Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Voldemort Nose and Thoughts On Transparency



While I was photo-bombing Jane eating cereal this morning, I noticed the top picture and thought, "Cool Voldemort nose bro." Except all of us ardent Harry Potter fans know a Voldemort nose is not a cool thing at all. So I shall never make that face again as long as I live.

Just kidding. I'm making it right now.

If a lifetime of photos are any evidence at all, I've been making strange and inappropriate faces since I was born. It's one of the reasons I don't photograph very well. I'm always contorting my face when talking, or laughing, or ducking my head to create a ginormous double chin, or raising my eyebrows and bugging my eyes when someone tells me a good story. This whole big eyes raised eyebrows thing is also one of the reasons I attract lots of crazy people into my life... or so says my mom.

"You and your aunt," she'll say, "You're both too open and transparent. Crazies love that."

But over the last few years I've come to the conclusion that crazy attracts crazy... that's why crazy people like me. They look at me, note my hyper talking and bugged eyes and say, "Hey, a kindred spirit. Let's be buds." And then I make my Voldemort nose face and say, "Cool. Lets."

It's really a matter of transparency.

Transparency can be awkward. It's hard to be at a party, with a room full of women who are all wearing size 2  Ann Taylor and talking about car pools and pilates  Then one of them mentions the new moisturizer they bought at the Estee Lauder counter and suddenly you feel it rising up in your throat. "Shut up!" you say to yourself, but it's too late. A story bursts from your lips about the time your sister bought face cream from Dillard's, broke out  in hives, had bumpy skin and you spent all Christmas vacation calling her Lizard Face. And then she got angry and smeared the cream on your neck and you got the lizard bumps too. And then all the women stand silently, staring at you, wondering what planet you're from. And then you get nervous and involuntarily make the Voldemort nose face.

This is the story of my life.


I find a lot of things difficult in life. Math, for starters. Cooking something edible. Making it to church on Sunday morning when Jane is screaming and I spent all week working and all day Saturday cleaning. These things are hurdles for me. I battle against them. But transparency has always been something that happened easily, despite being the non-size 2 dork at the party who tells other wives lizard skin stories. I can't seem to reign myself in and be dignified and reserved. I make weird faces. I tell weird stories. I talk too much, too long, and too loudly. It's just who I am, the way it is, for better or worse, richer or poorer, skinny or fat.

I got an email last week asking me what I thought the most important key to successful blogging was. After I finished laughing (because never in a thousand years should anyone come to me for advice on successful blogging... I took down my public comments for goodness sakes), I realized there is one easy answer to this question. Transparency. It's good for blogging. But it's good for life. Sometimes it's OK to stop hiding behind who you think you should be, and just let it go. Sure, some people won't get it. You'll get strange stares. Or rude comments. Or critical emails. But all that energy you've placed into creating yourself the way you think you should be will be much better served in other areas of your life. You'll have awkward moments. But you'll be happy once you let it (whatever it is) all hang out. Pick your nose in public. Pin a Star Wars calender onto the wall at work despite the fact that you're 35, and a lawyer. Wear broom skirts instead of skinny jeans even though you'll look like an old hippy because YOU'LL BE SO COMFORTABLE. Talk loudly and passionately when the mood strikes.

Don't fear who you truly are.

Don't fear transparency.

Don't fear the Voldemort nose.