Slow Learner by Deb Eileen

I like to think of myself as a smart person. I have a fancy masters degree and read books with big words. Heck, I actually LIKE shows that appear on Discovery and public television. However, despite my achievements I am concerned that I may be a few fries short of a combo meal.

Things I do for no clear logical reason:

  • When a waiter hands me a plate and says “don’t touch the plate it’s hot.” The very first thing I do is stick my finger on it. I don’t know if this is because I wonder just how hot he thinks it is or if I have a deep and abiding distrust of wait staff- but I do this all the time.
  • If I pull the milk out of the fridge and notice that the expiration date has long since come and gone, heck I can almost feel the chunks rolling around in the carton, I will still lean in and give it a good sniff just to be sure.
  • If I have an injury of some type- let’s say a cut on my finger- I will randomly push on it to see if it still hurts. Several times a day. It is as if on some level I wonder if a miracle has occurred and have to check it out over and over. “Yep still hurts, yep even now- look at that it STILL hurts.”

I believe there is hope for me. Sometimes it takes me years, decades even, but I do learn. For years I struggled with worrying about what people thought of me. Was I dressed okay? Was I funny? Not funny? Too funny? Did they think I was smart? A smart ass? Too fat? Too thin? I chose clothing carefully wanting to be sure that I was dressed fun, but not too funky. Even I knew a swan dress was going too far. There were times I couldn’t enjoy events that should have been FUN because I was too worried about how others saw me.

I’m slowly coming around to the idea that what other people think doesn’t matter nearly as much as I thought. There are simply too many people to please and too many different opinions on what is the “right thing.” Does this mean I won’t wince when I get a bad review? I doubt it, but I hope I chalk it up to the fact that there are different strokes for different folks. What matters is what the people I respect think of me. What matters even more than that- is what I think of myself.

It took me long enough- now if I can only get over the milk sniffing…..

What lesson are you most proud of learning?

13 thoughts on “Slow Learner by Deb Eileen

  1. Great post, Eileen! So true… but about that swan dress. What IS a swan dress and where would one purchase one?

  2. Aren’t the thirties great? My husband has a song about getting older and smarter called, “It’s Easy”, and there’s a line in it that says, “The equation got simple when my temples turned gray. It’s getting easier everyday.”

    I think the lesson I’m most proud of learning is that I don’t have to yell to be heard. I come from a family of yellers and my husband doesn’t. He taught me that.

  3. That the world won’t come to an end, and people will still like and respect me, if I say “No, I don’t agree with you about that.”

  4. Gail- did you ever see the famous swan dress that Bjork wore to the Oscars? It would be hard to describe, but I bet if you google it you’ll see it.

  5. You are too cute, with your disobedience in restaurants! 🙂 Great post, Eileen. I was doing a little sniffing of the milk today myself…it is a strange habit, isn’t it?

    I love the wisdom and comfort with self that comes with aging.

  6. My bride is the milk sniffer, but afterwards she will say to me “This smells bad, taste it.” And like a dolt, I will try it to confirm her suspicions. I have to stop doing that!

  7. Oh, I touch the plate, too. And I still think when I tell my teenagers, on their way out the door, “Make good choices” that they will. Hah! And I still think that joining a gym will impel me to go.

    But, I have learned I can’t make everybody happy (heck, somedays I can’t make anybody happy!). It’s not my responsibility.

    Greeat post.

  8. Trying to please everyone is such a waste of your time, energy and uniqueness. I *know* that Swan dress, Eileen, and — since you came to your senses about it — you remain just my type. 😉

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