Stuck up or Shy?

With so many kids starting school, here’s a reminder: Some people you think are rude or stuck up,  just might be shy.

I’d been out of school a few years when I ran into one of the “cool” girls I’d been afraid to talk to in high school. She was beautiful and smart and was nominated several times for things. As we looked at sale items on the same table, I wondered if I should say hello, but then thought, Well, she didn’t want to talk to me then, why would she want to talk to me now? But then I realized that even after all these years I was still fearful, and that was silly. Oh, what the heck! “So how are you?” I asked? It’s been a long time.”

She smiled. “Oh helloooo, I remember you.  Thanks for speaking up. Yes, can you believe how fast the time’s gone by?” We chatted then and exchanged information about our lives.  Finally, we talked about high school days. I admitted to her that back then I never dared talk to her and I told her why.

“Cool? Me? Are you kidding? That’s just not true at all,” she said. “I never ever thought of myself that way.  I was so insecure. I always worried about what to say to people.”

We talked then about how inaccurately we sometimes perceive each other.

Since that experience I still too often forget that when someone, even a grown-up, doesn’t seem very friendly, it might just be that she or he is feeling self-conscious, even discouraged or yes,  just plain shy. I need to stop making assumptions.


Warning: While painting, watch your back….side

I just finished “a quick and easy little paint job” that didn’t turn out to be so quick and easy, and I would like to issue some tips and warnings to those of you who think there is such a thing as  “a quick and easy little paint job.”

1.  Do not think you can just leave on your good clothes because you are absolutely sure you will be careful enough not drip any paint on them. I can guarantee that even if you are amazingly careful and even if you cover these clothes,  the paint will find its way to the one square inch that is peeking out. Further, the paint will choose the item of clothing you are most fond of— such as the only shoes you’ve ever bought that cost over forty dollars or your favorite shirt that you wear practically every other day because it matches everything.

2. If you must wear good clothes have them at least be in the same color family as the paint you are using and not a clashing or contrasting color. When using black chalkboard paint, for instance, wear black  or very dark pants and dark shoes, not white or pastel pants and light shoes.

3.  Remove your cat or dog or any pets at all from the room you are painting in.  In the worst scenario, your pet, in its eagerness to get out of the way when you ask it very nicely to GET THE HECK OUT OF HERE, may knock over the container of paint you’re using. Even an inch or so of paint in a cup, you’ll discover, can stretch to be quite wide on your floor which your pet may then run or splash through.

4. It may take a few extra minutes, but you will probably find it worth your time to apply masking tape around the perimeter of the area you want to paint so that you won’t get splotches of paint where you do not want that color. Also, be sure to place newspaper or a drop cloth under the project. Remember, however, that if you remove this newspaper and tape when it still has wet paint on it, this wet paint can then transfer to the very areas you were trying to protect.

5. Keep a wet cloth handy so you can quickly wipe off areas where you (or your pet) accidentally spilled. After you have used such a cloth, however, do not step on it, because once again, paint can easily transfer elsewhere. and all over.

6. Do not back into the area that you have just painted that is still wet. Remember that your butt or hips or belly may be larger than you thought and extend into areas you hadn’t thought they could reach.

7. Either plan to wear work gloves or rubber gloves while painting, or plan to  hide your hands for a few days following your project. Blackboard paint, for instance, does not wash off easily. Also girls, be aware that paint will ruin a new manicure. Yes, people are getting fancy now and having their nails done with polka dots etc, but big random darker or lighter splotches are not all that attractive on nails even if they perfectly match the splotches on your hands and arms. As you look at your fingernails, hands, and arms, you may find yourself asking the moral question: Is having paint splotches all over myself a good enough reason to stay home from work or church?

8.  Check the bottoms of your shoes to make sure you did not step on wet paint before you traipse through the house or onto your area rugs or carpet. If you have taken off your shoes, check the bottoms of your bare feet.

9. If you need a second coat of paint because you find that one layer of dark paint does not adequately cover a light color, or vice versa, do not begin on that second coat before the first coat is entirely dry. Here’s why: the first coat will gob up kind of like cake that’s frosted while its still too warm.

10. And here’s the best suggestion of all: If you’re not willing to follow these tips, do yourself a big favor and hire a professional for even those supposedly quick and easy paint jobs.  It will be far far less expensive in the long run and will prevent you from shouting out nasty curse words that the neighbors will hear because the windows are open, or from throwing something handy (possibly with paint on it)  at your spouse when he/she simply asks, “What on earth happened here?”