Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Today I was sitting at my computer and the word "shells" just came to mind. I started thinking what this could possibly mean...and as I did...I realized that there are so many threads that I could follow here...

Walking on eggshells.
Picking up seashells.
Coming out of her shell.
Shelling out dough.

Funny word, isn't it?

Don't we just love the people that force us to walk on eggshells when they are around? The same people that I'm so afraid of offending that I actually do offend them by never really being myself. People that no matter how hard I try, will always point out the one detail I miss in spite of the ninety-nine I remembered. The ones who are moody and difficult and crass. And in spite of this, they are the ones who are simply allowed to be. I get no such pass in life.

Eggshells. Aggravating if they get in whatever you are cooking...useless after they are cracked, and always sharp, difficult to manage, and messy.

I know in my life, I have dealt with the person who wants me tiptoeing around them far too many times. In fact, I've finally come to the conclusion that the only way to deal with them is to sweep away the eggshells and just refuse to walk on them. Sometimes you have to take a stand...refuse to bend...let it go...simply be honest.

And then there's seashells. Those lovely little shells that as a child you put in brightly colored plastic buckets and carried home and admired years later in containers. Little reminders of salty breezes and sand beneath your feet. All unique...many damaged...but all beautiful. Just like people.

And then there is "coming out of your shell" which is what I am witnessing with my daughter this week. After her friends and a very nice young man to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude refused to let her pull into her shell...she's doing just fine.

I normally witness this phenomena when girls get their hair figured out, braces off, and exchange their eyeglasses for contact lenses. I remember a family friend telling us when Jill was in the 7th grade..."we always knew she was going to be cute...but we didn't know she was going to be BEAUTIFUL!" Gotta love that.

Or the person who was once quiet, who laughed at everyone's jokes and supported friends without hesitation...but once transplanted to a different environment, comes into her own. Or the person who - when fueled by the passion for something he believes in or at last realizes the extent of his talent or gifts - becomes a truer version of himself.

But today...because my son is finally hitting the long awaited growth spurt...I have been shelling out dough to various clothing establishments for the past two days. Last year...plaid was fine. This year...it just won't do. Clothes have never really been that important and the acquisition of them had a hassle factor of 10 (third circle of hell). But right now? We are having angst over what we are wearing...and we're all being sucked into the vortex of this neverending swiping of my American Express. He has the eye of a certain young lady and he wants to keep it that way. I knew something was up on the day of the voluntary haircut.

So, I have gladly shelled out cash as I have walked on eggshells while trying to extract some information out of him such as when he'll be home and how his finals are progressing. On the other hand, I've watched the other come out of her shell and start talking excitedly about a trip to the beach with the girls in mid-June. I'll just pretend that they'll actually be looking for shells...yeah, right. Later!

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