In honor of the fact that, beginning tomorrow, I have 21 more days until THE BIG ONE, I thought I would share some of the pearls of wisdom of my age.

I realize this doesn't amount to a lot in the whole grand scheme of wisdom and knowledge and stuff like that, but it's a good deal for me ... and the "almost 40 years" that I've lived on this Earth.  So, here goes ...

Pearl of Wisdom #21 ... (I'm working backwards here, people) .... POLYESTER PLEATED SKIRTS HAVE A WAY OF BOUNCING BACK IN YOUR FACE.

I know, right!?  This one is really profound, right?  Life as you know it just isn't the same now that you've had this little nugget dropped in your lap, right?  You can thank me later.

See, it's like this, in 5th grade, I was a pain in every one's butt, including my poor, long-suffering 5th grade teacher, Mr. Norris.  Somewhere, in Michigan, this man needs to know that I have become a teacher.  He needs to know this so that he can have peace of mind that I am being paid back, in spades, for every single wrong deed I undertook in his classroom ... or in the general vicinity of his classroom. 

So, if you know him, please drop him a line and let him know.  I have ten years in, and I would say that I am about a quarter of the way through the PAID IN FULL debt to the poor man.  After I am finished, I need to start in on my debt to my 4th grade teacher, Miss VanKampen.  Poor woman must have aged five years the year she had me in her room.


But I was talking about 5th grade ...

There was this one instance, in a whole, long line of instances that stands out in my mind ... a time I should have been actively listening, actively taking notes, probably in Social Studies -- I hated Social Studies --when I decided that I would much rather be doing ANYTHING in class than listening to Mr. Norris drone on about Social Studies and taking notes from the notes he was putting on the overhead in front of me -- technology at its best in 1982 and 1983.

So, I started playing with my polyester, pleated skirt.  Hey!  We were just out of the 70s, and pleats and polyester were all the rage ... and my mother still dressed me.  Were it up to me, I would have been in a ripped up pair of jeans and dirty t-shirt.  All I can say is that I've grown some since then, and for this, my mother is exceedingly thankful.

Here's the thing with polyester, see.  One of it's best properties as a fabric is that it has spring ... bounce ... it's stretchy.  It didn't take my bored, little 5th grade mind long to realize that if I pulled the fabric forward just a bit, it would bounce back in my lap. 

Hours of fun, folks!  Or at the very least, it will eat up a good 45-minute lesson. 

However, there's a problem with this particular line of experimentation, and that is that one often fails to predict, with any degree of accuracy, the length to which the polyester will actually travel in the backward springing motion. 

I failed to think this through carefully enough, and before I could say POLYESTER, that skirt went flying back and snapped me in my face, leaving me to reveal to all watching, (and Mr. Norris was watching, because I was on his "WATCH LIST" when it came to inattentive students) my unmentionables.

God bless, Mr. Norris.  He made a valiant effort at stifling the laugh. He really did.  He coughed and choked and bit his lip, before he just hung his head and laughed outright. 

My mother told me it served me right that my underwear were on display for all to view, seeing as I didn't find it within myself to actually pay attention. She was the picture of Nurturing Mother, wasn't she?  I can't really blame her.  She'd had five years of school history prior to this one in which to fully grasp the severity of the issue, that being that there was a distinct possibility she might either kill me or that I might be incarcerated for a large portion of my adult life. 

You can imagine her great pleasure that I am actually functioning part of society today.

And so you may be asking yourself, "what, exactly, am I to be taking from her polyester skirt?"   Ahh, good question, Grasshopper.  You should be taking the following:

Life can come and snap back in your face at the most inopportune moments, especially when you choose not to pay attention and be attentive.  Will you be ready for that?  Or will you be sitting there, underwear exposed to the world? It's always better to be present in life.  While not always entertaining, it is certainly better than showing off your flower-print panties.

This is a photo of a photo, so not too awesome in the quality department.  However, that's me, in about 1982, my sister Ann, and my youngest cousin Korey.  


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