Years ago, I used to read the National Enquirer. Our housesitters always brought a number of them, and I would eagerly read the gossip. My mother would not be caught dead buying one, so I wouldn't either. I liked to read them all the same.
I always remember that each issue had a story called "What you _____ Reveals Your Personality." It was something new every week - what you eat, what you wear, how you fix your hot dog, etc. The possibilities were endless. How you trim your toenails. How you choose your tomatoes. The sort of deoderant you use.
EVERYTHING about you [all those clues in the way you dress, personal grooming, food choices, etc.]reveals your personality, I eventually decided.
I was thinking about that recently.
I used to sometimes go to bed with 1,000 tiny braids in my hair, so it would look "crimped" the next day when I removed the braids. That was popular when I was in high school. I think I was hoping the freaky looking hair would draw attention away from my chubby legs.
Didn't work. I just looked like I had stuck my finger in a light socket, as my brother reminded me.
Now I keep my hair short and devote all of about 2 minutes to it each morning. That reveals my personality, too.
My mother considers herself practically naked in public, if she is seen without lipstick. Bare lips! A sign of the apocalypse!
Consequently, I rarely go out to lunch or dinner without putting on lipstick.
My brother never goes anywhere without a least one pocket knife somewhere on his person. You do not want to make him mad. Dad always carried a pocket knife, too. Since he was a banker he didn't need it too often, but he was prepared.
My dad mentally divided the world into people who use toothpicks in public v. people who would never dream of using a toothpick in public.
I would never use a toothpick in public. I would get lipstick all over it and look like an escaped lunatic. I try to be broad-minded about toothpick use, however.
Everything your parents did has an impact on you, whether you choose to keep their biases alive, or completely reject them. So do the ones you keep reveal YOUR personality, or theirs? Food for thought. Most of us like to think we are more evolved than our parents, but are we?
I watched a guy walk down the street in my neighborhood the other day with earbuds in his ears, completely ignoring everyone around him. My dad liked to walk, and he always nodded and smiled at people, and often said "Good morning!" or "Hi there!" - even if he didn't know the person he was addressing. About 90% of the time the people responded cordially.
I get anxious sometimes and I have to remind myself to smile at people and seem cordial. I also like to walk listening to an iPod, but I need to stop doing that, and just enjoy the scenery, and say hello to people.
My mother had another visiting nurse in to change the bandages on her legs today. This was a different one than the one who came last Friday. She greeted the nurse as though he were an old friend, even though she had never met him. She has a gift for making people feel welcomed, no matter who they are. Our home is usually messy and noisy but it's a place where folks are always treated with respect and kindness.
I can remember thinking as a teen, I can never be as nice as Mother. I was wrong.
How nice you are reveals your personality.
I've had some folks be far less than nice to me recently, and I'm still processing it. I've looked back on my dealings with these people and thought, what did I miss? What little revealing things did they do or say that should have warned me? How can I protect myself from such mistreatment in the future?
The problem is that I can't - not without becoming a hermit.
I have to tell myself over and over again, it's not my place to judge or to retaliate. They will get what they deserve eventually. You reap what you sow. The Lord will take care of those situations, and all others.
Sometimes when I am tired and my faith is flagging, some small thing happens that's a sign to me as clear as a bell. Yesterday around 5 p.m. Michael and I were in Kroger. The meat dept. lady always speaks to us and we chat. She asked about my daughter. I said I have not heard from her in several weeks. I wanted to sit down in the middle of the floor and cry and scream. I really did.
I prayed and asked God to please get word to me somehow that she is OK.
Later, I asked Michael to try texting her. He was silent for a minute, looking at messages on his iPod. "She texted me, Mom," he said. "What time did she send that text?" I asked.
"At 5 o'clock," he answered.
Thanks be to God.
I thought for the longest time that only my mother could teach me about faith, but I was wrong. My teachers are everywhere, and they are all doing God's work, however inadvertently. How I learn reveals my personality..