So recently, I started to wear men’s deodorant. Classy, I know. But you know what!?! It works! I’ve tried around five different brands of women’s in the past, and felt like I needed to “reapply” like four times a day. Mens? Just once thank you very much! It really struck me though, and kind of disturbed me, to tell you the truth, that I … a five foot three inch woman who isn’t typically a “sweater” would need it. I couldn’t understand, that is, until I did a little anthropological experiment of my typical day.
On Wednesday, of this past week, I took a small slip of paper and kept a tally of all the times someone asked me a question. As a teacher, and mother, and wife … you might imagine it was quite a few. But would you believe that between 6:30 in the morning, and 5:30 at night, I was asked one hundred and thirty-two different questions!?! No joke! It is no wonder I’m often so fragmented. I realized that questions often come in the form of interruptions … and therefore, I usually have an air of distracted, disjointed, and well … just plain lostness about me.
My favorite thing, is when people tell you to relax. “Just breathe and take it slow,” they suggest. I suggest a reality check … because how can a person form a logical thought in their head with one hundred and thirty-two interferences? Sometimes I wish that I could begin my day like Ronald Regan began one of his presidential speeches, “Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement.” Genius! Only life doesn’t work like that does it? We are often going to need to answer the questions of children or adults who act like children (depending on where you work). It is just a part of the human experience I’m afraid.
One thing I have learned in all of this, is that people really do respond to the way that questions are answered. I’m certainly not perfect at this. Sometimes an answer from me is “Mad as a hatter” off topic. Sometimes it’s wise with split infinitives like Yoda. Sometimes … as much as I hate to admit it … it’s a sarcastic eye-roll. A lot of cliche lovers like to say, “There’s no such thing as a dumb question.” I say, why lie to kids? Some questions are dumb! Regardless of the intelligence of the question (or the person asking it for that matter) I do believe in giving people the honor of time. I’m really convinced that there are times, after all, that someone is only asking a question to build a bit of conversation, or to gain a moment of attention.
Yesterday I introduced my husband to a new acquaintance of mine who said to him, “Wow. This one’s got a ton of energy. How do you keep up?” My husband laughed and said he tries his best. The gentleman went on to say, “She and I had a great conversation, and we’re all talked out.” To which my husband replied,
“Yeah, but then she comes home and keeps on talking! She’s never all talked-out.”
He was appropriately glared at, but then I realized that my bubbly, enthusiastic nature and “talk-all-day” personality (which rightly so annoys some people) is something that makes me useful. God gives us what we can handle, and apparently, he intends that I handle those one hundred and thirty two questions a day. I may come back kind or cranky, sweet, or snarky … but with me, I suppose at least you’re always guaranteed an answer. I’ll keep praying for patience, but until then, I guess I’ll just keep being me – filled with effervescence, and of course … men’s deodorant.