Saturday, August 26, 2006

Wanted: A Designated Eyebrow Raiser

Have you ever noticed that when you're in a bad situation--your car breaks down in traffic or you spill spaghetti down your white shirt before an important meeting or your child scribbles on an important paper, or you're a musician who could never afford health insurance and now you have cancer--there's always one person there to raise his or her eyebrows.

They're the designated eyebrow raisers. They travel around and when an eyebrow needs to be raised--by God--they do it. It's a challenging job--feeling superior to people who hit a spot of bad luck. The only thing more challenging, in fact, would be...being the person with bad luck.

I like to imagine what's going on inside an eyebrow raiser's head:

"If my car broke down in traffic, I would have an intergalactic starship beam me into outerspace so that I wouldn't inconvenience the drivers with reliable transportation."

"If I spilled spaghetti down my shirt, I would change into one of my five spare shirts I keep in the office for that exact reason."

"My child would never mistake an important paper for an unimportant paper because I have raised him to be as anal as I am."

"If I were a musician without health insurance, I would build a time machine and travel back to my youth and never become a starving artist in the first place. I would become a singing investment broker."

So yesterday we were in the library, and I wanted to check out a book called Raising Cain, which is about raising boys. After the boys looked at books in the kids section, I dragged them over to the grown up section. J.J. didn't get the memo that libraries are quiet and threw a fit over not being able to pull books off the shelf. We went back over to the kids section, but I wanted to peak at the new releases to see if it was there. Again, things weren't going how J.J. planned. But I knew his fit would be short lived, so I finished scanning the shelves.

Luckily, a designated eyebrow raiser was on hand. He graciously looked up from his work to put me in my place.

He didn't say anything. Just raised his eyebrows. I interpreted this to mean: "If I were a stay at home mom whose husband was borrowing my car because his broke down the same day the household airconditioning unit broke and it was 90 degrees inside and raining outside and the only place close enough to walk was the library and my baby was entering his terrible twos and threw fits when he didn't get to pull books off the shelf, then I would create a soundproof forcefield around my family so that I didn't bother all the people who had the foresight to leave their children home with their mothers."

Little did he know that I, too, am an expert eyebrow raiser. As a mother, I had to learn the skill to stop my children from telling random animals, "Your butt stinks." And from eating dessert at 9 a.m. And from turning our living room into WWF Smackdown.

In fact, when I raise my eyebrows, people often mistake me for Kenny Rogers post plastic surgery.

So I raised my eyebrows at him, meaning, "You're out of your element, partner. I raise my eyebrows at your lame eyebrow raising."

What can I say. If you can't beat 'em, raise your eyebrows at 'em.


Anonymous Mom said...

I wish I'd been there to raise my eyebrows at that superior being. I might have slipped a few words out at him too!!!! I don't know him, didn't see him - can't stand him!!! Hey - we've got extra beds over here if it gets too hot -would love having you!

8:23 PM  
Anonymous alexis said...

the raised eyebrow technique is really only good for mothers and teachers. i used it the other day to say "hey, you don't really expect me to believe that you really did do your homework, but merely forgot to bring it, do you?!?!" how i fit that into one eyebrow, i don't know.
i'm sending the k.c. librarian hate mail.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been making several trips to the grocery store with all 4 kids in the 2 seater stroller...and let me tell you the "designated eyebrow raisers" are out!! Let's come up with something to shoot back at them with...something funny, appropriate and to the about the middle finger????

9:39 AM  

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