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Unraveled

Unraveled A couple of years ago, I bought a pair of Ahnu mesh shoes to knock around by the pool and the beach. I needed something that could get wet and hold up to summer wear. They took a while to break in, but last summer, I wore them all the time to the pool. I went to get them out for this summer's pool time fun only to find that the mesh had unraveled on one of them. Sigh. So much for that... guess I'll be going back to Merrell or Keen for some good summer footwear.

To be fair, I don't know how the shoe's mesh became unraveled. Was it a flaw in the fabric or the craftsmanship? Did something happen to them over the winter? Was I rougher on them than I thought? (After all, those suburban swimming pools are jungles fraught with peril.)

I've been watching a lot of unraveling going on the past several months. Charlie Sheen, Anthony Weiner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Edwards.

Todd Spangler had an article in this morning's paper entitled, "What were they thinking?" In it, he addresses this very thing:

Some psychologists say narcissism leads politicians to stray; others cite a personality type prone to risk taking and attention seeking. Whatever it is, the outcome is as powerful -- and as salacious -- as ever, with calls for Weiner, a U.S. Democratic congressman from New York, to resign after he acknowledged that he sent graphic photos to women he knew on social media Web sites.

"It's risk taking," said Frank Farley, a psychology professor at Temple University. "We want bold leadership; we don't want a timid wallflower in these positions. The thing is, there are two sides to risk taking, and the negative side is where you do things and, in a sense, you can't stop yourself."

I might suggest something else: accomplishment deficit disorder. I find that when people are focused on an accomplishment (at least, a significant one that benefits those beyond himself or herself), doing things they shouldn't generally is rarely an issue. When the accomplishments laid before us are lackluster, boring, or insignificant, we go looking for things to fill the void.

In the past few months, I've seen some local colleagues also become unraveled, and I'd guess (ultimately) it was for the same reason.

What do you think? Is it a personal issue or did these (ahem, cough) "gentlemen" just not have enough to keep them busy on really important things? And where does personal accountability fit in with accomplishment? Just some thoughts as we start a new work week.

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Comments

Claire Celsi

In my experience, men fall apart for different reasons. Men seem to want to defend power or prestige. Female meltdowns seems to coincide with relationship failures. Don't know what that means.

Tim, regarding your shoes. I think your wife secretly hated those shoes and took a steak knive to them. :~)

Timothy Johnson

Totally agree with you on the Men vs. Women thing, Claire. We are just wired differently. Still doesn't defend the bad behaviors that result when the meltdowns occur.

And there may be something to that steak knife shoe sabotage. Better hide the cutlery while she's away.

Crysta Wille

Taking a slightly different angle, I would say it is a false sense of entitlement. With added responsibilities and more status, there is a hollow reward that many feel they are owed for their service. Added to that is a sense of being too big to fail--oh wait the alreadyade a special on that but only from the financial side. Maybe the next in that series is "fidelity."

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