I’m Kind of a Jerk

30 05 2010

It’s a shocker, I know. Try not to pass out. I’ll wait a minute while you take some deep breaths.

… … … … …

Okay, then.

We have a new home teacher. I will call him Bob. Why is it that every time I try to think of a random, generic male name, I think of Bob? Wouldn’t John make more sense? But no, it’s always Bob.

For those who aren’t familiar with Mormon terminology and what the crap a home teacher is, this is from http://www.lds.org:

“Home teachers have a sacred duty to be the Church’s first source of help to individuals and families. They visit their assigned members at least monthly. In serving and visiting their assigned members, they support parents in their responsibilities, teach the gospel to each family member, nurture friendships, and help members prepare to receive temple ordinances and live worthy of the blessings of the gospel.”

So basically, every family in the church should have a pair of priesthood holders that visits them monthly, unless their companion is busy, in which case they often come alone.

Bob is fantastic–friendly, personable, chatty. I’ve always thought he was pretty cool, and now he’ll visit us once a month. I hope. Car and I don’t have a particularly good track record with home teachers (Does anyone?), but I’m thinking this one will stick around for a bit. Unless, of course, I’ve now offended Bob so badly that he asks to have us removed from his assignment.

Yeah. I’m awesome that way.

From the moment he sat down, he would move his jaw, kind of stretch his face, and blink repeatedly. For reasons that are fairly apparent, movement disorders are prevalent in my mind right now.

If you know me at all, you can see where this is going. You can’t look away from the impending train wreck, can you?

We had a great time getting acquainted with Bob, and he shared an inspiring message with us. The visit was everything you could possibly hope for from a home teacher.

But those facial movements were bugging me. Really, really bugging me. Not in a “that’s so weird” or “what a freak” kind of way, but in a “I wonder what’s up with that” way. Most people would shove this feeling to the side–the wise course of action. Wise. Obviously not a word in my vocabulary.

Note to self: If the question coming out of your mouth starts with, “Can I ask a personal and probably invasive question,” just stop right there. In fact, stop before you even begin the sentence. You might want to even–oh, I don’t know–stop to think before you open your mouth.

Bob, of course, being the nice guy he is, says, “Okay…” (I can’t imagine why he sounded wary, can you?)

“Do you have motor tics?”

He looked at me blankly. This is the point where I started to realize I had embarked upon a very poorly thought out path, but now there was no turning back.

Bob says, “What do you mean?”

“You know, like facial tics?”

Even typing this, I want to sink through the floor. What was I thinking? I want to whack myself up the head. Repeatedly.

He had explanations for every movement, none of which were tic-related, and I felt like a complete ass. I did try explaining that motor tics are at the forefront in my mind because of Big G. Bob was very understanding, but what was he supposed to be at that point?

Gah. Someone needs to invent a filter that catches all the dumb things I might say before they exit my mouth.

I’m going to try to focus on the silver lining: At least I didn’t ask the question that initially popped into my head.

“Do you have Tourette’s?”

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10 responses

1 06 2010
Boquinha

Is it an issue of tact or your insane curiosity about all things medical? Either way, your mom is probably right about the genetic link, though I think it’s funny she listed Great Aunt Margaret and your grandmother, but not herself (I love you, Elizabeth!).

The 2nd time I met your mother (and the first time had been about 3 years prior to that), Mark and I showed up to visit her after her back surgery. We were engaged and the first thing she said to me as I sat down was, “So? You nervous about sex?”

Yeah, good times.

1 06 2010
Jenny

Since a few people have asked, his reasons included the following:

1. TMJ
2. A chronically stuffy nose

I didn’t ask about the blinking, since by then I’d regained my tact. Mostly.

Also, if Bob ever stumbles across this…um, sorry.

31 05 2010
Mom

You can live to be 100 and never even come close to my track record (of wrong/bad things to say). Think of your grandmother and Aunt Margaret: yep! It’s a flawed gene in the family line. But if you live to be 50, it will probably get better. Love you.

1 06 2010
Peter

Ah, Mom beat me to the “it’s genetic” explanation! But I don’t know about this “it gets better at 50” thing…

Definite facepalm moment. If it makes you feel any better, I’m still kicking myself for something stupid I blurted out SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO. I was a brand new missionary, at one of my first dinner appointments. The wife had made traditional fried Mexican-style tacos for dinner. She said, “Yeah, I don’t make these very often.” And I said, “Oh, so you make them every time the missionaries come to dinner?” Then I realized I was the only one laughing.

Time to let it go, Peter. Time to let it go…

31 05 2010
Jessica G.

And this is why you and I hit it off so well at the conference. I would have sat there thinking the same things! And would have asked, too. And then probably would have accidentally spit on him or passed gas. I’m classy.

31 05 2010
Jackie

Yes, what are the good reasons?

31 05 2010
Janice

Hahahahaha!!! My mom always taught me to ask instead of stare. There’s nothing like having an elephant in the room that everyone is ignoring. So…I don’t think you’re a jerk, but Sarah Lee does. 🙂

1 06 2010
Jenny

Stop projecting. We all know what Sarah Lee thinks of you.

31 05 2010
Holly

I’m good at OMIF Syndrome!!! (Open Mouth Insert Foot) If you find, hear of, or invent that filter, please SHARE!!

ME, in some of my moods… I can be openly OBNOXIOUS to hubby’s best friend in the neighborhood that just doesn’t know the meaning of respecting another’s privacy, personal space, or family time… *sigh*

I’m curious of his reasonings, too… Maybe he really DOES have them and is in DENIAL… ;p

31 05 2010
hairyshoefairy

Hahaha! So now I’m curious, what were some of his reasons? My little bro has tourette’s and we didn’t really realize it until one day at a choir concert my mom’s friend leaned over, pointed to little brother in the choir and said, “What the heck is wrong with [Little Bother]?” Sometimes blunt works.

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