For any of you who have met me in person (i.e., approximately 99% of those reading this) or hope to one day (i.e., the other 1%), I’m sure one question has crossed your mind on more than one occasion. How can I be sure that it’s actually Andrew I’m in the presence of and not Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh?
I just wanted to take this opportunity to assure you that I completely understand your predicament. Some mornings, when I stumble into the bathroom and squint into the mirror, I am almost convinced that the gloomy gray donkey from The Hundred Acre Woods is starting back at me. Usually after I take a moment to rub my eyes or put my contacts in, my rapidly aging face comes into focus, but that first impression can stick with me throughout the day.
So, it comes as no surprise that many of you are struggling with this situation. In attempt to make things less awkward for you the next time we meet, I have put together a checklist to help you determine whether you’re in my presence or that of my melancholy doppelganger.
1. What does the creature you are talking to look like?
- Definitely a donkey − You are talking to Eeyore.
- Seems like a gloomy person, but could also be a donkey – Go to Question 2.
- Can’t tell. I met the creature in a dark alley at night or in a dense fog – Go to Question 4.
2. Look more closely. Does it have the general pallor and sunken eyes characteristic of a creature that only sleeps intermittently and enjoys spending time in darkened rooms or does it have gray fur all over its body?
- Gray fur – Likely Eeyore, but I sometimes don an Eeyore costume in my free time, so best to proceed to Question 3 to confirm.
- Still not sure – Go to Question 4.
3. Tug on Eeyore’s or my long gray ears. What happened?
- You got donkey kicked in the throat – It’s definitely me.
- The creature brayed sadly and curled up in a ball – It’s Eeyore.
4. If your vision is obscured for some reason (e.g., dark alley or dense fog) or you are very bad at telling the difference between fur and skin, take a moment and walk slowly around the creature, making a complete circle and shuffling your feet along the ground as you go to check for the presence of a tail. Try to avoid touching the creature accidentally. Whether it’s me or Eeyore, we both hate being touched. Does it have a tail?
- Yes! – Eeyore. If the tail happens to be detached from his body, please return it. He’s been looking for it.
- No – Go to Question 5 because, of course, while I never have a tail (even if I'm in my Eeyore costume; I lost the tail; seriously), Eeyore sometimes does and sometimes does not.
5. There’s nothing left but to engage the creature in conversation. Proceed with caution. No matter which of us you have had the poor fortune of crossing paths with, this is not going to be a pleasant experience for you. Since it would be kind of offensive to ask straight out if it is me or Eeyore (I mean, we’re supposed to be friends after all, right?) please try to be subtle. Maybe start by asking how my day is going. How’d that go?
- The creature said something like, “Ohhh well (sigh). We can’t all be happy and frolicking around a mulberry bush all the time, can we?” – No help here. Go to Question 6.
- There is no other option. You will not receive any other answer to this question.
6. Try inviting me or Eeyore to a party at your house. What happened?
- The creature said something cryptic like, “Oh how nice of you. I suppose you will be sending me down the odd bits which got trodden on.” – It’s Eeyore.
- The creature said something less cryptic like, “You go ahead and have fun; I’ll just stay home and be miserable.” – No idea. Go to Question 7.
- The creature accepted your invitation, but didn’t show up. – That’s a classic Andrew or Eeyore move. Go to Question 7.
- The creature accepted your offer, showed up, stood mostly by himself the whole time, snuck out early, and no one was sure if he was ever really there or not. – It’s totally me.
7. After Eeyore or I bail on your party, you see one of us again the next morning. You say good morning. What happened?
- The creature said, “Good morning, I guess. If it’s a good morning, which I doubt.” – This clearly could be either of us. Go to Question 8.
- The creature sees you coming, ducks into a bathroom, and stays there for three to six hours. – It’s me.
8. Ask Eeyore or me what we like to do on rainy days. What was the answer?
- “It never hurts to keep looking for sunshine.” – Eeyore.
- “OMG! Bask in the glorious gloominess.” – Me.
I think that should clear things up for everyone. I’m looking forward to not meeting you anytime soon. And if you continue to insist that we rate the quality of our days, I hope you all have a good rest of your day. Although, I doubt you will. I know I probably won’t.