Monday, December 13, 2010

30 Days of Truth, Day 12

Day 12 - What is something you never get compliments on?

Just when one of these questions is easy, wham, a hard one.

There are three different ways to approach this question. 

1.  Answer it the way it is intended to be answered.  There are two things hard about this question.  First, you have to conjure up all the things about you that are awesome.  Second, you have to figure out which one is something that other people, at least theoretically, would compliment you on if they knew.  Or noticed.  Or bothered saying anything about.

2. You just decide that you aren't worthy of compliments, whether in a self deprecating humor sort of way or in a real and sadly depressing way.

3. You find something you are just bad at, and say....well, people will never compliment me on this because I suck at it. 

It actually seems like most of the people writing this challenge are doing that last thing.  Which, I suppose, is one way to answer the question.  Me, though, I like a challenge.  So I am going to go with the first option.

The trouble with answering this question that way is that my tendency would be to take the second or third option.  Me and my self deprecating self, we could answer it that way.  But I won't.
I guess my answer will be my intelligence. 
At first glance, I'm just a stay at home mom with a boatload of kids.  Whatever it means to be "just a mom" anyway...  No one here ever has ever known me as anything else.  I don't dress up, I don't have a fancy car, I don't have a lucrative career.  There's no reason for anyone to suspect otherwise.

Besides, I have spent a good part of my life suppressing my intelligence.  Ever since I was little, I knew that it was better to just keep it under wraps.   It's hard to see where the line is between smart and dork, genius and evil genius, intelligent and head case.  So I try to stay away from that line.  Contain the brain.

Once people get to know me well, though, they realize that I'm not just a uterus. 
Every so often, like once happened on a cruise ship in Alaska, even people who know me better than anyone in the universe should, realize just how intelligent I actually am.   One evening on that boat, I found myself in a conversation with highly educated people from another country and the conversation meandered down the path of health care policy.  I just couldn't help myself.  Big fancy words were trickling out of my mouth, intricate arguments were invented, pointed questions were asked until eventually I looked around the table to see my own family members with their mouths hanging open.  They know I'm smart and all, but damn. 
My actual intelligence, I hide it well.  So well that my own family often doesn't even know. 
It's pretty hard to compliment someone on something so actively and intentionally suppressed.

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