Sunday, July 10, 2011

Such a Fool

Tonight, while I was out on the deck, I discovered our citronella candle was not working. The mosquitoes found me quickly and in an attempt to scare them off, I picked up the candle to see if its smoke would drive the bugs away. It didn't, but in my foolish experiment, I accidentally poured some of the candle's wax on my leg. I expected to be scalded but luckily the wax was barely warm so the only thing I suffered from was having to peel off some blue wax on my leg and a little laugh at my expense. I do the most stupid things at times.

When I was my son's age, whenever one of those questions was asked regarding embarrassing experiences, I would talk about how in the sixth grade when feeling quite sophisticated wearing wedged heels for the first time, I slipped and fell with my skirt flying up in front of two male teachers who had all they could do to stifle a laugh. Then there was the time a few years later when I couldn't work the lock in a restroom and had to crawl out underneath the stall to free myself. Nowadays I find myself telling the story of my mishap with an eyelash curler.

If you think about how these contraptions work, you can probably already figure out what happened. But let me paint the picture for you just in case. Maybe eight years ago, as I leaned over my bedroom bureau with my elbow resting on some jewelry boxes, my arm lost its balance when the boxes toppled over and the eyelashes I had tightened into the eyelash curler were pulled out. All of my top lashes were gone in one not-so-smooth move! "My God! That must have hurt?!" is what I am asked when I reveal this story, but the only hurt I remember is the pain of looking into the mirror at my horrific appearance missing eyelashes on my right eye! To say I gasped would be a gross understatement. "Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God" is all I remember saying over and over as I panicked. I looked so freakish.

To make matters worse, I had to finish getting ready for work. After running downstairs to log onto my computer to do some quick research, (the lashes would start growing back in about two weeks' time), I took off my contact lenses, painted the thickest line of eye liner I could, and threw on my glasses. My plan was to stay in my room, to avoid the teacher's room and all one-on-one conferences with students and others for as long as possible.

The lashes did return but as I said before, it took two full weeks for them to even begin to sprout. Now I could end the story there, but I can't. I did the same damn thing again on the left eye a few years later. What an idiot.

Yes, I finally resolved never to use an eyelash curler ever again.

So yes, tonight as I stupidly splashed wax on my leg, I got thinking of all the dumb moves I've made in my life. Each foible has taught me something, namely a lesson in humility. Each dumb act reminds me of the clumsy, awkward fool I can be at times. From the giggling fits that prevent me from being intelligible as I try to order at a drive-through (This happens occasionally and oh my children get so embarrassed, especially when my husband and I both get going, laughing uncontrollably), to the occasional vocal flubs I make, "Mom! Did you hear what you just said?! You just said "Squeeze me" (instead of "Excuse me") to those college guys", it's safe to say that GRACE is not my middle name. I'm just happy that the people I surround myself with often join me in making fools of themselves. It makes life much more relaxed at the end of the day, and so much more fun.

“For God's sake, give me the young man who has brains enough to make a fool of himself” --Robert Louis Stevenson

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