Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My tribal name would be “Pointy one who knows no peace”

Once, during the formative years of my marriage, my father in law told me I had a pointy nose. He may have even mentioned witches. I’m pretty sure he was trying to be funny. (Trying being the operative word) Before that I had never considered my nose to be anything worth noticing, certainly not pointy, but after, I wondered if there was something I’d missed. Since that day, on occasion, I have studied my nose, trying to see it from all angles, taking self portraits, pouring over pictures taken by others, asking my husband, nonchalantly “Does my nose look a little sharp to you?”

Even now, 17 years later, having found no evidence of it, I wonder, every now and then, if I do, in fact, have a pointy nose. What if I do? Really? I’m not the kind of girl who goes in for things like nose jobs, even make-up tricks that create the illusion of a softer rounder nose aren’t my bag. Way too much work. And what if it gets smudged or I sweat? I live in Arizona, sweating is a real and constant threat. I’m stuck with this thing.

I wish I could just figure, “huh, crazy old guy, trying to make a joke” and move on, but that my friends is not how I operate. No, no, no.

Once while pulling into a parking space at the grocery store, a woman, who was possibly crazy and most definitely intoxicated, yelled something rude about my parking skills. Which, by the way, I’m the first to admit could use some work. For the rest of that day I was hounded by her slurred voice and incoherent critique looping over and over in my mind. It was awful.

I could give you one example after another of my irrationality, but I didn’t come here to talk about me. HA! HA! HA! Gotcha! I always come here to talk about me.

Thing is, on the other side of the coin, I am constantly saying something stupid. Making off handed comments in my quest to be clever.  Because everyone knows that anyone can be wise, but few are truly clever.

So, I say things. I don’t mean anything by them. Usually. Being clever (or trying to be clever) doesn’t come cheap-- for me anyway. I often let myself get carried off on a wave of laughter and say things that I regret, things that keep me up at night. Things that I didn’t even plan to say, but just popped out; I have one of those mouths that things pop out of. It’s quite taxing. I’ve said things that have caused me to send mass apology e-mails to everyone in attendance. Things that other people claim not to have noticed.

But how could that be? How could it be that I am the only person in the universe suffering over everything I hear and everything I say? Could it possibly be that I am the only one, the ONLY ONE, who worries about stuff like this? Are there people who don’t care if their father in law thinks they have a pointy nose? Are there people who—gasp!!-- make jokes and then figure everyone in the room knows that they were joking and so they go home and sleep in peace?

I have one sister in law who claims not to worry about these kinds of things.  Ever. That she doesn't replay every conversation over and over in her mind. She says it like it never even occured to her to wonder what people think.  But you know what? I don’t believe it. I just don’t. And I am surely NOT going to worry that I am some kind of weirdo. Nope. Not at all……No way.

1 comment:

AuBien said...

You're not the only one, gal. I'm right there with ya. All the time and reassurances in the world won't change the way I analyze. I am thinking it must be a gift or something. :) Yeah,..it's like that.