One of my closest friends, Tess, calls making a goofy mistake “pulling a Barb” because I tend to do things that are hilarious by mistake quite often. I suppose I’ve just never fully been in sync with the world. Some people might call me air headed. A better word might be scatterbrained. It’s not that I don’t have much on my mind, it’s that I have too many things on my mind at once.
So, I thought I’d share with you some of the “Barbs” I’ve committed in my life so far, in hopes of lightening your day.
When I was a child, I became terrified of lightning because I thought that it struck people an awful lot. That’s because I went to a church with a lot of elderly people and whenever it came time for people to offer up prayer requests, there seemed to be a lot of people praying for folks who had had strokes. In my young mind, I thought they had been “stroked by lightning.” It was especially troubling to me when someone said that a person had had a stroke while they were sleeping. I figured lightning was mighty sneaky.
As a child, I did things like flush a cloth diaper down the toilet trying to help my mom; get my head stuck in a chair; fall off of my chair regularly because I sat on my knees trying to see (you see I have always been short); and believed that someone painted George Washington in his bubble bath in his clothes.
As an adult, the propensity for Barbisms never left me, I’m sad to say. For instance, once I went to the movies with my friend Tess and her children. After the film, we exited and were heading toward the car. Tess and her son went one way, but, her daughter Freya went another and I stayed with her. Tess turned and asked, “Barb, where are you going? The car’s THIS way!” I said, “I was following Freya.” She turned and said, “She’s four!” But, she was cute. How could I not think she knew everything? 😉
Recently, my husband has been suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. So, when we got a lot of snow, I volunteered to help run the snowblower. But, first I had to get gas. So, I took the container down to the gas station and proceeded to fill it up. The only problem was, some splashed on the outside of the container. I really didn’t think much of it. It was very cold and I was in a hurry. So, I tossed the gas in the back of the car and went home. Now, it’s been a few weeks and the car still smells like gas. So, I’m riding around in winter with the windows down and the sun roof open with the heat on full blast, trying to air out the car. My friend Tess just laughs and says that such antics are part of my charm.
Tell that to my husband. 😉
One of my most embarrassing moments came when I was 15, in algebra class, the place I met my husband Jolly. Our teacher, Mr. Cheek, was a very nice man. At the end of class, after our work was done and there was time, he would let us either play chess (he ran the chess club) or sometimes he would talk to us about history or current events. One day, he told us about the lynching that occurred in our town in the 1930s. I was pretty shocked. I had not heard about it before. Obviously, it’s not something people are proud of, so I’m sure that’s why. He described what the mob had done to the young black men who had been accused of raping a young white woman. Mr. Cheek said they had drug the men out of the jail, hung them and castrated them. My hand shot up. “Mr. Cheek,” I asked with all sincerity, “What does castration mean?”
Snickers arose over the class, which was mostly made up of boys. Mr. Cheek’s face got red and he stammered, “I’ll tell you after class.” After he explained it to me, I understood. The reason I had been confused is that I had confused the term castration with another term, decapitation. I couldn’t figure out how they could hang a person with no head. I soon realized the folly of my thinking. I had never thought anyone would think of doing anything that barbaric.
I guess that little incident helped stoke Jolly’s interest in me because we began to date and the rest is history. I’m glad he never let the mistakes I’ve made scare him away. But, as funny as these things sound, I’m sort of always afraid of what might happen the next time I “pull a Barb.”