We all have parts of our body that we prefer to hide.
In my case – my stomach, bum, ears, arms and thighs for starters.
We can wear flattering clothes to portray our bodies in the best possible light, and we can grow our hair long enough to cover our sticky out ears.
Occasionally we get caught off guard. An ill-fitting pair of jeans, a top that shrunk in the wash, or a bad hair day all have the ability to reveal everything we didn’t want the world to see.
Then, we all have emotions that we try to conceal.
Envy, fear, shame, guilt, anger, irritation, vanity, impatience, self-pity or selfishness.
Most of us want to be seen as happy go-lucky, beacons of positivity, with never a bad word to say about anyone.
Which of course we are not, so occasionally we get caught out.
That is what happened to the female jogger we almost collided with after school last week. We had returned home after the school run, dropped off my son’s book bag and gone straight back out again to his swimming class. As we were turning the corner to where my car was parked, a jogger started heading towards us. We both had one of those ‘in what direction should we step aside’ moments but while I stepped one way, my son stepped the other.
This meant the jogger had to slow down to manoeuvre around him, which I am sure put her off her stride and was very annoying. However, what I did not expect was for this young woman to look him straight in the eye and shout ‘MOVE, THEN!’
TO A 5-YEAR OLD BOY.
She let her ugly out, in the middle of the street, surrounded by school children and shocked parents. Not least of all, me.
But, let you not think I am trying to paint myself as perfect here. My ‘ugly’ is a quick temper and I put on quite a show of it to the Greek God(zilla) a few weeks ago. He took something of mine and I flew totally off the handle. In hindsight, I might have over reacted. It may have been a certain time of the month. There’s a chance I might have also had one glass of wine too many over lunch.
But it wasn’t really about that. It was about feeling taken for granted and at the time, it was all the confirmation I needed to let my ugly out on him with both barrels.
But, ugly can present itself in more subtle ways too.
Perhaps your envy of a friend’s promotion stops you from congratulating them. Or, you take something personally that was intended as anything but.
We must have all at some time been on the receiving end of disapproval disguised as a well-meaning comment; over our fashion sense, parenting style, or work ethic.
Or, a snappy retort from someone struggling to contain their irritation of you. Sarcasm wrapped up as a joke. Criticism masquerading as a compliment.
Passive aggressive behaviour might be one of the most unsettling human traits of all.
It is a form of ugly that I do not care for. I can almost forgive the jogger for her outburst, as unnecessary as it was, because at least it was direct. There was no second guessing how she really felt about us getting in her way.
Sometimes your ugly gets the better of you.
Sometimes it gets the better of us all.