Wednesday, December 20, 2006
A new friend and I have bonded over a magazine, one we have both tried (unsuccessfully) to break into and be published by the eccentric editor. She has sent him reams of poetry and stories dripping with snot and tears (his favorite type) and still he rejects her. Her husband bought her all the back issues so she could study them (I got a year's subscription) and still the editor rejects her with chatty notes but still very strong and unequivocal Nos. I just get the form rejections with little notes scrawled across the bottom, but they are still rejections.
She set me a task--to figure out her middle name: three letters ends with M. My first guess turned out to be her daughter's middle name but then I didn't know her name only had three letters. After reading about Hebrew naming practices I think I finally have her. Her middle name is most like to start with the same letter as her first name: J or Y in Hebrew. That narrows the field considerably.
Looking for her name made me think about names in general and mine specifically. My name is the feminine of John which means, "God is gracious." The bearer of such a name is described as well-groomed, intelligent and as solid and dependable as the Rock of Gibraltar. The Johns I know certainly fit that description and I know from talking with Beanie that my mother (and the rest of the family) certainly see me that way (okay, not so well groomed since I fail to wear makeup every day and I prefer comfortable rather than fashionable clothes). Perceptions are always interesting.
We see someone smile at us and immediately think they're interested even though we don't know they were looking past us at their date or someone that makes their toes tingle or even someone who just looks funny. Maybe they are smiling at us the way a crocodile smiles before it weeps while gnawing a piece of our flesh. Maybe they smile because they are nervous or just because they don't want to let it slip that they are liars and cheats and vampires who need your energy and your cooperation to get close enough to siphon it off and leave you empty. You never know for sure. I remember a song from the 70s: "They smile in your face. All the time they want to take your place, the back stabbers." Funny how lyrics linger in the corridors of the mind waiting for a chance to pop out when you least expect it, like when you're rambling in your journal. I always said I didn't trust Jimmy Carter who took $600 off his taxes as a campaign expense for toothpaste. Anyone who uses $600 worth of toothpaste is a liar, obsessive or has worked for the Dept. of Defense and thinks the people really believe a screwdriver costs $35,000 dollars. I don't trust anyone who smiles too much; they make my skin crawl.
I can understand smiling when you're nervous; I do that. I don't understand smiling when there is nothing to smile about. I always watch how many teeth are showing; the more teeth there are, the less I trust the person, and if they show their gums, I run for the hills as though a wild fire is on my tail. Not going to happen.
I have learned to pay attention to my instincts. Every time I have ignored that sudden flush of adrenalin and prickling sweat I have ended up in trouble. I also have my irrational fears, too, but those are a subject for another post.
That is all. Disperse.