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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rolling with the Punches

If you have young children, then you know that they will say whatever is on their minds. Kids have no filter.

“Mom, your bum is fat.”

“Dad, you have a hairy back.”

“Mom, you have lines on your face.”

“Dad, your teeth are yellow.”

To be a parent, you need to just roll with the punches. If you’re easily offended, parenting is not the job for you.

The same holds true for a career in marketing. If you can’t stand the heat, then you may want to check if there are any openings available in the accounting department. (Not that I don’t L-O-V-E the accounting team...you’re an awesome group of number-crunching geniuses!)

In my life there are rare private moments when I’m not parenting or marketing. I’m simply me. Like today...for a few moments I got away from the office to enjoy lunch with myself and my Blackberry.

Just as I get ready to dive into my burrito, an older gentleman in the next booth turns around, points to his friend, and said:

“He thinks you look like a prettier version of Ellen DeGeneres. Has anyone ever told you that before?”

Stunned, yet trying to be gracious, I responded:

“No…but thanks for the compliment.”

In my mind, I’m thinking: “Is that a compliment? I think so. Isn’t Ellen a CoverGirl spokesperson? You have to be pretty to sell make-up. How old is Ellen? I just turned 40...I’m sure Ellen is older than me. Wait a minute…isn’t Ellen a lesbian? Am I okay with a strange man telling me I look like someone who is a lesbian? Does it matter? No, it doesn’t matter...I’m fine with it. Hey, Ellen is a super successful talk-show host. I’m successful too...but not nearly on the level of Ellen. Do I look successful? After all, I’m professionally dressed. Doesn’t Ellen usually wear sneakers on her show? I’m wearing black sandals with high heels...and I really need to get a pedicure. Ellen is funny…me, not so much. I wonder how Ellen would feel about the comparison. She probably wouldn’t be too thrilled...I’m much chubbier than Ellen. Why would that man say I look like Ellen? Does he need glasses? He is old. Much older than me...and Ellen.”

How could a simple statement completely throw me into an oblivion of over analysis?

Why couldn’t I just take his remark for what it was...a compliment?

I’ll tell my kids they need to keep saying to me whatever comes their minds. Apparently, I still need to learn how to roll with the punches. As for my career...perhaps I should check what is available in the accounting department.

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