Cinfulcinnamon's Blog

~~~Dichotomy~~~

Posted on: March 1, 2010

          How about that big word for this Sunday morning? Like that?  I actually know lots of those big words.  And I use them when I get the chance, which isn’t often enough.  Today’s blog is going to be about the dichotomy or duality of thinking.  And how I think (mind you, I said how I think) the personality that we are given as a child is formed, and not necessarily inherited.  That events in our lives form how we perceive the world and how we deal with the people in our world.  By now, I am sure that anyone that reads my blogs with any regularity knows….I care a great deal what people think.  Not necessarily enough to change my beliefs on things, or my way of doing things, but enough that I do take notice.  And at times, will try to modify how I handle certain situations and people.  This is called compromise.   There are very few things that I won’t compromise on.  But experience has shown me that my particular way of looking at things is based on my frame of reference.   And sometimes, one must try to “walk a mile” in someone else’s shoes in order to find out why and how they are willing to compromise with me.  Or if they are not willing to…why.  Doesn’t make either way wrong,  just different.  Those that know me have probably formed an opinion about me quickly.  And I usually don’t take more than 5 minutes after meeting someone to form mine.  And you must move heaven and earth to get me to change that opinion once formed.  I don’t trust freely anymore. I am wary of strangers, and can spot a phoney a mile away.  Those that try to befriend me for the wrong reasons are usually turned away at the door to my heart.  I haven’t always been as open and gregarious as I am now.  And even now, those social spurts are rare.  I am a private person that enjoys being social on my terms.  Most of the time I have no use for people.  Shall we slip into Cinnamon’s Closet…otherwise known as the time machine and I’ll take you back to the farm. LOL

     You may have already read about the beautiful white rooster that I had named Duke.  He’s the rooster that, with the help of our dog Chico, ended up with all the hens.  I think those lady hens liked big Duke because he’d been to Hollywood.  At least it may have seemed like chicken hollywood.  It was actually Mrs. Bastian’s 5th grade class.  I was his agent of course.  And here is how the story went.

     I have always been tall.  And in the 5th grade I was extremely tall compared to most of the kids.  Especially the boys.  Most of them weren’t going to hit that growth spurt until the 6th or 7th grade, so for now I was definitely not on the “talk to” list.  I was very shy.  I only had two good girlfriends, and neither of them had anything in common but me.  So my time was split between the two of them.  Cathy was a tall skinny redhead, and Pam was a not so tall black-haired chubby girl.  I enjoyed going to each of their houses and they mine.  Cathy loved horses like I did.  We would play with our model horses and draw horses and talk about horses.  She would come over and ride ponies with me and spend the night.  She was very talented in art.  And I heard later in life that she became a commercial artist right at the time when everyone was having their vans customized with murals and such and she did quite well for herself.  The day that Mrs. Bastian announced to our class that we were all going to be required to stand up and give a book report on a topic of our choosing, I began to panic.  I hated the thought of that.  We were not the riches t of families. Not even close.  All my clothes came from the Goodwill.  On more than on occasion when there was a piece of fashionable clothing that I really wanted, I would end up getting it AFTER it was no longer popular.  And a couple of times this was pointed out to me by some of the rich, snotty girls in school.  Needless to say, this didn’t help my shy nature at all.  I had no idea what I could make a book report about.  And the thought of finding a topic really put me into a tailspin.  We had two weeks to get it together.  Cathy immediately said she was going to do hers on art techniques.  Lucky her.  I had no clue.  To tell the truth, I was more worried about what I was going to wear in front of the class.

     Time came and went.   Still no topic.  Cathy was ready.  Heck, even Pam was ready and she was the slowest person on the earth.  She was going to do her report on 4-H.  I still had nothing.  My Mom made all kinds of suggestions, but nothing felt right.  There were going to be three days of reports.  Mrs. Bastian had already told each of us which day we would be on.  Nothing like letting the kids know when they would face the torture.  Cathy and I were on the third day.  I saw this as an advantage.  I’d have two days to listen to the other kids, and maybe get an idea.

     The first day of the speeches came and went.  Then the second.  The only two things that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt were this:  I was getting more scared, and no matter what I came up with, it would NOT be boring.  Cathy and I had sat in the back of the class for two days listening to kids drone on about all manner of dry, boring stuff.  Books they had read, models of the universe, rock collections and what some kid’s Dads’ did for a living.  Yawn…. After Mrs. Bastian’s English class that day, which was the last period of the day, I got my inspiration.  I went to the office and asked to call my Mom at home.  I asked her if I could stay after school for a little while to go to the library.  She said yes, and agreed to come pick me up later.  I needed to start looking at pictures and get information on the reproduction system of a chicken !!!  That’s right.  I was going to bring Duke to school,, and talk about my part-time job of raising chickens at home, selling the eggs, and point out the different parts of the chicken on Duke.  My hope was that the kids would be so busy looking at my rooster, that they wouldn’t notice me.  The only other “live” report had been done by a kid that brought his hamster.  My mind was whirling, but I had so much to do to get ready.  Waiting until the last-minute does have its drawbacks. 

