You and Your Stupid Plaid Hair

Baffling headline, huh? As an insult, it’s even more than baffling—it’s irrelevant. Unless you’ve been experimenting with a truly radical colorist, you know without question that you don’t have plaid hair. So for me to ridicule you over something that you know, bone deep, isn’t true, doesn’t hurt even a little, does it? It might even make you laugh.

plaid hair, maggie mcreynolds blogBut what if I were to be so unkind as to say that you’re fat? Or that you’re not trying hard enough? Or that you’re clumsy, or a procrastinator, or that some of the people you think are your friends don’t actually like you?

Does any of the above make your face flush? Get your adrenaline pumping? Maybe make your stomach give a little flip?

That isn’t because any of those things are true. It’s because you’re afraid they might be true—and because of what you are making any of those things mean. And in that tiny space between “What if she’s right?” and “Oh, God, I’m such a loser!” is a tender, vulnerable sore spot where bullies, frenemies, and even loved ones can poke you.

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baby kisses himself in mirror, maggie mcreynolds blog

Love the One You’re With

Think of someone you love. I mean, really, really love.

They’re wonderful, aren’t they? They mean so much to you. They bring you so much joy. You are grateful to have them in your life.

Except.

Their nose. It’s a little funny-looking, isn’t it? They’d be so good-looking if it weren’t for that weird nose. That, and that paunch they’ve developed lately—what’s up with that? Didn’t they say they were going on a diet but then they finished that tub of Ben & Jerry’s you’d been saving? No self-control. In fact, you can hardly stand to look at them. Their flabby tummy is icky.

And hey, doesn’t it seem like they don’t get around to doing a bunch of stuff they say they’re going to do? They kind of let you down, don’t they? Stupid procrastinators. They’re never going to amount to anything if they don’t get off their butts. What, they think their retirement income is going to take care of itself? If they’re not careful, they’re going to end up in a raggedy tent living under an overpass. And no one will help them. And no one will love them, ever ever again.

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