When I first started liking the Beatles in high school, I thought I was like George. Mainly because of my long hair. He seemed to have that reserved, mysterious cool. He didn't need to be out front of the band to demonstrate his sense of style. He had an aura about him. I thought I would be the one to write a slow, sensitive ballad like “Something.”
I thought I was cool and mysterious in high school. Neither of those things were true. I was pretty nerdy and I wore my heart on my sleeve most days. I liked being out front, either making announcements during our lunchtime school assembly meetings or in the school musical.
So then I thought I was more of a John. A little weird, but in a creative and outgoing way. I would probably be up for being part of the Plastic Ono Band. I did standup comedy. John would do standup comedy, right? I always liked his glasses. So I ran with that and embraced the energetic, slightly kooky schtick.
But lately I realized that I probably am a George. I don’t like talking about myself as much as I thought I once did. I'm much quieter than I think most people would believe. That might be one of the defining parts of my post-post-college age.
I've found that I've demurred being the one who does the most talking on dates. Maybe it's my midwestern sensibilities taking over or maybe it's because I always see that "girls like to be asked about themselves" on the list of top things to talk about on the date. Maybe it is because I want to appear romantic or mysterious or sensitive.
I recently described myself as an introverted extrovert. I need those times by myself to just sit and reflect and not let anyone bother me. Many of those times just involve browsing in a bookstore or just sitting on the train or bus without my headphones. Or just walking. I love just to walk with no particular purpose. If something is reachable within a 20-30 minute walk, I’ll happily take a stroll instead of a car. Maybe that’s from living on the east coast, or it’s because I’m impatient and I’d rather just get moving on my own. Whatever it is, I think I do my best thinking in silence, and on my feet.
I don’t know if George liked silence or not, but that seems to be in line with the spirit of who he was. He didn’t write most of the songs. While I always liked the songs he sang on, (Something was the soundtrack to many a high school daydream about my crushes) the guitar solo from Let it Be touched me in a particular way. It was short, probably no more than 30 seconds, yet it captured the song without it dominating the whole thing. He played his notes and brought what he needed to to the song without taking all the credit. That’s what I like about George.