation of your prior post begins to make a bit more sense. Seeing that you are a wardrobe of the mirrored variety, the anxiety over which side of a shirt to button could be distilled down to perspective. Is your view of the shirt buttoning exercise from your mirrored cabinet seen as a reflection or refraction?

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    1. This is a very good question - until I receive the official leaflet, or the local expert gets back from Birdland, there are many things I am unsure of. If the mirror is part of me, then I am not sure if I'm allowed to look into it. And, anyway - with what?

      Complicated. I don't know, I'm maybe going off the idea...

      Delete
  8. Incredibly I have met one other person who identified as a wardrobe. A short tempered individual as I recall. A real cross dresser.

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    1. Formidable! - you undoubtedly get the Gold Award for that one. Shades of Tim Vine at his best. My compliments.

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  9. You have my every sympathy, Foy. I too am a sufferer, although in my case it's usually restricted to feeling a little chesty.

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    1. Very nasty - that can be a problem. For a persistent cough, sometimes the simple, old fashioned remedies can be very effective. Have you tried teak-oil toffee?

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  10. Well Stryker's thoughts seem to have been along the same vein as mine except that I wondered if this inner image arose because your blog is a point of entry into a magical world in which time does not pass as it does in this gross world for those with the imagination to enter and accept?

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    1. Do I hear skylarks singing? I would like to think that you have touched on the truth, young Ross - certainly it might be argued there is a certain poetic magic in all these apoplectic rants about the banks and the postal service - I can see that.

      Yes, I like it. Though I am, of course, only a wardrobe.

      Delete

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