Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What "Lozzie" taught me

Everybody has things they regret: ill advised piercings, that new shirt you thought was stylish and unique until the first day you wore it and 2 people congratulated you and asked when the baby was due. . .

One of my biggest regrets is something I said years and years ago that at the time seemed completely and utterly innocent and yet it haunts me to this very day. My grandmother, whom I never saw very often as a small child because she lived several hours away, used to say “Lozzie” all the time. It was her word and I loved it. I’m not sure of the origin of the word and it doesn’t really matter. It was used as an exclamation like “Goodness Gracious” (or if it was me “Shit!” or “Damn”).

I loved the way she said it. Sometimes it was a loud and raucous Missouri accented “LAWZZIE!” uttered at the end of a funny story. Other times it was a more subdued and endearing “Lozzie, child you sure do look like your daddy.”So when she and my Grandpa moved back to our little town when I was about 11 I happened to mention to my parents how much I was looking forward to hearing “Lozzie” more often and when they looked at me quizzically I pointed out that Grandma said it all the time and I adored it. Well naturally this charming and endearing story was eventually recounted to her.

And . . .

The woman has never uttered the word again. EVER! Sometimes I think it might slip out when she’s telling a funny story or being spontaneous – but it never does.

I don’t know if she felt self conscious about it. Like how if someone tells you they adore the fact that your right ear is bigger than your left, and you, never having realized this, start wearing ear muffs year round. I felt guilty about it for the longest time, and then I finally decided that it was her issue not mine. If she wasn’t willing to embrace herself then there wasn’t much I could do about it.

But it did teach me that you should probably keep most of that stuff to yourself and that’s my public service message for today. So, if you ever feel the urge to volunteer up the fact that you love the patch of hair on your husband’s back because it’s the exact same shape as the state of Rhode Island or that you adore how your Aunt says the word “orange” as “oinge” – DON’T DO IT - because then you’ll be stuck shaving his back every month and your Aunt will feel the need to get speech therapy and avoid you like the plague any time a citrus fruit is in the vicinity.

And if someone ever offers up a quirky thing about you that they love, don’t feel self conscience or judged. Don’t even think about it. Just say “thank you” and revel in the fact that you’re loved and accepted for who you are.

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