10 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Find Me Intimidating

Yesterday while fellowshipping over lunch with some friends from church, I was surprised when the woman to my left told me that she finds me intimidating. Not sure what to say, I just laughed and told her that considering all the dumb things I do on a regular basis, there's no way anybody should find me intimidating. 


Then I came home and slapped together this list. 

10 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Find Me Intimidating: 

Reason 10 - I'm useless at clothes. Almost every good outfit I have is in my closet because someone gave it to me as a gift or went shopping with me, stuck me in a dressing room, and brought me outfits to try on. (You know who you are.) 
Reason 9 - I couldn't ride a bicycle until I was almost ten. Even after I figured out the balance and forward momentum, I still hit trees and parked cars with alarming frequency. During the year that I lived in China as an adult, I bought a bicycle; but after a few weeks of flailing embarrassment, I left it to rust quietly in the stairwell. After an ill-fated trip to the village in the rain during which I tried to pedal home while balancing groceries and holding an umbrella over my head, I gave up entirely. It just seemed safer to walk.
Reason 8 - My niece has given me some undignified nicknames. Since the day I started assisting with the Podlings' schooling, my youngest niece has come up with a wide array of undignified nicknames for me, including (but not limited to) the following:
  • Magic Boy
  • Puppet Stomach
  • Aunt Wolf 
  • Skeleton Head 
  • Fourteen Bottoms 
Reason 7 - My bathing suit is one step away from a Victorian bathing costume. The truth is that I either swim in workout clothes or I wear one of those bathing suits with a skirt attachment. A teenage girl of my acquaintance told me that the only other person she knows who wears bathing suits like mine is her Nanna. So the good news is that eventually I'm going to age into this look. 
Reason 6 - My hair is ridiculous. Something about combining my hair's natural texture with Florida's rampant humidity produces a perfect storm of unpredictability. I've given up trying to control it: at this point, I'm just looking for a style that I can depend on to look the same every day. (I haven't found it yet. As my middle niece commented just last week after I tried a new cut, "Aunt Ruth, I like your hair, but why is it all humped up on one side?" Why indeed, kid. Why indeed.)
Reason 5 - I have issues with spatial awareness. While driving my sister home from church a few years ago, I witnessed an accident. I immediately slammed on the brakes and hit the horn. Bethany, who had been quietly reading a book in the passenger's seat, looked up to behold..... nothing. Two clear lanes of traffic and a sunny sky stared back at us. That's because the accident had happened a few blocks behind us. The fact that I had seen it in the rear-view mirror didn't register with me until after I'd already slammed on the brakes and hit the horn. 
Reason 4 - I needlessly complicate simple processes. A few weekends ago, my sister and I had to move three heavy wooden wardrobes out of a trailer and into a barn with the help of a hand truck with partially-deflated tires. Although we survived, we made several mistakes while moving the first one and nearly crushed ourselves. 
Me: Maybe it would help if we tied the wardrobe doors shut. That way they won't flop open and throw the balance off.
Her: Good call.
Me: Do you have any rope?
Her: Hold please. (Returns carrying a tiny length of twine.)
Me: Um, that's not enough.
Her: Sure it is. (Ties handles shut.)
Me: Oh.
Her: What?
Me: I never would have thought of that.
Her: Thought of what? This was your idea.
Me: I mean just tying the handles together.
Her: (Nonplussed) What would you have done?
Me: Looked for enough rope to go all the way around the wardrobe.
Her: LOL.
Reason 3 - My literary rejections number in triple digits. Sure, I've published a few things, but I've failed far more times than I've succeeded. It doesn't bother me much because it's the nature of the industry; however, because I don't announce all of my failures, people may develop a lopsided view of my successes. 
Reason 2 - I don't actually know much. Sure, I read a lot of books and can hold forth on a number of topics; but my sphere of knowledge is quite limited. If you attend church with me, you know that almost any time I'm called out with a public question, I have no idea what the answer is. 
Reason 1 - This pic: 

Not only had I spilled food on myself in public (while sporting ridiculous hair), but I also apparently thought it important to commemorate the moment by willing posing for a picture.

That alone should prove that I'm the last person you should find intimidating.


  1. Excellent my friend! I am proud to have you as a friend...and will keep my feelings of intimidation at a dull roar cause I know you are cuddable (a Teri-ism combining cuddley and loveable). And you always have burgeoning, poppin' ideas! You go girl

  2. Thanks for the chuckle, Ruth! I saw myself in several of your points.

    1. I think we're all more like this than we'd care to admit. :)

  3. This is the second time today when I get to use the word splendid. Splendid article Ruth!

  4. Give us a heads up if you make it through the storm!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Thanks for the laugh. I would have to disagree with you about reason number 2. I have had many conversations with you a know that you know a lot.
    BTW I would have tied the rope around the whole wardrobe also.

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