Saturday, March 10, 2007

How do I look?

I was trying to get it together this morning to play tennis and failing miserably. It is amazing that no matter how much time I give myself I always end up running late.
But I digress.
Rushing to get dressed I quickly threw on my shorts, tank top, wrist bands, grabbed my tennis bag and headed to the door. I passed by a mirror, caught a quick glance and thought-

"How do I look?"

Hmmmmmmm.......not bad. But.
Nope. The shorts won't do. Wrong color. I need navy blue instead of white so they coordinate with my wrist bands.

You would think my tennis game would be better given my attention to fashion details.
Who cares! Nobody!

Nobody but me.

I wondered to myself, "I am not going to stop to change my shorts I?. Seriously. Am I out of my mind? My friends are going to be PISSED."
The choices I make are insane. I drop my bag and run back to my bedroom closet to search for the all important navy blue shorts.

At that moment a memory hits me like a tidal wave.

It was 1973. I was thirteen years old. A particularly snowy month of March on Long Island. Weather wise, my birthday was the worst. Over a foot of snow accumulated in less than six hours. When it finally slowed down my Mom summoned my brothers and myself downstairs to go outside and shovel the walkway in front of our house. Whereas my brothers quickly put on their gear and headed out to shovel and frolic, I, on the other hand, took my time getting dressed.
Thinking to myself, "Where are my brown wool gloves...the ones that match my parka?
And scarf? Some color perhaps... neon blue. works better".
Meticulously putting together the perfect outfit for an active snowy day.
Time must have flown by as I primped and prepped. So entrenched in what I was doing, I hardly noticed my Mother standing in my mirror's reflection. I spun around like a top.

"How do I look?"

My Mom squinted some and said,
"How do you look?


On that note I ran like mad outside to find my brothers had just about completed the task at hand. Before I could say a word I was pummeled with a barrage of snowballs. "Happy Birthday to ya!!! HA HA" (Typical brother stuff no harm intended and kind of sweet sentiment their own way).

34 years later.
My tennis outfit.

I guess where I found myself this morning is at a place where I am able to appreciate all the parts that make up the whole of me. It has not always been this way in my life. Miraculously, that little boy in his parka and coordinated scarf appears to have survived through many changes in me and around me.
Could I have told this story ten years ago? Probably not. I certainly couldn't embrace it as I do today.

For me, it's a strange little revelation. Maybe not so little.

On my 47th birthday the greatest gift is that I have yet to become too wise, worldly, jaded or old to be able to pose a simple question.

"How do I look?"


Bobby said...

This is my favorite post you have ever done!

It is a taste of the Michael I know and Love...

Thank you for the personal journey and the huge smile you put on my face on your birthday..


Paul said...

If you look the part, you become the part.

Spider said...

What a wonderful post - and from your picture I would say that you look fantastic! If I had known it was your birthday I would have baked a cake - or at least tied some flowers around a bottle of Vodka!

BTW - do you have plans for dinner Tuesday night - blogger night dinner and Lewis of Spirit of Saint Louis will be in town - dinner will be at Tu-Tu Tangos (I didn't pick the place... ;-) ) - would LOVE to have you join us - and I could wish you a Happy Birthday in person! Don't know the time or the meeting place yet...

Let me know... 407-252-3224

Sorted said...

I hope you had a happy day. Great post, made me think of me as a child.

I hope you can join us Tuesday evening.

Kevin said...

Happy belated Birthday! Maybe we'll see you Tuesday ...

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