Sunday, July 29, 2007

Doggone It

I’ve always liked mirrors. When I was a child, I would run to find one anytime I started crying, fascinated by the tears streaming down my face, the growing blotchiness of my cheeks, the green glimmer of the irises in my bloodshot eyes. To this day, I sometimes lean close to the mirror, admiring my eyelashes and the freckles splashed across my nose.

All of which is to say, it’s not a huge stretch for me, really, to do the Stuart Smalley meme Blog Antagonist dreamed up and Joy, Of Course tagged me for. My task is to think of ten things I like about myself. The hard part will not be thinking of them; it will be hitting “publish” on this one and thus defying the code of self-deprecation that I imbued with my mother’s milk.

1. I am good to myself. I take enormous pleasure in my achievements, including such things as dusting the piano every two weeks, getting the whole newspaper read before noon, and playing with my children in the back yard. I am not often weighed down by guilt. I reward myself with chocolate and ice cream as often as I deem necessary.

2. I know the meaning of the words gregarious, lugubrious, diaphanous, and hippopotamus. (And I can spell them without the aid of a dictionary.)

3. The forgiveness factor: I rarely hold grudges and usually find it easy to see another person’s side of the story. I am not quick to take offense.

4. I read quickly and voraciously.

5. Lateral thinking. In my adult life, my fiction-writing skillz have proven to be far less impressive than my 12-year-old self fondly hoped, but my creativity does emerge in analytical settings, where I perceive connections between such unlikely pairings as Harlequin romances and Margaret Atwood, autism and Greek tragedy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Christianity, or Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and toddler-rearing.

6. My hair. It’s a dark chestnut brown, with auburn highlights where the sun strikes it. And I have brows and lashes to match.

7. My wrists, ankles, and shoulders. No matter how ungainly my midsection becomes, they help maintain an illusion of slenderness.

8. I have a sneaking affection for many of my faults. I am deeply competitive, for instance – so much so that I avoid most competitive situations because I cannot handle them gracefully. I have a phone-phobia, and I’m devoid of most social graces like remembering birthdays or participating in prolonged goodbyes. I have no small talk.

9. Emotional intuitiveness. I always know what I think and feel about things, and I usually know what other people are thinking and feeling as well.

10. When I was seventeen, I did a dramatic recitation from The Fantasticks for the S.H.A.R.E. banquet (Saunders High Achievers Recognition Evening). Usually the evening featured a skit, but that year I was the only person in the drama program who achieved marks high enough to be recognized, so it had to be a monologue. The high point of the piece was my fervent plea, “Please, God, please – don’t let me be normal!” I like to believe that prayer was heard and answered.

Now it’s time for the tagging (rubbing hands together in sadistic glee). Who should I victimize pick? How about Omaha Mama, Aliki, and Pieces? You’re it!

27 comments:

flutter said...

*smiles*

It makes me like you more, that you struggle little with inadequacy. This was charming to read

slouching mom said...

You like yourself, you really do. That comes across so clearly. Good for you! Too few feel the way you do. I imagine you to be much happier for it.

Joy, of course said...

Oh to have such a healthy dose of self-esteem. It makes me want to be your friend. I didn't know the meaning of lugubrious, I had to hit Merriam Webster to find out, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't there every day. It gives me some sort of weird satisfaction to look up a word, as if in that small way I am bettering myself. But then, this blog is about you isn't it?

Christine said...

i love reading this meme, and you are someone i wish i was more like. so many amazing qualities! the one I really admire is number 5. I can sort of do that, but no ever seems to get what the hell i am talking about.

and buffy rocks.

Omaha Mama said...

Oooooohhh - yes, this smashes the whole self-deprecating song and dance, doesn't it? I'll give it my best tomorrow, thanks for the challenge.

I was just thinking that I wanted to say me too on the wrists and ankles part. As I've become so chubby in my adult life, these are the body parts I can still look at with love. And then there's the post-partem return of the ankles that we've all experienced. That deepens the bond to be sure. But now I'm thinking I shouldn't say this, because perhaps I should save it for the list! :-)

My list may be strikingly similar to yours, considering there's a me too on the emotional intuitiveness (which I've tried to convince hubs is ESP) and the grudge holding. I can't actually stay mad. And I've always loved the mirror to the point of being vain, even though I may not always like what I see.

