I had this high school history teacher, for the life of my I can’t remember her name. She had wavy, shoulder-length, blonde hair and always struck me as though she carried herself with a bit of false bravado – not too much, but just the right amount to keep self-righteous, high schoolers in an affluent New England town at bay.
She was a good teacher. Semi old-fashioned, but good, although she did have this little quirk that surfaced only when she wrote on transparency sheets for the overhead projector. With a flick of her Vis-A-Vis marker, she would punctuate each handwritten line with the phrase, “Mmmm kay?”
I’m convinced this is the reason I didn’t retain a single thing about WWI, (beyond the fact that the Germans were the bad guys then, too. What was their problem?) I mean, who on earth could be expected to focus when there was a real, live Mr. Mackey in the room, “Mmm kay-ing” all over the place!?
And so began my Jerry Seinfeld-esque fixation with minutia; and while I never single-handedly ran a Pakistani restauranteur out of business, I have:
Broken up with a boyfriend because of a freckle on the end of his nose.
Written off a human being for her entire life, because I saw her pick her nose and eat it once, in the 7th grade.
Quit a yoga class because someone farted.
It’s not like I make a grand announcement, shaming the minutia producer, or anything,
Your pigmentation placement is offensive. Three inches to the right and we could’ve made this work, but right on the end of your nose? It’s over.
I saw that. I saw you eat a mucous glob. I don’t care that someday, you’ll grow up to be a state representative for the great state of Indiana, I will never get that image burned out of my hippocampus.
I am leaving this class because See-Through Yoga Pants over here is stinking up my savasana!
No, I never said anything like that; that would be crazy! Not to mention extremely rude. I’d never be able to live with myself if the thoughts percolating in my brain somehow escaped out of my mouth and into the ears of the poor people I was in the midst of scrutinizing.
Because, I actually have a freckle on the end of my nose. And, let’s get real – I’ve picked that very same nose. AND I’ve passed gas doing downward facing dog. So who am I to throw shade (Is that right? Do I use that there?) when other people do the same? In fact, shouldn’t I be especially gracious with those quirks?
I didn’t make any New Year’s Resolutions this year, (Well, I kind of did. Cell phone gets put away while driving! But that just makes good sense.) but I’m thinking about creating an addendum. This year, I resolve to give everybody a big, fat, break – including myself.
You chronically have coffee stains on your blouse? You’re probably an extra diligent mommy in the mornings, taking care of a sweet baby who needs you.
You never quite get all your hair up into your hairclip, resulting in a rattail-like updo? You must be confident in your self-worth as a person, beyond your physical appearance.
You bait people into reading a post about loving yourself better with a misleading title, on your birthday – a day you know people will be more likely to read your blog? You probably desperately wanted to keep your writing momentum going and this was the best you could come up with.