Months ago, a co-worker quietly told me that my nose hair was hanging out. I thought, “What? Did she REALLY just tell me THAT?” Self-conscious, I tucked the little fellas back in, best I could, until I could trim up at home. Yes, I was embarrassed, but I have counted her as a true-blue friend since that honest, uncomfy moment. These types of social scenarios happen to everyone, causing blush, embarrassment and frustration no matter how delicately handled. Like having to go number two in a public toilet when a group of friends is waiting for you. Or, wishing you could lean in and pluck that black hair from that woman’s chin, or shave her mustache. Fighting the urge to run up behind that teen and pull his pants from his low hips and place them up over his boxers and crack. I won’t even go there. The following joys of being human are ones that I have had personal experience with and maybe you have to:
1. XYZ…Examine your zipper. You know you’ve said this plenty of times to let a pal know that their fly was down and zipping was in order. The beauty of XYZ is that it keeps the embarrassment on the down low. This spring, I whispered to a male fourth grader to XYZ on the playground. Awkward. Could you imagine how more embarrassed he would have been sitting Indian Style?
2. Consider the smudge of lipstick on a gal’s front teeth. I rub my own tooth as “the sign” that clean up is needed. I alert her (if I am close enough) that there is misplaced lipstick with hopes she knows this hand motion, signaling her to wipe. They are always grateful, just as I am when I have pink teeth.
3. Taking this hygiene quandary a step farther, the “food in teeth” dilemma is next. Discretely disclosing “You have food in your teeth” is awkward. Do you whisper to them? Offer floss? Stare at it? Don’t stare at it? Pick at your own teeth? Social Dilemma 101. I wish I had the strength to alert everyone I faced with this food glitch. Admittedly, I am embarrassed because I don’t want to humiliate them, even though they are unknowingly embarrassing themselves with that large food particle lodged front and center. Personally, I appreciate a person who whispers that leftovers are in my gums (or nose hairs flaring out). This leads to my hygiene “piece de resistance”; the predicament of “Bat in Cave.”
4. Not everyone is familiar with “Bat in Cave.” I only know this because I told a friend (who I really like and care for) that there was a small boogie hanging out in her nostril. Leaning in I whispered, “You have a bat in the cave.” She looked at me like my zipper was down and food stuck in my teeth. “Huh?” she questioned. So I explained. Maybe because I am the height of a horse jockey, I have clear view of folk’s nostrils, and before they order dinner, or attend that job interview, or meet that cute guy, it is helpful to know if a bat is lurking in their cave.
Believe me; I know that in the grand scheme of life, lipstick teeth or an un-zipped fly are minor issues. But face it. We deal with folks all day long. So zip up, wipe up, clean out and de-bat so you won’t launch someone else into that unpleasant place of squirming to tell you.
Riding a unicycle is like life. To be successful and enjoy the ride, they both require tremendous balance and focus. I sit up tall, shoulders back and imagine I am holding one of my young boys under each arm. My best-friend-techie-husband’s hand on my seat (hubba, hubba) to guide me, and my two wiener dogs running alongside, looking like double Dumbos. As I train to ride Blanche, my unicycle, in a half-marathon, I think how good God is as the breeze blows my brown hair, a big smile on my face. Come along for a thrilling one-wheel ride while I do my best to maintain balance... but keep an open mind, there is always something new to learn!