|Photo credit to Gatlin Essary, high school yearbook photographer|
One of these days my big mouth is going to get me into real trouble. I blame my occasional insolent attitude on my elementary/junior high classmates. Early on we were a good group of kids, well behaved and model students. But sometime around the sixth grade our numbers began to dwindle and those of us who were left became a tighter and closer knit group. The tighter the knit, the stronger the weave.
Our sixth grade teacher was the cool teacher who tolerated our obnoxious retorts and our seventh grade teacher was sharp enough to give it back to us. By the time we reached the eighth grade our concerted effort of acerbic sarcasm reached an intolerable level and I don’t know how we all were not expelled.
Our eighth grade teacher, bless her, once dismissed class before the end of the day and ordered us all out of her classroom in a bellowing voice laced with tears. I think we may have laughed. We had a reputation, but hey, we were entertaining. I remember an inspiring serenade of “Another Brick in The Wall” we gave our school principal, Sister Anne. I don’t think she got the joke.
That somewhat separatist attitude has stayed with me all these years. I’ve always had a slightly slanted point of view of things, never in total agreement with the major majority nor the minor minority. I try to bring a different point of view through the back door and let it seep into consciousness. It’s almost like looking at a photograph of a person standing in a room and instead of looking at the person I see mundane things like the painting hanging on the far wall, or the couch, or the cat in the corner and then use those items to explain the expression behind the eyes of the person in the photograph. See? I can't even explain it very well.
The acerbic sarcasm has stayed with me as well, and that is what is going to get me into serious trouble one day. See, when I get stung I tend to use words to sting back. Ironic, I know, since I was once selectively mute and still do not initiate many conversations. My downfall will be the way I sometimes use my words sharply and quickly, like slicing a piece of raw meat with a ceramic blade.
I know I need to count to ten and think before I respond when I’ve been stung, but the biting sting can be so bitter and the reactive impulse so impetuous that before I know it I’ve stung back and then the poison spreads like histamine in an allergic reaction.
I am doing better, though. I’ve learned to make more use of facts to give me credence. (like here... I made a snide comparative comment about people with upper-level degrees but I deleted it because it wasn’t very polite) I’ve learned to carve words and use them as building blocks instead of deadly weapons. But I have bad days, too. My husband can attest, bless him.
So, I apologize if I’ve stung you before. It probably was my intention at the moment, I can't lie, but I’m sure I felt guilty about it later. I blame it ALL on Malcolm, Jill, Brian, David, Lisa, Cheryl, Greg, Eric, Tray, Bruce, Terri, Marvin, Eileen, Cathy, Missy and Joanna. Did I miss anyone?