You Need to Stand Next to Yourself

I feel a bit awkward writing about this.  I’m not good at things like this, just not good at talking about this.  But *deep breath*, here goes.

Today, my colleagues nominated me for Teacher of the Year.

I nearly fell through the floor when I read the email.  I did cuss in my utter gracelessness and almost started crying in school which is something I refuse to do when I’m in school.

This never happens to me.  I’m not complaining.  I’m not saying waa was me…the unloved child.  I’m merely saying that the Oscar always goes to someone else.  It’s actually kind of comical for me.  I’m used to being the first loser.  I’ve noticed that the people who always win the raffles are the ones who either sit next to me or have tickets whose numbers are one off from mine.

It’s okay.  I’m used to it.

My mom calls me a jinx.  Anything that can go wrong will go wrong with me.  I’m the human warranty tester. If you have something new installed and want to see if it will work, let me walk by it or, even worse, touch it.  If the item hasn’t blown up, you’re guaranteed a winner.  If it starts to wheeze and crack, return it to the store immediately.  You’ve got a lemon.

I break things without even thinking about it.  My mother used to have a lovely Italian glass vase that her parents gave her.  It probably ranked among her favorite possessions.  Then I bought her flowers which went into the vase until the flowers died and the water turned brown and gross.  So I took the vase with the flowers outside to toss out the water and wash the vase.  Only, when I tossed the water the vase kind of slipped out of my hand too.

Good-bye beautiful Italian vase given to my mother by her parents.

And there were the two crystal goblets that were part of Mom’s collection of six crystal goblets that were given to her for her wedding.  Two died…because of me.

And then I can write about the Egyptian vase that died due to my bouncing a rubber ball a little too hard.

And the VCR which broke when I turned off the power to it.

And the knife which broke into two pieces when I was cutting my dinner.

The hole in the wall when I fell off the bed I was jumping on and kind of hit the wall with my head.

And the bed I broke from jumping on it.

And the tic-tac-toe game I played on my parents’ car with a rock.

And the huge dents in my husband’s first truck when I hit the big poles by gasoline pumps at least two times….

Oh…and wait….

I’m certain I could think of other things that somehow broke or dented when I walked by them.

We won’t go into the amount of times I have fallen in just the wrong places and at just the wrong times.

So I’m a jinx.  A very clumsy but laughable jinx who is used to falling down and breaking things and never winning.

So getting nominated, to me, is like winning because I don’t win.

When I went to a colleague and hugged her and thanked her for her lovely note to me, she told me about the paperwork process I would need to complete when I won.

I nearly fell through the floor a second time.  When?

I don’t win anything.  I explained to her how it’s always the person standing next to me.

Her response.

“Well, then, I think you need to start standing next to yourself.”

Even now, two hours later, I am ready to cry over those words.  I am honored, so completely and utterly honored that I was nominated.  But, those words from such an esteemed, loved, and respected colleague meant the world to me and will always mean the world to me.

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