Okay - that's it. I'm commenting a whole post here. Must.stop.now.

cinnamon gurl said...

Your hair IS stunning! In fact all of you is stunning. And I love this post...

I'm very jealous of wrists and ankles. I have thick wrists and ankles and broad shoulders, so no matter who slim I've been (notice past tense) I always look bigger. That said, I was just thinking the other day how ok I am with my extra heft these days. The only thing that bugs me about it is the dresser full of clothes I can't wear. Oh well.

But this was about you... oops.

Susanne said...

Great post. And you did it with great. And apart from the voracious reading I could identify the most with, “Please, God, please – don’t let me be normal!”

That could have been me, and I too think it might have been heard...

kgirl said...

Doggone it, people like you!

I especially understand #8 - but from the competitiveness to the phone phobia, I prefer to call them quirks, and hope they make me seem cute, not rude ;)

Luisa Perkins said...

Oh, you are SO much fun. Doggone it, I like you even more than I did yesterday! Yes, Buffy, yes phone phobia, yes competitiveness, yes on just about everything here. Love it.

nomotherearth said...

OK, so what monologue did you do from the Fantasticks? I'm curious.

And I'm totally with you on #2. Do you see why I was so annoyed (read: rembarrassed) when I bummed out at Spelling Bee?

Beck said...

This is a lovely post.
One of my flaws, sadly, is that I think rather highly of myself despite being a substantially flawed human being.

Kyla said...

I love that you love yourself. I think it is actually a rare gift. And we love you, too. ;)

Julie Pippert said...

Great list...those are all wonderful things, and wonderful you know it. :)

But especially 2, 5, 8, and 9 (I hope I recalled numbers correctly, LOL, not that it matters particularly).

Aliki2006 said...

I love this exercise is self-discovery and self-affirmation. I think I will do it myself, pen to paper, since no one has tagged me for it--I think this meme is a great self-esteem booster!

Catherine said...

Ah...that's the color hair I always wished I had...

Its fascinating to see oneself crying in a mirror, isn't it?

I love your concept of lateral thinking. I like that about myself too, but had never put words to it. Thanks!

bubandpie said...

My secret is out! I have enormous self-esteem! (Maybe it's time for a post on my theory that self-confidence and self-esteem have a surprisingly low correlation.)

Nomo - It was one of the songs, actually. I don't remember any of the rest of it, though - only that one line.

Aliki - Consider yourself tagged! I'd love to read your responses.

Alpha DogMa said...

While we share the traits of suspect moles and high cholesterol, I lack your lovely hair colour. Its really is stunning, and much better than my mousy brown.

b*babbler said...

I'm absolutely with you on #8. I love e-mail because it absolutely enables me to avoid phone conversations wherever possible. And small talk? There should be a class in it (although I would likely fail dismally!)

Suz said...

I also avoid competitive situations because I'm just that competitive.

Magpie said...

You sound fun! And I like that all the words in #2 rhyme.

Pieces said...

Oh, wow. This one will be HARD. Not that I don't think highly of myself--it is just impossible to say it OUT LOUD.

You did a great job on your list. You can tell a lot about someone by what they like about themselves. And now I like you more. Did that make sense?

Give me a day or two--I'll have to think on this one. Thanks for the tag!

Kimberly said...

I think I'd like to be your knew best friend. Or groupie. I could deal with groupie.

(I have a present for you from Lady M, btw)

Mary G said...

Good for you. Good of you. Good on you. I do like you a lot. And, yes, it is fun to be able to spell Latinate words... but if I don't check before I post, I worry. What do I worry about? That Bub and Pie will catch me out on one.
:-)

ewe are here said...

What a great self-like list. We all need to do these, I think.

I especially like your lateral thinking abilities... always translate into a good read.

Jenn said...

They say in order to love others completely, you need to love yourself first.

No wonder you're so amazing.

Emily said...

Why is everyone listing hair, doggone it? I wish I had hair like all you people!!!

AnneK said...

That was a great list, bub and pie. I am like you on 4 and 7. My midsection currently looks like I ma 5 months preg which I am not. It is very sad. And I also know the meaning of all of the words in 2. :)