Others Really DO

Others really do see you better than you see yourself:

“Are you finished talking about your brassieres yet?” someone asked me the other night, at the end this lovely evening I spent with my Shakespeare pals, reading Henry V and eating great food.

My eyes widened. Finished talking about my bras? My BRAS? Had I fallen asleep during the reading and talked in my sleep? About my bras?! In front of these lovely people?

Then I realized that he was talking about this blog and what I wrote about for much of last week.

Which was bras, all right,even my bras, God help me.

I had forgotten that this man had told me he reads me every day here and so he really knows me, of course he does.

He sees the unvarnished day-by-day truth of who I am in the same way students know their teachers: in other words in ways that teachers might not imagine. The kids really do ‘see’ their teachers. They see them when they’re annoyed and when they’re tired, when they’re excited and when they’re eyes travel out the window during test times and anyone can see that their thoughts have moved far from the classroom.

They know when the teacher has had a haircut, even a tiny trim. “Miz Marotta! New shoes!!” my own students would call happily on days when I was a young teacher and showed up now and then with fresh footwear.

So what can I say here to the elegant bow-tie-wearing man who asked me that question? Yes, I am finished writing about bras, my bras, the bras of others, bras on dogs, what have you.

At least for now.

And I’m finished showing pictures of bras. Well, almost finished, as you can see.

Tomorrow It’s on to bathing suit bottoms.

Heavy Lifting

I’ve just lost $50 worth of stamps and it isn’t even 7 in the morning. Really I guess I lost them yesterday in my excitement at seeing Jon Hamm on TV. (It’s not that he’s so handsome; it’s that as Don Draper he’s so dark this season. With the drinking and passing out and walking around with bits of throw-up on his Brooks brothers shirts you just can’t believe how sunny and humble the guy is in real life!)

Today I’m driving five hours to give a talk called ‘Surprised by Joy.’ For inspiration, I reread the C.S. Lewis book with the same name but the thing turns out to be mostly about theology and the string of horrid early 20th century English boarding schools where Lewis spent his childhood. To me being surprised by joy happens when you go looking ONE MORE TIME for all the stamps you lost and come instead across a funny old photo like this one. Talk about an unforgiving style for the lady on the left, eh?

My mom was so funny always: once when she was talking to my cousin Sheil, she suddenly interrupted herself to shout, “Your teeth look GREAT!” We laughed at her then but now that I’ve become so much like her I totally get what she was doing. Just the other day I was in conversation with my friend Trish and suddenly I just had to say it: “That bra is really workin’ for you.”

Was she offended? Not a bit.  “The Intimacy store!” she cried at once. “Have the fitting! Pay the money!”

Well, maybe I will. Maybe tomorrow once I’ve recovered from dispensing all that joy. 🙂