Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fix The Flaws - Not So Fast

We all seem to see what we consider our "flaws" very clearly.

Whether it's a bump on the nose, or small breasts, or crooked teeth, or cowlicks, we are all very well aware of them. I think women may feel a little more self conscious about perceived flaws but I don't really know for sure. Men seem to be less pushed toward perfection than women.

I have a bump on my nose and slightly crooked teeth. But then I'm so arrogant, I think I look fine even with my flaws. I've always been inclined to give greater credence to my assets than my flaws. Oh, except one thing.

When I was a child, I had about two years in bed because of illness. I had rheumatic fever followed by mumps encephalitis. I had a home teacher during the period that I was laid up and frankly, life was fine. Sure I missed playing outside, but I was able to spend my time reading and everyone treated me like a little princess. Yeah, a sick princess, but still, it wasn't bad.

The only thing that I had as a lasting effect after the illnesses was a bad stutter. The doctors thought it could be related to the encephalitis but they weren't sure. My mother was horrified and took me to speech classes immediately. Unfortunately, that didn't "cure" me. Mom also talked about taking me to Lourdes to see if I could be cured, but it really wasn't in her budget. (And I was really hesitant about getting in dirty water so it was really just as well.)

So I went to the third grade and realized that answering questions in the classroom was not to my liking because it invited ridicule. At that point I began just playing stupid about answers, by shaking my head to indicate that I just didn't know. I'd rather have the nuns and kids think I was a dummy than to advertise my "impairment".

I did fine in school except for my lack of communication skills in the classroom. Fortunately, my written skills were good enough that I still got very good grades.

I can honestly say that as a child I did feel "handicapped" by stuttering, (well, until I reached about 13, anyway). By the time I was in my teens, I realized that the boys really didn't care if I stuttered at all. They were too busy being charmed with my boobs and legs.

I still stutter but not much. Many years ago, I overheard a boss talking about me to someone. He was telling the person that I was very smart, very capable, and that I had the "most charming little stutter". That cemented it for me. I was just fine as is. No fixes required.

No comments:

Post a Comment