“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet


Loser, Loser, Loser

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Yesterday I was out running errands. I went to the post office, the bank, a convenience store, the pet supplies store, and the grocery store. In the course if the day I saw many people and many of them saw me.

I thought it was a little strange when I passed a man on the way into the convenience store and he was staring at me. It was certainly not in admiration of the way I looked. A touch of mascara, blush and lip gloss was all that graced my face - not enough makeup to catch anyone's attention. My clothing (lightweight cotton drawstring olive green capris with a white t-shirt which sported a worn out Jars of Clay logo in aqua and lime green) was so bad I was embarassed to be wearing it in public. I thought perhaps my clothing was as bad as I imagined, and he was staring in disbelief that I would go out in public that way. I shunned that idea though based on the fact that he was a guy and wouldn't have noticed my lack of style.

I considered asking the woman at the checkout if I was fully dressed, but decided against it. Throughout the course of the day, I noticed a few other people looking at me strangely and I tried to ignore it, telling myself that I was being paranoid. I had on pants and a shirt, the proper undergarments and shoes. There could be nothing so terrible to worry about.

Finally I reached home and unloaded the groceries. My bladder was begging for me to visit the bathroom, so I obliged. By this time I had forgotten about the strange looks I'd received all day. As I washed my hands, I looked into the mirror, and what do you think I saw?

There was a big black pen mark on my right cheek in the perfect shape of the letter L. I may as well have walked around all day with my finger and thumb in the shape of an L on my forehead, announcing to the world that I am a Loser.

So my question now is this: Why did no one say anything? If you saw a woman walking around the grocery store with a black pen mark on her face, would you say something? I honestly don't know if I would, though I would think I should. I mean, with all the strange things you see these days, I'd have to wonder if she put it there on purpose. Maybe it was a tattoo gone terribly wrong and I would add insult to injury if I mentioned it.

I guess I can't be too upset with people for not telling me if I'm not even sure I would have, but still it would have been nice. What would you have done?


At 10/04/2005 2:27 PM, Blogger Kristi wrote:

oh... poor you. I'm not sure what I would have done in this situation. I wouldn't want to embarass the person with the ink mark (that would be you), but at the same time, I'd want someone to let me know if our situations were reversed. Tough one.

At 10/04/2005 2:38 PM, Blogger Geekwif wrote:

Yes, exactly. In fact, when you put it that way, I think I might rather find out when I got home. At least then no one else would be around to witness my embarrassment, since I'll likely never see these people again.

At 10/04/2005 7:08 PM, Blogger Oreo wrote:

HAHAHAHAA I'm not laughing AT you, EXACTLY, it's just sSSOOO funny!! I'm like you, I don't know what I would do. I too would like to believe that I would but honestly, the way I shop, in, grab it, out, I probably would never have seen you!

At 10/04/2005 7:54 PM, Blogger Heather wrote:

I would have told you. I am honest that way.

At 10/05/2005 7:57 AM, Blogger yellojkt wrote:

Maybe everybody thought it was some sort of hazing stunt and didn't want to get involved. At least you know you didn't run into any friends, because they would have told you.

At 10/05/2005 11:54 AM, Blogger Blond Girl wrote:

I would have pulled you aside, told you and whipped out a wet wipe and mirror then tried vainly to make you feel better about it. I'm a problem solver that way.

At 10/06/2005 7:50 AM, Anonymous leanne wrote:

I...uh...would have looked at you really funny. I'm not sure I would have told you either! Hazing came to mind, a dare, maybe you feel like a loser so this was sortof a coming out, who knows! People do strange things anymore! I'm sorry that you got inked in such an unfortunate way. I say your "running errands" shirt should be "please ignore any unusual markings".

That would work.

At 10/06/2005 8:18 AM, Blogger Geekwif wrote:

Oreo, that's ok. I don't mind if you laugh. I have to laugh looking back on it anyway. It's just sort of ironic that it had to be in the shape of an L.

Heather and Blond Girl, somehow I knew that you two would tell me. Thanks. I would have been embarrassed anyway, but at least I could have taken care of it before anyone else saw it.

And BG, I'm glad you would use a wet wipe. I'd hate to be the victim of the "lick the tissue and wipe it" mom-like gesture. Not that you'd ever do that.

Yellojkt, there is some comfort that I didn't run into any friends. At least I'll probably never see the people who stared strangely at me.

Leanne, I love the shirt idea! You made me LOL! From now on I'll probably be paranoid whenever I go out to run errands. Do I have pen on my face? Am I properly attired? Are my clothes all right-side-out? A t-shirt could alleviate some of those worries. :-)

At 10/15/2005 1:56 PM, Blogger Carmi wrote:

I can always count on close friends to tell me the things I need to hear, that might be too embarrassing coming from someone else.

I appreciate that. It's a sign of true friendship.

Now, Jars of Clay: great band!

At 10/25/2005 9:46 AM, Blogger novaks8 wrote:


Too funny

At least these were all people you don't know.


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