(For the record, T.M.I. is one of my least favorite phrases ever)
Oscar Wilde said that you should never trust a woman that tells her real age, because if she tells that, she will tell anything. I am 33. And a half. I weigh 142.2 pounds. (And we all gasp for air) I wear a size 6, and I can sometimes struggle into a size 4. It's not pretty, though. I have incredibly wide feet. I recently started drooling in my sleep, something my future husband will surely enjoy. Ask me how I am doing, I will probably answer you with my current life's problems. Compliment my dress, and I will tell you that I got it from a thrift store for $3.99. I haven't always been so honest, though.
I remember being 14 and playing Scrabble with my best friend Joanna. Joanna's family had money. Mine did not. This Scrabble game was kind of the coolest... it was the Deluxe Scrabble game. It had a plastic board with raised ridges around each tile space so that the fancy tiles settled in all still and motionless. The board also sat on a little turntable so you didn't get a crick in your neck trying to plan your next move. It was awesome. I remember sitting at our kitchen table, though, with the game board on the table when I discovered it. It, the thing that I thought would end my social life. The little round sticker that would leave me friendless. It was lime green and it clearly read $1. The Deluxe Scrabble game had been purchased from a garage sale. I was humiliated. I thought quickly, reached down, and picked up the box, covering the sticker with my thumb. I thought that if I moved quickly enough, I could move the box to the kitchen counter, retrieve the game without her seeing the sticker, and my reputation would be saved. It didn't work. She saw. And she kindly said, "My parents sometimes shop at garage sales, too". But they didn't. There was not one garage sale-y thing about her family. But she was being nice. Me? I was sick to my stomach the rest of the night. I was certain that this thing, this one embarrassment, meant that I was less than her.
But now I am grown up. Semi grown up, anyway. And I have learned the value of a dollar, especially one spent on a Deluxe Scrabble game. They are selling on Amazon.com for about $200 right now. I appreciate the fact that my parents were frugal, that they made the most of the money they had. And I know that my struggle with my weight, my gray hair (I forgot to tell you that one before, but it's there), forgetting to tithe for several weeks until I owe God more than I have, my age, my singleness, and my honesty about them do not make me less than someone else. My family problems are no secret. I talk openly about them, and I hope they make me real and relatable. I confessed something to a friend recently, and I was almost instantly sorry that I had. I got little reaction from her, and I felt really weird and vulnerable. Several weeks later, I found out that she was struggling with almost the exact same situation, and just didn't have the heart to tell me that night. That's what relationships are about. Openness and honesty. Oh, I still have things I hide, and I will keep working towards transparency. And there are people with whom I am less open, for various reasons, but my desire is to be authentic, to be real.
And Joanna? She is all grown up now, and she owns a store where she sells vintage furniture that she buys from thrift stores and garage sales. So I guess all is well with the world.