I’m an English teacher so it probably goes without saying that I love words. My dorkdom began long, long ago in my childhood bedroom where I would read the dictionary for fun. Yep, that’s right: I’d skim the pages for a new word and then I’d try to incorporate said word into whatever poem or short story I was penning at the time. If you’re thinking about de-friending me on Facebook as a result of learning this little tid-bit, I understand. Go ahead, I’ll wait…
Okay, welcome back. As I was saying, words have always been a kind of super power for me. I remember hearing rap music for the first time, and much to the dismay of my parents, I loved it. I admire the way (good) rappers manipulate and play with words. Granted, some of the words aren’t necessarily ones that I’d want my kid to repeat, but still. And I would like to personally thank Eminem for shoving Vanilla Ice (and seriously, what was he thinking when he came up with that name?) off of his First White Rapper Pedestal especially since, technically, the Beastie Boys were probably considered the first…Ahhh, I digress. The point is I appreciate the way a few words can change a person’s mood, whole day, or entire life. As a tribute to words, here are a few of my favorite:
I am not a narcissist, but it’s true: there are days that all I want is to hear something nice about, do something special for, concentrate solely on, or have extra time for ME. Don’t get ME wrong, I love my life and the little ankle-biters that require the majority of my time, but I realized a while back that if I don’t have “ME Time,” I can morph into a biatch real quick-like. My gal pal and I were just talking about this the other day: when we don’t have a spare second to practice yoga or read a book or relax in a hot bath, we feel tense. And when we feel tense, we’re not good parents or wives or friends. Having just a few minutes a day–or, picture this!, an entire afternoon–for myself makes ME feel better. My husband’s favorite hobby is golf. Golf takes approximately 5 hours to play. If I have to buy a set of clubs, I will. Don’t test ME.
2. “Would you like help with that?”
The scene: the grocery store.
The conflict: my cart is overflowing with food and bags and kids as we head outside into the whipping wind. Brady’s hood blows off; he screams. Ella’s car seat gets stuck (again…) in the cart; she screams. We arrive at our car to find that the a-hole who parked beside us is so close that I can barely open my door to get in. Despite the negative degree wind chills, I start sweating. And swearing.
The climax: just as I’m about to crawl in the car through the trunk with both kids, heaving my cart full of groceries across the parking lot because I just don’t give an eff any more, He appears. No, not God, but the kind soul who witnessed me struggling and, because he’s the last remaining gentleman in Pennsylvania, he comes to my rescue. “Looks like you could use some help,” he says, and loads the groceries into my trunk, helps me get the kids situated in the car, and then tips his hat before disappearing into the winter chill.
The resolution: Life is good.
3. “You were fantastic last night.”
I know what you’re thinking, but you’re completely overestimating me here. If, at 3 am, Zach was able to nurse Ella back to sleep, giving me a full 8 hours of shut-eye, those are the words he would hear come morning. See? Told ya–overestimated.
4. “Those wrinkles on your face make you look more beautiful. And smarter.”
Why is it that when a man gets crows feet around his eyes, they’re called laugh lines? And when a man gets gray hair, it’s considered sophisticated? I look like I haven’t slept since 1998 and my hair is a hot mess most days, so if women are judged on the same scale, I’m on my way to being one sexy mother.
5. “Have you lost weight?”
If I worked out half as much as I thought about working out, I would put Britney Spears (circa “I’m a Slave 4 You”) to shame. The reality is I just don’t make it a priority. And I’m lazy. And I’m tired. Oh, and I make a lot of excuses to avoid it which gives me a few spare minutes each day to smash anything chocolate straight into my face. It’s a sick cycle.
Ooops, sorry to cut this short, but Zach just walked in the door and said a few more of my favorite words: “I have carrot cake.”