Miss Bea is a Southern woman in her eighties who comes to my book store several times each week. She is the epitome of Southern grace. There is no other way to describe her. Last week she came to me and asked for a book recommendation. I suggested a heartwarming memoir I had recently read called 'The Glass Castle' by Jeannette Walls. She purchased it, bade her goodbyes and left.
Yesterday morning she returned.
"Beej, I finished the Walls book and I loved it. Thank you for recommending it to me. I even phoned my daughter and told her she had to read it. What are you reading now?"
"Well, Miss Bea, I'm doing something I usually do not do. I always focus on one book at a time but right now I'm reading four books."
"I know you're reading Carl Jung's autobiography. What else?" she asked.
I told her I was also reading a Bronte book, a true crime book (loaned to me by a regular customer, a charming investigator who had worked on the murder that was the subject of the book,) and a new book by Robin Meade, who is the anchor for CNN's Headline News.
'What's the Robin Meade book about?"
"Its not what you would think Miss Bea. I love Robin Meade and that's why I picked it up, but it's really about developing self confidence."
She stepped back and looked at me. "Why in the world are YOU reading THAT??" she asked.
"You are the last person who needs more confidence!"
Well, if this didn't leave me puffed up. Obviusly Miss Bea must believe I am confident individual. How wonderful that others must feel I exude confidence! Wow, I am proud of myself!
Not ten minutes later, my best friend Cynthia comes in.
"Hey Beej. Whatcha say?"
"Not much Cynthia. "
"So whet are you reading?"
This all takes place in the bookstore so it's not rare for me to be asked this often. I go through my short list and she, like Miss Bea, asks about the new Robin Meade book and I explain that it's a book on developing self confidence.
"Why the hell are you reading that?"
Wow, even my best friend must think I exude confidence. I tell her about Miss Bea.
"Beej," says Cynthia, "if someone were to ask me to define self confidence, I would simply introduce them to you."
I am now proud. Very Proud. But I should have stopped and realized the old adage about pride coming before a fall. and then it came..
"Beej, you are so confident that you're cocky. In fact, you can be so cocky that it borders on arrogance!"
I study my friend's face to see if shes joshing. She is staring back at me with a dead pan expression.
"Cocky? Arrogant?? Me? MEEEE??"
She puts her hand on her hip and opens her eyes as wide as possible.
I study her for a minute.
"So?" I ask. "What's your point?"
She bursts out laughing. I'm hoping she's laughing because he's been teasing me with all this business. In fact, I am sure that's why she's laughing. She can't possibly believe that I, of all people, am cocky or arrogant. I am just too perfect to ever be that way.
Week Three Summary
3 years ago