What are you not is kind of a fun game I invented this weekend with the help of my not light, never inconsiderate friend Tara. The point of the game is to come up with words that someone would never use to describe you. The idea is to alternate your word choice to praise and slightly deprecate yourself.
Here are a few examples. No one would ever describe me as obsessively hygienic, but that’s really a two word phrase. So I’ll use another example my husband came up with as I knocked over all his hockey sticks while trying to free my ski poles from the morass of sports equipment in the garage. “You are not stealthy!” he crowed, embracing the new game. “Or quiet!” he added gleefully. Now I objected to this last one a little bit, since I can be quiet on occasion, but truly it’s not a word used often to describe me.
Neither is shy.
But enough about me. What are you not?
Yesterday morning I woke up and the place where my arms attach to my body was extremely sore. Naturally I panicked and immediately assumed I had contracted a rare form of acute pectoral arm cancer. I’m not a hypochondriac by nature but I am a bit of an alarmist. Woody Allen does a nice job at explaining the difference here.
Just as I was envisioning my demise, I remembered that the day before at school I’d been feeling rather punchy and attempted to demonstrate my meager athletic abilities by doing a push up. Just one. What I succeeded in doing was a face plant into industrial carpet –which I followed with three girly half-push ups for good measure. It followed that the likely cause of my arm pain was not a rare acute disease but rather 3 and a half failed push ups. It’s not my fault that I have the upper body strength of an ostrich, the arms and shoulders of a malnourished chicken. It’s genetics. Not that I’ve done anything about it. I learned very early on that there are those people who are rope climbers (think elementary school gym class) and those of us who are rope danglers –spending entire gym periods with our feet just inches above the blue mats waiting for the bell to ring.
I think about this sometimes when people ask how/when I find time to write. There isn’t time. Any more than there’s time for me to build up some killer biceps and conquer that damn rope once and for all. I guess as life gets busier you have to prioritize the things you really care about. So for the time being I’ll have to get used to the taste of industrial carpet.