     The next morning….the day of my speech….came much too quickly.  Mom had helped me get my paperwork together.  I had some pictures of chickens, a diagram of the reproduction system, and my little stack of notes.  All that was left, was to get Duke, transport him somehow to school and figure out something to wear.  I went out to the henhouse before sunrise, grab the rooster and put him in a cardboard box with holes in it.  He was quite the docile bird and was no problem at all.  The box that I had for him was  a little smaller than I would have liked, but it was dark, and he was quiet, and that’s all I cared about.  My brother and two sisters were sworn to secrecy.  My Mom saw to that.  We wanted my report topic to be a surprise.  I didn’t want kids talking about it until it was time.  As the siblings shovelled corn flakes and banana slices into their mouths, I rummaged around trying to find something to wear.  Mom let me borrow a nice sweater that she had and off to school we went.  My report ready in a folder, and my chicken in the box.

     When I got to school, I immediately took Duke to the back of the room and put the box in a corner.   I felt blessed that Duke had been quiet all morning.  No one had a clue what was in the box.  At lunch time though,  I began to get a little worried.  Maybe he had run out of air,  maybe he was squashed.  I didn’t know.  But I came into the classroom a little early from recess to check on him.  I lifted the top off the box, and Duke thinking it was morning, let out a huge cock-a-doodle-do.  I quickly smashed him down in the box again and closed it up in a panic.  It was too late though.  Everyone had heard it, including Mrs. Bastian who was on her way in to the classroom for English.  All the kids were looking at me and talking about bringing a chicken to school.  I was ready to crawl under my chair.  To make matters worse, when the class got under control,  Mrs. Bastian announced that since I had a live exhibit, I could go last.  JUST what I needed to hear. I sometimes think back and wonder if she was a closet sadist..LOL  I groaned.  Cathy snickered, and class got under way.  Cathy’s report on drawing was a huge success like I knew it would be.  I sat in the back of the room dreading my turn.  When it finally came, all eyes were on me as I went to the back of the class, retrieved the box with Duke in it, got my notes, and headed to the front of the room.  With notes out, and pictures taped to the blackboard,  I then opened the box and sat Duke on the desk.  The kids did the Oooh and Ahhh thing.  Afterall, he was a very pretty rooster. White with long black feathers in his tail and on his wings. To his credit, he just stood there. Of course I was holding him down as  I pointed out the parts of his body using a pencil as a pointer..the comb, the back – called the saddle, and on and on.  He was behaving so well, that I stopped holding him long enough to turn my notes.  And that was long enough.  He took a couple of steps, a sort of  strut, flapped his wings because I was no longer holding him down, and took a GIANT shit on the teachers desk.  The place went nuts.  Kids were howling with laughter.  I froze for a second when I saw what he’d done.  Then I snatched him up and stuffed him back in the box.  Visions of chicken noodle soup going through my head.  Mrs. Bastian was having a hard time controlling herself, but she did tell the kids to put their heads down on their desks while I got something to clean up the crap.  All I could hear was the sound of the blood rushing in my ears. I know my face was fire engine red.  Cathy ran to the restroom and got paper towels for me.  God bless her.  I gathered my notes and the offending chicken and went back to my seat.  The other kids raised their heads and the teacher thanked me for my speech.  Everyone started to clap.  I thought they would all hate me, but they were clapping and saying “good job” .  It was weird.  I really was embarrassed at that point.  But it was a different kind.  School was out after that class and I rode the bus home.  Everyone was so nice and we were laughing about what happened.  It was actually fun.  Seemed like whatever I said, it was clever or funny.  By the time I got home, word had already reached my Mom through my sisters.  It was all over the school what had happened.  Mom was worried that I would be crushed.  And when I  bounced into the house all happy and laughing, I could see she was relieved.  I had turned Duke back out into the chicken pen.  He seemed a little stiff from the excursion, but went right back to normal in a minute. I was so happy for a change.

     That was a turning point for me.  They say you can ease your way out of your shell if you are a shy kid.  Well, I was yanked out of my shell.  By a rooster and some rooster doody.  After that day, the kids at school looked at me differently.  I wasn’t just the poor, gangling, quiet girl in the back of the room.  I “fit” in.  I’d never be one of the rich kids, or the jocks, but I found a place among the geeky kind of regular kids.  And I’ve been there every since.  Fitting in with any crowd.  It takes me 2 or 3 minutes to see what will make a person open up and talk to me.  And that is the social aspect of my personality that I enjoy.  Making someone feel at ease, getting them to talk about themselves.  It has served me well over the years.  I have no “issues” that I must deal with. My personality has quirks just like everyone elses.  I make no excuses for the way I do things.  I try to always be respectful to everyone, until they are not respectful to me.  And this works for me.  You can love me, or hate me.  It makes no difference to my life’s bottom line. 

     As I have said, I enjoy this writing thing.  And I am honest enough to say this:  If I didn’t want to share these stories, if I didn’t want to know what you thought about them, if I didn’t hope that they made you think, or laugh a little…..I wouldn’t publish them.  They would stay in my head.  Or in a journal somewhere.  I like that you read me.  It feeds my social side. It is my “dichotomy”. My two sides.   It would be hypocritical to say that I only write for myself.  I’d be lying if I said that I do this just for myself. The fact that you are reading this….thrills me.  And I  am honored that you  would take the time to do it.  Thank you again.

peace

Cinnamon

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Goofy Me

I am: an Air Force vet, Mom, sister, friend, Lifestyler, and all-around smartass with a heart of gold. I have lived all over the far East and learned many things about people and cooking, art and true value. I like to share my experience with the rest of the world. I will be the most loyal friend or most annoying enemy you've ever known. Honest to a fault. My life has not always been easy, but it has never ever been boring.

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