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Just Own Up To It

Just Own Up To It

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Published by Whitney Call

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Published by: Whitney Call on Jul 30, 2011
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CALL - 1

Just Own Up to It
In a scientific study, 91% of people reported that they pick their nose. 65.1% use their index finger, 20.2% use their pinky, and 16.4% use their thumb. 8% eat their boogers. (Silverman)

I pick my nose. I pick my nose with my index finger and my pinky, and sometimes with my middle finger. I don’t ever eat what comes out of my nose, though; usually I dispose of them in a tissue and then wash my hands. You can tell if someone’s a liar just by asking if he picks his nose because everybody does it. Just say, “Hey, my name’s Bud. Do you pick your nose?” And if he gives any response contrary to, “Why yes, everyone has to clean some house, now and then,” you should move on; he’s not your friend.
“Almost everybody talks to themselves. It is unusual not to talk to yourself.” --Thomas Brinthaupt, Ph.D. (Cauchon)

When I was very young, I discovered that I could cry on cue. This led to many hours of self-entertainment, standing in front of the mirror and reciting improvised monologues. I still do it from time to time when I have a moment and I’m alone. “What do you know about life, Ben? You don’t know the absolute horror in a little boy’s eyes when he knows he’s going to die and feel absolutely powerless while you scream, ‘KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN! KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN!’ over and over and over! You wake up everyday thinking about what you dreamt last night. I can’t even close my eyes because his are burned in my mind and I can’t… I can’t.” Then I stare back at myself, half exhausted, half victorious. My tear-streamed face immediately breaks into a grin and I go about my day.

CALL - 2
Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb, was afraid of the dark (“Did You Know?”).

My siblings loved to torment me. After months of shaming me into admitting that I was really a boy named “Nathan,” my defiant wisdom prevailed and I learned to ignore their jokes and faulty advice: I knew that eating hairy meat would not make me fly and that sunflowers would not grow in my stomach if I swallowed the seeds. But the absence of light can weaken even the strongest convictions. The youngest child never celebrates when mom and dad go out for the night. For on one particularly ghastly evening, my brother disappeared. My two sisters, disguising their delight with false trepidation, worked me into state of panic. “Where’s Justin?” “Did you hear something?” “…” The ellipse belonged to my trembling, six year-old self, whose imagination was uncontrollable and simply horrible. One of us gasped and pointed to the window; Freddy Krueger acquired information of our parents’ absence and fancied a visit to our house. His razor-sharp, knife-like fingers clawed at the window as the wind and I howled together. My sisters and Freddy tried to calm me down, but it was dark and my imagination had already dragged me along through ghastly spectacles. But I was six. We were all afraid of the dark when we were six. I no longer howl with the wind, but act more practically. When walking around the house after dark, I turn on every light in the house. When the time comes to go to bed, I turn one light off and dash to the next room, then the next and so on. I’ve devised certain rules that all monsters and murderers must abide by: You cannot hurt me in the light. My imagination concedes the truth in this statement as I plan to continue on in my life running through darkness and sleeping with a nightlight.
“We've all got gas, whether we admit it or not.” --C. Mel Wilcox, MD (Griffin)

One not-so-special-day at the not-so-special-local-Goodwill, a friend and I were perusing about the items that had previously been someone’s possession, treasure, or poorly selected

CALL - 3 Christmas present. We had been having a carefree time when flatulence rudely intruded upon our outing. I tried to hold it in, but there’s only so much squirming a person can do! My friend crinkled her nose with a disgusted look and said, “Eww! Someone farted!” I, in turn, mirrored her expression with a similar outcry and, frantically searching for an unsuspecting scapegoat, whispered, “I’ll bet it was that lady over there,” pointing to an innocent, middle-aged woman inspecting ceramic knick-knacks. I won that round in the battle of self-control. Days later, I confessed to my friend that it was I who had produced the horrendous odor that not-so-special-day. She seemed confused. “Why didn’t you just own up to it?” It got me thinking. Why do we, as an American society, so easily shame ourselves for such mundane trivialities? Are we so quick to blush when we recount embarrassing situations after time has distanced ourselves from that unfortunate event? No! We make rituals of engaging in telling embarrassing stories to anyone from a trusted confidante to a new classmate with high hopes to depict a fun, easygoing jokester who can laugh at himself. If only our confidantes could follow us in our daily routine and provide a laugh track every time we fart, foolishly fear the dark, talk to ourselves or shamelessly pick our nose. We might then be more willing to uncover our quirky mannerisms, turn to face the world with spinach in our teeth and say, “That’s right, suckas!” If we as humans uncover our humanity, wouldn’t the world be that much friendlier? Where would we be at the end of this life if we kept up a façade of cold, unapproachable faultlessness? I challenge you to make a list: what embarrasses you? You’ll find that once you recognize the eccentricities of yourself as well as those around you, the hype that creates unendurable moments of awkwardness will gradually subside, leaving only your bare-boned self.

CALL - 4 Sometimes I pretend to stretch my arms while self-consciously checking for any underarm odor. I hardly ever wear my glasses because I feel really dorky when they cast shadows on my face. Sometimes when I trip over my feet in public, I pretend that I meant to start a happy skip. I clench my butt when I’m sitting. Not to get blood flowing, but to make it real firm. I only know how to play a single song on the piano, and I play it over and over… I have a big, unsightly mole on my arm that I tried to pick off in the 2nd grade. Sometimes, I cook a whole box of mac n’ cheese and then eat it all at once. Sometimes, I fix my face in pictures on Photoshop so that I look better. I am much less flexible than almost every girl and boy that I know. I am really superstitious and I take horoscopes very seriously. I twist apple stems to find the name of my future husband. I almost always open my eyes in almost every prayer. I laugh at all of my friend’s Helen Keller jokes. I have a myspace and a facebook account. I suck in my stomach when I sit down. I love the smell (and taste) of chalk. I snort when I laugh really hard. I give a lot of courtesy laughs. I do have a favorite sibling. I am mean to mean boys. I’m nice to mean girls. Potholes worry me. I shave my toes. This is me. Whit

CALL - 5 References:
Cauchon, Christine. "Whistler's Mutter." Medicine Net. 04 Sep 1994. Psychology Today. 16 Jan 2008 <http:// home.nycap.rr.com/useless/nose/>. "Did You Know?." Birmingham Post 25 Apr 2007: 14. Griffin, R. Morgan. "Embarrassing Conditions." Crohn's Disease Health Center. 2008. Web MD. 16 Jan 2008 <http://www.webmd.com/ibd-crohns-disease/crohns-disease/features/embarrassing-conditions?src=rss_investeap>. Silverman, Steve. "Picking Your Nose: Do We All Do It?." Useless Information. Useless Information. 16 Jan 2008 <http://home.nycap.rr.com/useless/nose/>.

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