Saturday, February 27, 2010

For I'm a Jolly Good Fellow (Apparently)

Saturday, February 27, 2010
I recently experienced an event in my life that I'm not sure how to handle. For the first time, at least that I can remember, I was the object of a public performance of "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow". It happened last week at a congratulatory dinner that my boss and some co-workers had for me in honor of a new job that I'm getting ready to start. I hadn't ever given any thought to how I would prepare myself for such an occasion but it all happened so fast that it didn't really matter. One minute I was enjoying a nice dinner with friends and the next I was saddled with this new responsibility that frankly, I never asked for and am not at all sure that I want.

As far as public congratulations songs go, I think "Happy Birthday" is probably the lowest pressure. You can't really argue with that one. If you were born on this day, then this day is your birthday and of course it's your right to be happy on it. That's pretty cut and dried. "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" though...that's a different story. I feel like that song carries a lot of pressure with it. It implies that you are indeed a jolly good fellow. What if you're not really a jolly good fellow? Or what if some people don't agree? I mean, it's perfectly reasonable to assume that in any large group there may be one or two people who may not be on board with publicly proclaiming my virtues to the world? Doesn't that put them in an awkward position? I don't want them to feel like they have to lie. On the other hand, how embarrassing would it be to have somebody who doesn't sing along? You know somebody's going to ask them why they weren't singing.

Marco: "Hey Alf...why didn't you sing along with us?"
Alf: "Shoooot...I'm not singing that song about him. Listen, I know that dude and believe me...he is not a jolly good fellow."

And what is my responsibility going forward? Is there a certain amount of time that I'm expected to remain jolly and good? A week? A month? A year? Is it a rolling 365 days or does it expire at the end of the calendar year? What if I do something that is not in line with the expectations of a jolly good fellow? I'm not perfect after all. Is there a governing body of jolly good fellows that could strip my title from me if I fail to represent them properly? It's just so much pressure. All I really wanted was a piece of cheesecake.


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