Tommy Can You See Me?: The Invisible Man

Ok … I am starting to get a little irritated. 
Recently I wrote a blog post about Hug Therapy and I am not sure the real meaning behind the post got to some people. Now granted, most of the people that read it got exactly what I was talking about, but there are some out there that read the title and make assumptions along that line of “John Needs a Hug”, so every comment I now make online or on twitter is met with the obligatory “I guess he needs a hug”. I have managed to hold my tongue because most are just trying to be funny. Keyword being “try”. 
As a one line summary, I was not meaning I needed a hug. The intent was to be about approachability and why I seem, to some, to have an air about me that I am not open to a hug. That’s it. Most people understood that and gave me some really good insight as to why that might be (from my writing style being much different than I am in person, to my lack of tolerance obvious bullshit, and even to my appearance … which I had to ask for clarification on and was given a really good one by Tara Newman). 
As with most things like this though it opens new doors in my head that I dwell on and then have to get out in these pages. 
I used to write a blog about 5 years ago called “The Adventures of the Invisible Man” which was centered on my issues at work, and in life, with not being noticed … or at least how I felt I was not noticed. Not many people in here, probably no one, ever read that blog but the underlying meaning rears its head from time to time. I know it is a hot button for me and I have sensitivity to it, so I tend to react quickly and forcefully when I feel I am being “minimized” or “dismissed”. It is often, and I want to strongly point out that it is often, not intended. It’s a slip of the tongue, or just not thought through. Something like this happened this week on my inspiration and one of the people I consider a savior in my life’s podcast. Vinnie Tortorich was talking to a guest and the subject came up about him being on the IMYO show. He referred to it as “Andrew Weaver’s podcast”. This was quickly corrected by Anna Vocino’s “and John C. Harris” comment. I tweeted to her directly that I was glad she corrected him, which Andrew responded to as well. But then it happens … “sounds like John needs a hug” … which followed one that stated “John isn’t as important as he thinks he is”. 
Um … what? 
I told this story to a co-worker today while taking a walk break. He felt I was being too sensitive, which I probably am, but as the saying goes … no feeling is untrue if that was the way it made you feel. If that makes sense. Anna also had a great response to that, stating “John is the Anna of IMYO” … which is a perfect assessment I think. The Angriest Trainer podcast carries Vinnie’s name. The website is It is obviously Vinnie’s show, but I would argue that Anna being on that show is integral to the success they have had … and I don’t think Vinnie would argue that point at all. That pairing was masterful. Now in our case Andrew and I have a common bond of weight issues, a close timeline as to when we started this adventure, so we play off each other well. The format of “two guys talking” seems to be working for the most part but I think it is evident that Andrew is much more adept at talking and expounding that I am. I’m a writer. I come across much better on paper when I can think through what I want to say, so I feel at times I get lost in the conversations. You can correct me if I am wrong. Sometimes I feel I hardly spoke a word then when I listen to the episode I find that I spoke quite a bit more that I thought I did. 
Andrew is also a self admitted fan boy, which is not me at all. I notice the pro’s at the races I am in, but it is unheard of for me to seek them out to talk to them or to get an autograph/picture. I have met some celebrities in my day and the only one I actually went up to for an autograph was Chuck Norris. My ship docked in Sri Lanka back in 1984 and we were at a casino when he walked in to have a drink. He was there filming “Missing in Action” and was really gracious to all of us squids sitting in there with our uniforms on. The others I met were also Navy related, and all of them happened despite my attempts to not meet them. The first was Senator Ted Kennedy when he came on to the USS Iowa with Tom Clancy. They were both heading down a passageway and I tried to go down the other side but they were waxing, so I got stuck and ended up being introduced and shaking their hands. The others were again on the Iowa while deployed in the Indian Ocean in 1987 during Christmas. Bob Hope recorded one of his specials on-board and he had with him Lee Greenwood, Barbara Eden, Connie Stevens, and the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. I had zero interest in the show so took the watch in strike warfare when it was scheduled. I was sitting on the scope doing my air intercept control duties when the air was filled with perfume (a scent not known to permeate a naval warship while deployed … well … not normally). I turned around and Barbara Eden was standing right behind me with one of the daughters of Connie Stevens. I just smiled, said “Hi” and turned back to me scope. 
The podcast is pulling me out of this shell a little I have to admit. It is not that I am in so much awe of these people I can’t talk … it’s probably the opposite. Something in my psyche is thinking “why should I act like they’re so important because they happen to be an actor/musician/author etc?” I think there’s a diagnosis to be had here eh? The few I have met, or spoken to, seem to be normal people. Vinnie, Anna, Ann, Ben, etc. all seem to be down to earth people, which I tend to believe is the norm rather than the exception.

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