A Finely Honed Skill

Sometimes things are going great, and I am comfortable and content.  Other times, I feel like my life is one long string of embarassing moment stories tacked together.  I’m a sensitive, somewhat shy person, so it’s not particularly difficult to embarrass me.  I also inherited the scatterbrainedness that has been passed down for generations on my Mom’s side of the family.  While we often excel in school, we have little-to-no common sense.  This combination leads to a potentially rocky road when it comes to interacting with people.

But take heart, my friends!  Don’t extend your sympathies to me quite yet!  Another (much more useful) trait passed down through the generations of my family is the ability to laugh at oneself.  If you haven’t discovered this yet, please consider trying it.  When things get bad, take a step back and look for the humor in the situation.  A healthy sense of humor can revolutionize your attitude.  There is always something in an uncomfortable situation worthy of a good laugh.  I have a lifetime of stories proving just that…

I still remember the traumatic embarrassments of my childhood, doing things like running up to the wrong dad at church and hugging his legs for several seconds or having a conversation with my mom’s friend about magazines and saying “prescription” instead of “subscription”…realizing right away that I had done something wrong by the way she continued to knod while struggling with all of her strength to hide a grin.  Early adolescence is, of course, prime time for uncomfortable situations.  I remember making fun of my Spanish teacher’s hat with two friends after school one day, and then seeing her walk right by us (obviously having heard our conversation).  I was so deeply ashamed.  Freshman year of high school, we were taking an algebra test when I felt a sneeze coming on.  The last thing I wanted was to attract any attention to myself in the stillness of that classroom.  My attempt to hold it in resulted in a strange, almost unearthly moan…followed by no sneeze at all.  Only a completely humiliated blond girl, bright red and staring down at her hands.  I’m telling you, folks.  I felt the full force of that weirdness.

Now I’m a grown adult with a Masters degree and an adorable husband.  And not much has changed.  A month or so before the wedding, I decided to sneak over to the Clinique counter at the mall while the fiance was in a meeting.  I was toying with the idea of having my make up done for the big day.  I don’t typically wear a lot of make up, so I kept asking the girl to try less.  I didn’t want to look like the prostitute version of myself.  Just me…slightly more special, you know?  Anyway, we perfected the look and scheduled a time for the day of the wedding.  I left the counter feeling a bit conspicuous with my overdone face and jeans and peacoat.  I dug around anxiously in my purse and realized with a sinking heart that I didn’t have my keys.  It came back to me.  I had them in my hand, I set them on the seat, I grabbed my purse and shut the door.  My mind wasn’t in the car with me at that time.  My mind was in 59 other places thinking about 59 other things that needed to be done.  So I had the unfortunate task of calling my fiance to seek rescue.  Surprise!  I’m at the mall because I wanted to get my make up done to practice for the wedding and you can’t see it but I need you to come over here and pick me up because I locked my keys in my car.  Bless his heart.  He should get used to these random phone calls.  What can I say?  It’s in my genes.  I awkwardly shielded my face from the harsh lights of the mall parking lot, still attempting to keep every aspect of my wedding look a secret, as he pulled up…looking utterly amused.  Please pray that he will continue to find this quirk adorable for the duration of our lives.

This past Friday, my brother graduated from high school.  I made him a massive playlist as part of his graduation gift.  I intended to burn it onto five or six CDs so he would have some tunes for all the time he’ll be spending on the road this summer working as a camp counselor.  I bought what I thought were CDs, and we got on the road.  Burning the playlist on my laptop in the car wasn’t ideal, but there’s only so much time in the day, so it would do.  I didn’t realize until the message popped up on my screen that I had actually bought 6 DVDs.  I was exasperated, but my sweet husband calmly suggested that we swing by the nearest place that should carry CDs, which happened to be Dollar General.  We had a long car trip ahead of us and needed to be there on time, but it seemed like the best solution.

I’d never been in Dollar General, so I would need to explore the entire store in search of CDs.  I immediately spotted the long line.  Of course!  I picked up a funny card and continued on my quest.  I reached the front of the store CD-less and feeling desperate.  I decided to get in line and ask the clerk if they had CDs.  With every second I waited I grew more frustrated.  I used my yoga breathing techniques to calm myself and tried to remember that this was not life or death.  Every person in front of me had something weird happen that caused them to spend a longer time in line.  Debit card wasn’t working.  Asked a question about a product.  Knew the clerk and wanted to ask about his family.  Etc.  Finally I moved through the line and looked up at the man pleadingly.  Do you have blank CDs?!  He did!  Great!  I hadn’t thought to look next to the maxi pads and make up, but there they were!  There were so many choices.  I grabbed two frantically and raced back to the line.  He had let the woman behind me go ahead, so I waited patiently, thanking God silently that this all had not been in vain.  (I’m a bit melodramatic.)  When he turned back to me I thrust the two cases toward him.  Which one is better for recording JUST MUSIC?  Well, he responded slowly, this one is just sleeves…so I guess that makes your decision easy.  hahahaha.  My husband found this story hilarious.  I don’t understand why they can’t just write MUSIC on the box.  Absentmindedness strikes again.

He laughed.  Then I laughed.  And life was good again.  Laughing at yourself–it’s a finely honed skill.  🙂

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