I remember the very first time I became aware of myself, and cared about what people might see, or think about me.
We were living in a very large apartment complex at the time. There was a commotion in the common area, on the ground level; we lived on the third floor. My mom and siblings got excited and ran out to see what was going on – I was right behind them.
I stood against the railing, and when I looked below to get a good view of what was going on, I suddenly realized I only had on my underwear! I think they had a day of the week printed on them. I had forgotten to put my pants on. The commotion receded into the background, in light of the real shock, which was, me, being seen in my underwear.
I feared the next day’s headline, six-year old girl disrupts entire neighborhood by going outside in her underwear!”
I darted back into the apartment as fast as I could. I had no idea how I would live this incident down, and since then I make sure I don’t ever leave my house without putting on my pants first.
It’s a funny thing, this presentation of self we humans pay so much attention to. I’m sure not everyone frets over how they appear in public, but I’d say most do. There’s something about being in public and not wanting to stand out as different; yet, we all want to stand out as special.
I would like to get back to the moment, before that incident, when I was carefree, and cared more about playing and interacting with others, than wondering if I am presentable. Now I have to be concerned with whether or not I have my pants on, my zipper up, my hair combed … ad infinitum.
On that note, I’m headed out the door – I’ve got my pants on, but I don’t think I’ll be wearing any underwear tonight. I’d call that, progress, wouldn’t you.