Monday, October 4, 2010

Discovering Yourself

I walked in to Naidre's and saw John helping someone in front of me, looking all serious. Now, he often acts like a hard case to crack, but I have managed, in the months that I have had the privilege to know him, to mostly make John smile, to harass him enough that he eventually is forced to laugh.

I told him as much when it was my turn to order. He immediately smiled, which made me smile in turn.

"See, there it you're showing the dimples," I said.

He was all of a sudden back to serious. "I DON'T have dimples..." he said.

"I think you do," I said.

He shook his head, no, definitively no. Despite a co-worker having said the same thing, despite it being true, it was impossible that he should have dimples. Why? Simple: "My brother has dimples, and I always thought people who had dimples were dipshits..." he said, wide-eyed and serious.

I threw back my head in laughter. When I recovered, I looked at him sympathetically. "Wow, sorry," I said. "How old are you?" (I can ask this question still of people I know to be at least a decade my younger.)

"I'm 22," he said, looking perplexed, not understanding why it mattered. So I explained.

"It must be hard, at 22, to discover something new about yourself, to discover, in this case, that maybe you're a dipshit..."

Out came the wry smile, the dimples John can't really help but show. I pulled out a gold star and gave it to him, taking a number of pics to see if I could capture the denied dimples, harassing him as usual for my own entertainment and, I'd like to think, his.

I placated him with the notion that I, at 40 just this week, am still discovering things about myself that I have long denied, making realizations that I may be all kinds of things I don't want to cop to, have all kinds of attributes I don't want to acknowledge.

"You have to make your peace with who you are, even if it turns out you're a dipshit..." I ribbed him.

I jested but I think it's true. There is so much to know about oneself, so much one realizes as time ticks on. Sometimes there are things, positive or negative, that seem so obvious to others that we just cannot see, that we don't want to see. But it's important to accept ourselves despite the strange notions we might have built up in our minds about others who posess those same qualities. Shine thy mirror on thyself, I say, and try, try hard, to like what you see!

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