I Was So Proud

The title is the Writer’s Prompt I got. Below is the result of that prompt.

I was about 6 before I learned how to tie my shoes. Who taught me is in dispute among my sister,s but it was a combination of two sisters. One big sister taught me the correct way and for some reason, my brain could not fathom the technique. Over, over, under this way, that way, and I had a very nice knot that big brother had to untangle. My biggest sister taught me to make two loops like bunny ears and then marry them. THAT made more sense. I was so proud. I showed everyone who would stop for a minute how I could tie my shoes. The silly thing is that I seldom if ever wore shoes that required me to tie them. I lived in Hawaii and spent 99% of my time barefooted and the other 1% in flip flops.

I am not proud, but I am happy; and happiness blinds, I think, more than pride.” ― Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

At 19, I met the proudest man I know. He was from a wealthy family. His father was the President of the American Academy of Pediatrics. His mother was a real housewife of Los Altos Hills. He was drop-dead gorgeous and he liked me. Having no self-esteem, having been convinced I had nothing of worth, I could not fathom what he liked about me, but he did. I was so very madly in love and happy when I was with him. His father liked me his mother not so much. I did not have the correct pedigree to be with her son. My family was nothing of importance and I already had a child which made me unworthy. We broke up when I got sober, and he got another girl pregnant, one with a better pedigree than mine. He married her with his Mothers blessings. It was much later I realized, how proud they were.

“I do not care so much what I am to others as I care what I am to myself.” ― Michel de Montaigne

I quit my job and left my husband to go take care of my nieces. My one niece had AML and was in a children’s hospital. My sister’s husband had left her after the first transplant a year ago. Since she had to be with her daughter in the hospital, I went to another state to stay with her other 3 girls. In retrospect, I made many mistakes there, but not as many as my sister thinks. I have always been slightly proud of myself that I did not burden Sis with the truth about the girls and what really happened when she was gone. What I was really proud of, though, was getting my degree in children’s literature while I was there. I had already written stories, had a few published but I decided to make it official. So I did. Online and by mail. I have a piece of paper that proves I did it and that I graduated with honors. I was and am proud of that.

“One sticks to an opinion because he prides himself on having come to it on his own, and another because he has taken great pains to learn it and is proud to have grasped it: and so both do so out of vanity.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

At 40 years old I went back to school. Online/hybrid classes were a thing at the university and I took advantage of not having to go to the actual school. I find sitting in a classroom beyond boring. I always have from first grade on up. In fact, I quit high school only to go back and get my degree in one year. Day classes, night classes, adult school while pregnant procured my high school diploma. Having to go to university for maybe one or two classes was the only reason I went back. I decided to get my degree in Accounting. I ended up getting several all at once. Triple dipped into the guacamole of education I did. I never used my education for anything. It was more the challenge of getting it. I had a romantic idea of being an accountant, but while I am good at it, accounting is a total snooze fest.

If I had only one sermon to preach it would be a sermon against pride. G.K. Chesterton

One of the classes I had to take was speech. Difficult to do that one online so off to campus I would go. I was scared to give a speech. All of the old doubts surface, what if I am not good enough? What if I forget everything? What if what if, what if, fill in the blanks. My first speech was on doing the right thing. That was my topic. I got up to the podium and discoursed on doing the right thing and with the consequences of not doing the right thing. Pete Rose was my victim. The class loved my speech. They actually clapped with enthusiasm and had questions. I was so proud of myself. This was like the third time I tried to take a speech class. There I was. Killing it. I was good at it. I never gave a speech after that class.

“Pride is all very well, but a sausage is a sausage.” ― Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms

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