Angel Hide

Dried green paint

Dried green paint (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is a phrase that I particularly like, and would adopt as my own if I could. It is a simple little recipe for getting along in life—and because I cannot remember it exactly word for word, I am going to paraphrase it here, but you will get the general gist: in order to get through this life without reacting to it like Evard Munch’s  painting “Scream”, we have to develop the hide of a rhino and temperament of an angel.

From my vast reading of self-help books (which I know some of you will  roll your eyes at, and think “oh, no, not this stuff again”) I have learned a few things that I have been able to use in some form or another. One such book suggests that “we write down all the things we are good at” so that we can prove (my words here) that we are not the unaccomplished dolts we generally think we are. So I have prepared a list that recounts all the things I am good at, with some conditions:

1. I am a really good painter. No, not artist. Good at slapping paint on a wall. As  long as it is the middle  of a wall, not near a ceiling, or close to anything like wires that you have to paint around. I discovered this about a year ago when we painted the garage and one side of our house (don’t ask). Just  give me that middle space in the middle of a wall and I can run like the wind with it. There is a certain satisfaction to painting, although the part about the paint running up your arm and all over your clothes I could do without.  But for the first time I did not get any paint in my hair, which is a real move forward for me. And even if I did, I would not care,  as I am going for that hide of a rhino, disposition of an angel thing.

2. I am a really good cook. Seriously, I don’t watch those food channel shows for nothing. And since my sister said to me “You don’t use recipes, do you?” (not in an unkind way, in a kind of observational way) I have used a few recipes of late. And you know, they work. As long as there are not more than three steps and eight ingredients, I am a pretty good, no, no, a good cook,….okay a really good cook. (Even I am having trouble putting this one over on me). Let’s just say I haven’t killed anyone yet, though a dinner party I hosted when I was in university sent all my guests to the bathroom—and not just to wash their hands.

3. I am a really good driver. As long as it is within a twenty-mile radius of my house. You would not believe the guff I have taken all these years over my lack of adventure in the driving department. But again, I haven’t killed anyone. And that hide of a rhino thing comes in handy with all the “gentle” jokes about my automotive skills, and the fact that my husband would rather drive himself to emergency than let me drive.

4. I am really smart.  Okay, there are way too many exceptions to this one for the length of this post. But I am not stupid. At least not really stupid. You know, I don’t think I am attempting this “list all the stuff you are good at thing” in the right spirit.

All in all, I am a work in progress. And while I cannot yet join all those angels dancing on the head of a pin, the skin on my arms is getting a little rhino-like as I mellow with age. Nothing a little moisturizer can’t fix.

Published in: on July 5, 2012 at 12:27 am  Comments (24)  
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