Monday, January 30, 2012

The Sideshow

"....she made a sideshow of all the places we have been".....he wrote on Facebook later correcting the words to 'slideshow'. Ah, sideshow. Sounds like my life.

Sideshow: In America, a sideshow is an extra, secondary production....... 

Confession time (again): Most of my life would qualify as a sideshow absolutely secondary to the production. All of those little times that lead up to the main event. All of the bumps and bruises gathered along the way that consisted of temper, mistakes, impulse, as well as the stupidity that seemed to sneak in more than needed. Ah, yes, sideshow.

As a child, I stood with my friends outside of the sideshow tent at the county fair. We had a choice of the man from the Artic Wilderness, the two-headed calf, the fat lady and a few other oddities. I only went into one of those tents. For some reason, I was drawn to the man from the cold north. The poor man sat in a chair while people gathered around to stare at his enormous feet missing some toes and covered with bumps. I felt sorry for that man whose eyes never met those of his audience. He was vulnerable to the lies told and his disability. Never did I step inside of one of those tents again.

We all live with vulnerability. We all make mistakes and feel that we wear them on our foreheads for all the world to see. We create our own sideshows holding on to them sometimes when we should in reality incorporate them into our 'life slideshow'.

I've learned to laugh at my mistakes. Those that haunted me or embarrassed me. I've learned not to take life so seriously. I am blessed with the abilities to fall over my own feet and get back up again. I have made my mistakes. At this ripe old age, I embrace them and accept that I am "me" today because of not the mistakes but all I have learned from them.

I think perhaps a carnival tent carrying the sign "Woman with Imbedded Foot in Mouth" might evoke laughter from her audience. I think maybe I would meet their eyes with humor and hope that they could learn something from my mistakes and all of those "darn its" that have happen in my life.

Maybe I already have that tent sign posted. It reads "A Grandparent's Voice".

On Neff Road: Where is Your Neff Road?

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