Yesterday I cracked open a Dos Equis.
Because it was a rest day from my marathon training (ran 12 miles yesterday) and I’m a total sucker for their “The Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials so I bought a 6 pack.
Have you ever met a traveler that acted and talked as if he or she was the most interesting person in the World?
If you mention kitty litter, they’ve got a tail about their trip in the Ukraine. Mention a hat and they’ll rundown a list of hats and their cultural significance arranged by country alphabetically. Don’t even talk about politics!
The thing I really find funny about the Dos Equis ads are that I’ve met people who…
…said they were questioned by the police because they found them interesting.
….feel that their beard has experienced more than a lesser man’s entire body.
…live vicariously through themselves.
…think others hang on their every word..even their prepositions.
…claim that they can speak French in Russian.
I’ve got a lot of travel stories and they tend to pop-up in conversations here and there. But I’m constantly guarding against The Most Interesting Man in the World Syndrome (MIMIWS). Heck, I don’t ever think that I’m the most interesting man in the room, but I worry that if Bucharest, Bangladesh, Nicaragua, Nepal, and other places work themselves too readily into the conversation, it might look like I’m campaigning for the title.
When I’m in a conversation for very long at some point something will remind me of somewhere I’ve been or I’ll bring up somewhere I’ve been to make a point. Much of the last eight years of my life have taken place somewhere else. Even when I wasn’t somewhere else, I was probably writing about somewhere else.
I’ve been a lot of places, but that doesn’t make me any more interesting. It just means that I’ve been made fun of in more languages than you.
Last week I was having dinner with some folks I just met and they asked me if I had ever been to New York City. My response was that I had, but I didn’t see much of the city because I was basically held hostage by Tibetan monks I had befriended in Nepal who forced me to watch home videos keeping me from seeing much of the city.
Looking back I should have just lied and said no.
Next, the conversation turned to Dracula, as it tends to do. I mentioned that I had spent the night alone in Dracula’s Castle in Romania.
While expanding on the Dracula tale I started to feel a twinge of MIMIWS. After that I decided to withhold other travel stories related to our winding conversation. When hitchhiking came up, I didn’t mention hitchhiking in Kosovo. When manners were discussed, I didn’t talk about Bangladesh and the lack of utensils.
I’m a little overly sensitive when it comes to MIMIWS. I think it’s because I’ve I had hours at a time stolen by people suffering from the disease. After social gatherings I’ll sometimes ask my wife if I sounded like I thought “my blood smells like cologne” or that I could “disarm you with my looks or my hands…either way.”
She’s yet to say that I over did it. She would, if I did. Trust me. This is the same woman who recently told me she started dating me because she felt sorry for me.
Perhaps that’s the best cure for MIMIWS: a woman that’ll put you in your place.
A question: Have you suffered MIMIWS or know someone who has?
And one last thing…
Stay thirsty my friends.