When someone compliments me on a peculiarity, I don’t know how to respond. I suddenly become self-conscious and my mannerism becomes an affectation.
Someone will compliment my laugh. They’ll used words like sexy, bawdy, and brazen (Really? Oh, go on!), and vanity takes over. My sexy becomes a snort, my bawdy chuckle a toothy bray, and my brazen come-on morphs into something creepy and unintentional.
I am no better off when someone calls attention to the way I walk. I’ve been told I have a self-assured gait, a sensuous samba, and a feminine air when I move. (Well, goodness me!) This usually goes straight to my already inflated ego, and I lose all semblance of “graceful” and “alluring.” I gambol ostrich-like, all hips and haunches. I mince, teetering and stumbling like my shoes pinch, and worse yet, I amble side to side like a mama ape foraging in the jungle.
None of my peculiarities are intentional, honest. They are just a product of who I am, so when someone asks me to be funny, I go blank. I start babbling and my aphasia kicks in.
I feel like a sham, unworthy of any compliment. I feel I should do something so as to deserve the compliment (and not lose the few people who like me).
It all boils down to this – my confession: I am not intentionally trying to be “funny ha ha.” I do not know why I laugh or walk or speak the way I do. The nuns in elementary school tried their best to tame my goofy laugh. My mom gave up correcting my “wiggle and strut,” and half the time I say what pops into my head before considering the consequences.
The truth is I have always just been plain “funny odd.” I have never truly fit in anywhere, so I stopped trying. It is just me.