There’s nothing more shattering to one’s self-esteem than to get a new driver’s license. You leave the house, hair combed, makeup on, wearing an unstained tee shirt for once in your life. And then, in the twenty minutes it takes to get to the DMV, you find that your hair has acquired that windblown look despite the fact that you drove with the windows up, quite possibly because you dropped your reading glasses on the sidewalk. You bend over to retrieve them, hoping all the while that you won’t split your pants open, and you can actually feel your hair shift upon your head: What was off to one side, now hangs straight down. Those perfect bangs, well, they’re a mess now.
Your lipstick has disappeared thanks to that apple you ate on the way over. You suspect you have apple between your teeth. But no matter. You never smile at these things anyway.
The employee asks a few questions; the computer screen asks a few questions. You sit and stare at the yellow smiley face sticker and arrange your face in what you think will be a comfortably neutral expression. Moments later, a preview is displayed on a gigantic screen; a screen so big the people waiting at the end of the line can see your photo and snicker at your panicked look. Another picture is taken. You tell the employee it’s good enough just to get that awful picture off the screen. She prints the license and hands it to you still warm. In the car, you remove the license from your wallet, study it intently. Every wrinkle is blown up; every gray hair a siren; and…is that apple between your teeth? You wonder if you really look that bad. You go home and have a cookie.
* * *
I got an email the other day, from someone who’d found my blog somehow.
Dear Kelly, the email began. I waited for the compliments; the praise; the accolades. Did someone want to publish my work?
The letter continued. It went something like this. I was reading your blog and wanted to get your opinion on a weight loss/diet ap I’m writing. The email went on to describe how this ap would work and then asked if I’d like to be informed when it became available.
Where did this gal get the idea that I needed any help with weight loss? What made her think I needed to lose weight at all?
* * *
I am a plunger—that is to say, when I make up my mind to do something I just go ahead and do it. Never mind the ramifications if I’ve made a mistake. The decision is made, the deed is done, let’s go. This mindset could possibly explain why, after crocheting three scarves, a hat and two baskets, of all things, I suddenly felt capable to crochet an afghan with unpronounceable stitches and strange scary symbols that resemble hieroglyphs.
This plunging behavior also explains the name of my blog: The day I decided to set it up, I was prompted for a name. I got ahold of my sister on Facebook. We tossed names back and forth for an hour:
I Knew You Weren’t Listening?
The Write Stuff?
This is stupid. Why can’t I just start writing?
You need a name.
Writing in the Margins?
Yes! Sounds like you’re busy. You’re squeezing in writing whenever you can. Perfect.
OK, hang on. I entered the name. Shoot. It’s taken.
After some time, we came up with the name. I shared it with my husband. “What do you think?”
“It’s what? What? WHAT?”
Now, my husband is a plodder. He prefers the term deliberate, but you get the picture. Before he makes a decision, he gathers all the data and studies it. He looks for patterns, trends, aberrations. He looks out the window to check the weather. He watches the bird migration patterns. He studies the clouds. Then he looks back at the data. Finally...finally. Finally, he’ll come to a decision. And then he’ll look at his data again to make sure the decision was the right one to make. “It’s…”
“I can take it.” I clenched my fists. “I won’t get angry.”
“It makes you sound like you’re splitting your pants open. Like you’re kind of chunky.”
“Well I AM kind of chunky.” As Squints says, you’re butt’s not TOO big, Mom. “I like it. I’m going with it.” And I finished setting up my blog.
“But do you want to share that with the world?”
* * *
I told my husband about the email at dinner. There was a slight smirk on his lips; a bit of a glimmer in his eye.
So, I think I’ll send a reply to that email.
Thank you for your lovely idea, but I have no need of a weight loss ap. But if you can write an ap that will make my driver’s license picture look like my graduation photo, you’ve got yourself a sale.
Labels: Beauty?, DMV, Weight Loss