Saturday, June 7, 2008

Your Hair is Pretty

You know how sometimes you're just annoyed to death with someone but you bite the inside of your cheek for fear of saying something that will make everything worse? Or you're in the middle of a conversation and you need a great comeback but none come to mind? (For the record, not having a comeback is the story of my life.) If so, I may have an easy solution for you.

When my niece Anna was little she was the most articulate little thing you could imagine. Somewhere around the age of three or so, a large number of us were gathered at her parents' home on the weekend of an Iowa vs. Iowa State football game. Anyone from Iowa knows this is a sacred sport weekend for the rival schools, and being in the hometown of the Iowa State Cyclones meant the game was being taken more seriously than you can imagine. While a large number were gathered in the living room watching the game, a few of us stragglers were still finishing up dishes in the adjoining kitchen.

Enter Anna. She walked into the kitchen wide-eyed with a hand on her hip, declaring the need for a family meeting. She informed her mother that she had heard "inappropriate language" (I kid you not) and there needed to be a discussion about it. Her mom, while all about open communication, knew better than to interrupt this particular game and convinced Anna to wait until the game was over. Thankfully, Iowa State won or this next part might not have been so funny or well tolerated.

When the game was finished the TV was turned off and somewhere around a dozen adults sat on couches with all focus directed at the three-year-old conducting the meeting. She made sure all eyes were on her and began...

"I was hearing inappropriate language when you were watching the game. I heard words like shit, damn and ell (meaning hell... cutest mispronunciation you've ever heard). And in THIS family, we use loving words like good job, I love you, your hair is pretty."

At that point I had a pillow shoved so far down my throat to keep from laughing I thought I might die right then and there. And it would have been so worth it. She was the cutest little swearer I'd ever seen in my life.

And here's where I get to my point of this post. The next time someone is driving you to the brink, use LOVING words. Go ahead. Tell them their hair is pretty. I swear to God I'll never let it slip what you're really trying to say.


  1. that's such a cute story!

    i came over here from pioneer woman, and wish you much strength to overcome your physical obstacles- it's so inspiring to see how optimistic you are!

  2. Oh my word, I'm laughing so hard I have tears streaming down my face - I can just hear her!
    I just came here today after reading a comment you left at PW's blog, and have thoroughly enjoyed your blog. It is so refreshing to find a writer as articulate and interesting as you, and I have appreciated the spirit and optimism and faith you have displayed here as well. Thank you for sharing your life with us! My mom found out last year that she has Parkinson's disease (along with numerous other ailments); I'm going to send her over here for some inspiration.
    God bless you!

  3. OH! That made me laugh until I cried.