My sister Joni is Queen of the Three-Quarter-Length Sleeve. In addition, she is a busy homemaker, enthusiastic grandmother, active church worker, and friend of children in Haiti. The sleeve thing is just one minor little attribute of Joni’s that sets her apart from others. Like all of us, she is a composite of many different qualities.
In the following paragraphs, I will identify some characteristics that help to distinguish me from others.
I am a woman who loves God, family, and country. I do my best to obey the laws of the land and I practice, to the best of my ability, the Golden Rule. I brush and floss religiously, go for yearly mammograms, practice thorough hand washing, and take a multivitamin.
I drive responsibly, keep my checkbook balanced, show up on time for appointments, and strictly avoid standing in the 20 items or fewer check-out line when my shopping cart contains more than 20 items. (I know the signs always say 20 items or less, but such signs demonstrate incorrect word usage and drive me nuts.) Because I cannot bear to see suffering, I sometimes rescue pitiful, semi-dried red worms off the driveway and return them to their source of water. (I pick them up with sticks.) Those are some of my finer traits.
On the flip side of the coin, I admit to possessing these less-desirable qualities. I am a so-so housekeeper and a lazy cook. I binge on ice cream, overindulge my grandchildren, and am lousy at backing a vehicle.
I eat raw cake batter and stand by my conviction that the best chocolate chip cookie is one that has never seen the inside of an oven. I recklessly cut off those pillow tags that warn: Do Not Remove Under Penalty of Law, and I may be just a bit persnickety in the area of grammar and word usage.
I procrastinate, overanalyze, make to-do lists and ignore them, leave coupons at home when I go shopping, yo-yo diet, drink diet soda, watch too many crime-solving shows on TV (Dateline, 48 Hours, etc.), search endlessly for books of crossword puzzles that are not too hard and not too easy, pluck out eyebrows compulsively when I am nervous, obsess over having just the right ink pen, and occasionally compose paragraphs containing only one long, run-on sentence, like this one.
I detest clutter, dust, weeds, and clothes that need to be ironed. I also hate crude language and gestures, running late, clothes shopping, and searching for my phone fifteen times a day. I look in the windows of parked cars to see if they are more cluttered than mine, and I occasionally scrutinize the junk food items in other people’s shopping carts and make unkind judgments. (Never mind the two quarts of mint chocolate chip ice cream in mine.)
I cry over spilled milk, make mountains out of molehills, cross bridges before I come to them, and beat dead horses. All of those are characteristics, good and bad, of the person I am, but they do not define me, just as Queen of the Three-Quarter Length Sleeve does not define Joni.
This is who I am: I am a mortal, plagued like all mortals, by imperfections. I am blessed beyond what I deserve and am awaiting a reward which I haven’t earned. I have been called, cleansed, and claimed as God’s child.
Who are you?