Monday, June 1, 2009

Be the Dork

Admittedly, I am a dork. I trip into the room, fall down the two steps and smack into the lamp, with toilet paper hanging from my shoe, and my dress tucked into my pantyhose. It's as much a part of who I am as the nose on my face. I had great distaste for my dorkiness. I laughed too loud, talked too fast and wore my heart on my sleeve. I am childlike and awestruck by simple, yet meaningful things that others seemed not to notice.
My dorkiness originally caused me great embarrassment. I wanted to be cool, and distant, maintaining my dignity at all times with no hint of the ridiculous. I had wanted to be tall, dark, and mysterious. Much to my dismay, I grew up to be short, fair, and obvious. Knowing I had no control over my genetics I started to appreciate that which was distinctively me. I was not mysterious, I was funny, whether it was intentional or not I made people laugh. No one looked at me as a riddle to be figured out. I was blatant in every way. It takes approximately 30 seconds for people to figure out that I am a complete and utter goofball. While other will sweep into a room, with their grace and style, I on the other hand fall over myself and end up face first in the dip. It is what it is.
I now embrace my dorky demeanor and encourage others to do the same. Perfection takes so much effort. I had spent or in my case, wasted hours of my life trying to be something that I couldn't maintain. I watch other people, especially women who work so hard at hiding their dorky side in order to maintain their grace and fluidity. It is a practiced art form that I am seemingly unable to master.
I have tried to teach my kids to embrace their innately dorky side, and yes, they inherited it from their mother. I wanted them to never feel bogged down by all the work it takes to avoid embarrassment when it is so much easier to accept and appreciate it. Better to laugh than cry in any circumstance. Once I had let go of the notion that imperfection and even dorkiness as something to be ashamed of, I was able to find the joy in it and use it as something to revel in, I became a much happier person. Instead of berating myself for falling on my face in public and trying to count heads as to who saw what, I now openly tell the stories of my embarrassment. I hate waste and think it's ultimately better to get it all out there than wait for someone else to bring it up as a way to use it against me. I use it as way of being inclusive. Most people do not relate to perfection, even when they have had moments of it, but dorkiness everyone can relate to and laugh at/with.
I took ballet when I was in high school. I practiced everyday and went to class with a good friend of mine who also suffered from the dorky gene. He eventually became a dancer in a ballet company while I, on the other hand, gave it up to be in the marching band in college, because that's what us dorks do. It was there in the college marching band I made and have since kept many of my life long friends, including my husband. He, too, is a little dorky, but nothing in comparison to his wife.
I could pretend to be more graceful and pray that I am not found out by others around me, carefully guarding every step, or I could just be me and know that at some point in the evening I will put my foot in my mouth, trip over the food table and leave the bathroom stringing streamers to my pant leg. I opt for the latter, if for no other reason, than it makes me more entertaining.

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