Aren’t they cuuuuttteee!!!!
Yeah, I know they’re not really monkeys. No tails.
But it seems wrong to call them anything else. Why? I have no idea.
Why is it that terms we sort of grew up with just sound more right than others? Even if they’re just totally wrong, it’s like they just fit because you’ve heard and said them so much.
Take the term “hose pipe,” for example. (For those of you who are wondering what in the world it is: It’s what people around here in southern Virginia call a water hose. Why? I have no idea.) Well, it’s completely redundant, but for some reason, it just sounds right. It rolls right off my tongue, even though the English teacher in me cringes when I say or hear it.
I’m sure there are tons of other examples.
Somewhere along late high school to early college, I tried to reform myself of all of this southern stuff. I trained myself to say “turn on the light” instead of “cut on the light.” I worked to pronounce that final “g” on all of my participles and progressive verbs. And I learned more about how chimpanzees aren’t monkeys. :P
It must’ve worked for a while, at least, even though my college friends from the rest of the country weren’t fooled in the least. When I was waiting tables at an old local restaurant after I’d returned from Oklahoma, a non-local couple told me that they had my accent pegged for either New York or Florida. Hmm!
Anyway. What I called improvement at the time I now see so differently.
See, I wanted to be someone other than who I was, so that people would like me better. It completely defeats itself, though. Even if people did like “me,” I knew they didn’t really like me, but this “me” I’d constructed as a facade. Of course, if they didn’t like “me,” I really hadn’t lost anything … unless you count my self-respect, courage, and identity…
I was setting myself up to be lonely and alone without having even meant to take one step on the path. So sad. :(
All of this, Kevin could probably sum up succinctly, and one hyphenated word would almost certainly be at the top: SELF-ABSORBED. And another: PRAY.
So even now, when I’m feeling insecure and beating myself up over saying the wrong thing or not thinking to say something I should have, when I’m spending too much time wondering what other people are thinking about what I said, what I wrote, what I wore, how I’ve changed… these are times when I need to stop and realize that my focus is on the entirely wrong spot.