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Thursday, July 31, 2014

It just sucks.


This morning I awoke with the same gluey eyes that  greet me every morning. Between allergies, age, an over active sinus condition, and macular degeneration in the left eye that plays with the cataract in the right eye, it is not surprising that my vision is not totally clear. But today it was different. Even after applying liquid tears and blinking to cover every nanno section of my eye balls, my eyesight was still incredibly fuzzy. I put on my eye glasses for reinforcement and found no improvement what so ever. When I closed my left eye, I had a fairly good clear view with my right eye; but when I alternated this little exercise, my left eye absolutely refused to clear at all.

This just figured. My prescription changes yearly if not more frequently, but I just acquired new glasses two weeks ago in preparation for the new school year; plus it was time for the yearly change. My insurance would NOT agree to another eye exam without me even inquiring. And the deal I got on my new frames (the first I had had in several years because I thought it was just cheaper to continue recycling my old frames and replacing the lenses) would not repeat itself with the acquisition of pair number two. So, as I often do in life, I conceded to the fact that I just have to live with it. It is what it is.

But it sucks.

And this reminds me of a line in an original story by a young writer friend that I had just met over the weekend at my annual family reunion. Young Nick is entering the eighth grade this fall, which is the grade that I have taught for nearly fifteen years, and he was curious about my reaction to his prose. His parents feel that his writing is a gift and were anxious to receive commentary from a published author of young adult fiction. Plus, this is the age group that I deal with on a daily basis. Any who…Young Nick reverently approached me with his sheaves of lined paper and practically bowed with them at my feet before trotting off to partake of the reunion fun with an assortment of young cousins. I was worried that the nature of our weekend would distract from any serious critiquing I could offer; but his words shouted out at me from the very first line and I knew I had a talented young man awaiting any words of praise or encouragement I could offer.

I would not say that I had discovered the next Hemingway, but compared to students I have had in my nest, I honestly say that this fella has a gift. I admire the honesty in his writing voice and hope that whatever guidance I can give him is worth the wait. The one line in his story that has not left me and haunts my thoughts is probably something that has been said repeatedly in his circle of acquaintances and I have probably overheard in the hallways myself; but reading it over and over again struck me with a freshness I did not expect.

In his story, Nick writes in first person, which I totally love. His character is a young male teen that is rather taken with a lovely young girl in his class and his attraction surprises him. I know from first-hand experience that young men of this age are often taken by storm when the hormones click in and they realize that the opposite sex is rather fetching and that suddenly there is something to be said about personal hygiene.

Anyway, the narrator has stunned himself with the realization that he is even paying attention to this girl and once he peels his eyes off of her, he comments to himself, “It must suck to look so good.”

(Dramatic Pause)

(Heavy sigh)

(Repeat previous directives.)

Think about it. “It must suck to look so good.” There is nothing trivial about that comment. The honesty, the maturity of this statement is not typical of an eighth grade boy. The acceptance that all is not perfect in the world of popularity and good looks is not a trait common in this age group. If a girl is gorgeous and well-groomed, she must be: a) stuck up, b) a prep, c) a cheerleader with all the stereotypes that accompany that title, d) unapproachable. No one ever thinks about the consequences of beauty; especially at his age. If you're beautiful, your life must be 100% fantastic.

Much like with having  MS. Sure, we get the stares, we experience the avoidance, and we silently endure the pains that plague us on a daily basis; but does the casual observer ever give this much thought? I mean, is does sound rather rude to approach a complete stranger, or even someone you know, with these words.

“Hey, man, it must suck to be you.”

Wow.

As Msers we often think this to ourselves, maybe, but to actually verbalize it is way over the top; Even if it true. We just do not do this. And yet, my new little writing friend nailed it without having a clue that his words drove home a sentiment  that encompasses the very being of practically every human being, regardless of age or gender.

Hell, yea, it does suck being me. It sucks to have diabetes. It sucks to have a brain tumor. It sucks looking good. It sucks being bitten by a smart ass parrot. But, it is what it is.

OH, yea, and it sometimes sucks to be an English teacher. I decided early in my career that the perfect “buzz kill” in any sitution other than a faculty meeting,  is to announce my profession. Even having the most amazing time and enjoying the company of a variety of people who seem to be reciprocating the entertainment, knowing there is an English teacher in the house instantly puts everyone on guard of their words and storytelling. I have tried to assure everyone I know and who know me and what I do, that I am off the clock at the final bell of the day and that I do not pass judgment in any way on my adult counter parts, especially in social settings. But few believe me and I sometimes find it difficult to believe myself sometimes. But, on occasion, I enjoy the hype of my profession. It doesn't hurt to also have achieved my life dream of becoming a published author. And, thus, my credentials grow; and at the end of the day, the number one resume high light is, TA DA, I am a veteran MSer.
Not a bad bio, even if some of it DOES suck.

So,  I thank you, NIck, for providing fodder for my daily blog. The true mark of a talented story teller is to engrave your words upon your readers. You have done that and I thank you, even if it does suck to be me. :)


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Love and Light,
Lisa


 
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