Sunday, February 27, 2011

That's Awkward!

      A student, in my niece’s second grade class in Surry, North Dakota inspired this post.  The class was working on adjectives to describe themselves. My niece, the teacher, was doing it with them. When she got to the “A” in her name she said to the class, “I’m stuck can you help me think of a word to describe myself that begins with “A”? Her little student, happy to fill in the blank, piped up with, “Awkward, you’re definitely Awkward”! We laughed about it, but for some reason the story stuck with me now for a few days.
      Awkward… is a word that means many things if you look it up, but one of definition is “clumsily or unskillfully performed”. I can think of a lot of things I felt awkward about over the years that’s for sure! The first thing that comes to mind is my body type. I never had a “bikini bod”- even as a teenager. I don’t even remember wearing clothes in single digit sizes after elementary school.  A twelve was skinny for me!  I never had a pair of “skinny jeans”, or wasted my time drinking skinny girl margaritas with so far to go.
        I had awkward permanent teeth. I’d been really sick as a child and treated with antibiotics which affected my teeth. My teeth came in with deep fever pockets making me feel really awkward about smiling for years. It wasn’t until after I was married, and had dental insurance that I was able to have all my teeth capped two at a time (that’s all insurance allowed) for years.
         Although I always admired people who could wear scarves, I always feel like a spectical in them. They are always falling off, lopsided or just silly looking on me. I found a u tube video lately that was really helpful, so at least I know how they are supposed to be now. I’m determined to get over the awkwardness of it!  Check this out, maybe if you suffer from the same affliction and the video will help you too.   
      Eyeglasses are an awkward thing. I was so excited at the prospect of getting glasses when the teacher contacted my Mom, filling her in on my need for glasses. I was in the eighth grade when I got a pair of in style, hot of the press, genuine 70's wire rims! I walked out of the Drs. office able to see every leaf on the tree, as if someone focused a camera lens. But by the time I got home my excitement had already waned. The little plastic nose pieces were digging into the sides of my nose, and my ears were being gouged by the sharp bend in the bows!  Besides, once I could see so clearly, I didn’t like the glasses nearly as much as I did being fitted for them while half blind!
       The next time I needed glasses, I talked Mom into soft contacts, which were a hundred something dollars in the seventies. Wearing contacts was a pain as well. At the end of the day, you had to wash them and steam them. Once they were cooking in the steamer you were blind until morning. One night I came home late and tired, peeled them off my corneas, and put them each in a cup of water on the sink rather than clean and steam them. Cleaning off the counter the next morning, Mom dumped them down the drain. I don’t remember if I was madder at her for blinding me, or she at me, for putting them there in the first place!
        Going for your first girl check-up…there's one that’s pretty awkward, but having your first baby trumps that!  In the early stages of labor, you start out embarrassed and lady like. Moving into hard labor you end up swearing, moaning, and more than willing to show the goods to ANYONE willing to just DO SOMETHING! Now that I think of it, any sex thing was really awkward. Do you ever really get over that one? I haven’t.  Probably has something to do with the body image I talked about. I've always said I was going to come back in my next life, the kind of girl that men slammed on their brakes to take a look at. Since I’ve seen that scenario close up and personal, I decided that's just has a whole new set of problems. I’ll stick with being what I am. I always had boyfriends and friends; I just had to work harder to move them past my bodacious bod.
         If you’re younger and reading this, I assure you awkwardness fades with age. Things that freaked me out years ago, leave me unfazed these days. I have realized with time that a lot of people wear glasses, are chubby, without perfect teeth, and most of them have babies even! I used to think if someone else had more physical beauty or creativity than I, that made what I was less somehow. Life isn’t a competition, even though it certainly is easy to be sucked into that mindset. When you finally realize that there really is only one you, and that you were designed by God, with all your personality attributes and physical flaws alike; then its ok to have all of it, good and bad.

        Remember the movie baby talk when the little sperms swim toward the egg in the opening few minutes? The first little tailed creature to win the race finally breaks the barrier and fertilizes the egg! When Sydney was little she really enjoyed the idea of being such a good swimmer to have gotten there first!
       Some of the people I admire the most have obvious flaws. I remember when my Mom’s only sister had a heart attack. That was twenty years ago already.  I was feeling so sad and thinking how important she is to me in the waiting room. Did it matter to me that she was always chubby? No! I loved her the same thin or chubby. That’s the day I stopped caring so much about the vanity reasons about dealing with being overweight. I am not saying one should ever be overweight, because it takes an enormous toll on your body physically and emotionally. It should be about taking care of yourself with self-love... not self-loathing.
       In my opinion, Barbara Streisand for example, has the most awkward nose in the world on one hand; and one of the greatest gifts in the world on the other. I say decide you are what you are, and make the most of the positive, accept the negative and help other people accept it too.
       Awkward. The letters form the perfect look for that weird word.  I don’t think Tiffany’s student meant anything personal when he came up with “awkward”. It’s a buzz word right now, so I’m sure he hears it all the time. Tiffany found it funny and good for her. As I young person without a lot of confidence, I probably would have been analyzing it forever…as I am right now ha! I told you I think too much - it’s a family tradition.

     When I was looking up awkward the web came up with these pictures and some of them are awkward all right! These were only the G rated ones!  Happy Sunday!

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