Friday, January 31, 2014

The Dark Side of Dirtiness

Part of being around small children all day is accepting that you will become a filthy stinkbomb by the end of the day. In even the most innocuous conditions, one's clothes and skin will come into contact with the world's most vile germs and textures. Grossness, stickiness, and spittle are just a part of childhood.

However, sometimes the messiness on my person is wholly my fault. I am a fantastic water spiller, as well as the queen of toothpaste shirt-spots. I have a handy excuse most of the time: "Oh, the kids bumped my elbow" or "This never used to happen before I started procreating." In my heart, I know the kids aren't culpable for my icky appearance. That doesn't stop me from throwing them under the bus.

I was in the student leadership class in middle school; I'd aspired to hob nob with the fancy kids and finally got to participate. The class was a Zero Period class, a.k.a. before school officially started. We would meet in a huge room on the second floor of the shop building; I would get there earlier than everyone else because I was so excited.

Most of the kids made me feel nervous, so sometimes I would make a social faux pas or two. One morning, while I was waiting for the adviser to come, a few of the other students got dropped off by their parents. A girl I admired very much named Erin walked up and said hello; we chatted idly when all of a sudden, I mentioned a white spot on her shirt. She laughed and rubbed at it, saying that it was from her face wash. We started talking about other things and the adviser unlocked the classroom door. I hope she doesn't remember this story.

Ever since then, any time I get something on myself, I have wished to be as jovially self-effacing as my friend Erin. Instead of fretting that the world will judge me, I am desperate to be able to laugh and explain that I'd been living my life in the process of wearing my clothes. Life happens, sometimes it is messy, and eventually everyone gets a few white spots.

Today, I am doing the week's laundry. I've been inspecting the stains on my clothes and wondering why I can't get myself together. I should probably forgive myself, but until then, I think I may keep leaning on that Kids Are Grubby thing.

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