Saturday, September 15, 2007

my secret power

There are a few moments in elementary school that really stand out in my memory. One bright and shining moment is when my sixth grade teacher called me "goddamned cavalier."

You have to hear this in your head said in a New York accent by a lady in her sixties with hair just like Janet in Three's Company.

What had I done to attract such wrath? Well, to this day I'm still not sure. I know it had something to do with the fact that a measuring tape was missing and that I was searching for it, but perhaps not in quite the frantic manner she thought the missing measuring tape deserved.

I was leaving the classroom to search another room, and as I leaned on the heavy door, she said, "How can you be so goddamned cavalier?"

And feeling completely sanguine, I thought , "What does 'cavalier' mean?" Thus confirming my cavalier-ness (cavalierity?).

True, getting sworn at by an elementary school teacher is quite memorable. But rather than remember this moment with shame or regret, I've decided that this moment revealed that being cavalier is my secret power. I like to think of it as my fabulously low blood pressure, or even better-- as my cool-as-a-cucumber, double-oh-seven, wits-about-me nature in crisis situations. It's been handy to have a personality trait that keeps me from losing my head. True, it also slows the evolutionarily helpful fight or flight response. But hey, I figure in the 21st century when I'm not hunting or being hunted (I think), the low blood pressure might actually be more likely to keep me alive.

Secret powers... good stuff. I'm going to have to keep a list of these for reference so I can refer to them as needed. Especially as Minkie gets older! I can see the cavalierosity coming in handy as the teenage years approach... (ok, about twelve years from now, but it's never too early to be prepared!).