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Thursday, March 12, 2009

My But You Have A Lovely Spine

I was asked, the other day, to pick out something I really liked about me.

Where to start?

Is it my outrageous earning capacity? My love of the drunken arm-wrestling champeenships? My ability to appear to be paying attention while I’m really making a mental grocery list for later?

No. It is not.

I, my friend, have some awesome posture.

Yeah. I know, right? I’m like a freakin’ model citizen over here.

I credit my mother. It’s not like she would whap us with a broom or anything, but “stand up straight!” and “suck that in!” were regular commands as a child.

As she has pointed out, we are not from slouching people.

Many of the things my mother told me over the years have stuck with me (“wash your hands”, “don’t order the fish on a Monday”), which means that I can stand up straight and suck in my gut like nobody’s business.

I’m sorry to say, though, that I think both standing up straight and sucking in one’s gut have gone the way of popping your own corn or darning your socks.

Both of which I’ve been known to do.

There are a lot of slouchers on the bus. And sucking it in? Smacks of work, doesn't it?

It’s funny how often my posture gets attention. I'm serious! Makes me look alert (the world needs more lerts!) and sincere, don’t you think? I can just imagine the conversations that go on around me as I walk down the street…

“That woman over there! Hire her!”
“We need someone’s opinion. How about that upright citizen waiting for the bus?”


Have I told you lately how much I enjoy the time I spend in my own head?

It’s so warm and comfy in there.


darsden said...

LOL, great Pearl. You stand heads above everybody else. I get my extra tall stance on too...when you are this short, I am still wearing platform shoes for goodness sakes! If I slouched I would slid right off the seat as it is my feet don't touch the floor when I sit in fancy chairs! Unless I have my stilettos on... then I get nose bleeds from being so high ;-)

Brother Tobias said...

I'd like to say my upright posture came from generations of military forbears. There were those, but it wasn't that. Like Dasden, mine comes from having grown later than my peers, and therefore having to take advantage of every centimetre.

underOvr (aka The U) said...

Good morning Pearl,

Thank God for conscientious mothers who invested (in us) a storehouse of memories that transcend time.


Frank said...

Lack of sleep has blurred my vision this morning. I thought you said, (proper posture) had gone the way of POOPING your own corn. For a moment, your post took on a whole new meaning. I knew you wouldn’t poop someone else’s corn. Would you?

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Pearl...Frank needs to lay down.

My mom went on and on about our posture too...and how our eyes would freeze into place if we kept them crossed to long...


Eskimo Bob said...

I thought for sure you were going to praise your hard and soft palate which gave you such an articulate annunciation. I mean those hours of stuffing marshmallows and reciting the Gettysburg Address - no wonder you speak so clearly.

Mary Moore said...

I have no choice but to have perfect posture. My spine is held up by metal rods.

Do you feel sorry for me?

That's my fave body part too. :o)

Michelle said...

I try very hard to suck it in but somehow the way i do it makes my tummy stick OUT!!! I am also a big sloucher!!! NOT GOOD!!!

But when i run i am all up and straight and stunning!!!!


Your beautiful and you suck it in like a pro Pearly-Q!

Diane said...

I'm from slouchy people. I'm the Queen of the slouchy people. I tried to meditate recently... you can't slouch and meditate, I discovered. So I gave it up.

IB said...

I come from a long line of proud slouchers; Curved spines, rounded shoulders and knuckles dragging in the dirt.

I once tried to sit up straight for an entire day...it was OK, just not my bag.

Kavi said...

LOL !!

The world is full of slouchers. And the straight spines win !


The Retired One said...

Pearl, when I call up my favs list, your site says there is a post with the title of Rockefellers (..something) but when I clicked on it, it says the page doesn't exist???? Thought maybe you started a draft of something and it accidently got stuck in system somewhere?
Anyway: back to standing up straight.
I am also one of those "short people" so no one can even tell when I stand up straight...they are all looking down at me.

Jodie Kash said...

I have amazingly few wrinkles and am often guessed a decade younger than my biological age, all due to skin so white it’s translucent and the fact I can sunburn through the car window and SPF50. Although I longed for coconut smelling oils and laying out in my teen years, it just wasn’t in the melanoma cards.

Whiteys unite!

Jess said...

LMAO! Though I have not seen your posture, I can already tell that I would be amazed. This drunken arm wrestling you speak of...yes, I am very interested...is there a league I can join??! T-shirts and mugs with the team logo on them?

Pearl said...

Darsden, how tall are you? I’m 5 foot 4. Hmm. Had never considered that I stand taller to make up for being short!

Brother Tobias, I’m a big fan of later maturity, myself. Why rush all that? I was a bit of a late bloomer, too…

U, I agree. Honestly, I’m glad she was after me to “suck it in”. There are a lot of women who don’t – and they just help me to look good.

Frank, pooping someone else’s corn is where I draw the LINE, man!

Sweet Cheeks, we need to keep an eye on Frank. And I’m glad I’m not the only one whose mom made them sit up straight!

Eskimo Bob, I have the diction of a woman half my age.

Mary Moore, really? A steel rod?! WOW. OK, that beats me – and I can see why your posture would be your favorite thing!!

Michelle, I have a lot of respect for runners. I ran cross country in high school, but when I tried it again a couple years ago, my rear-end was like two puppies in a gunny sack.

Diane, maybe Mary could give you the number of the person who put in her steel spine? No, maybe not. No worries, though. I will not judge you by your slouch!

IB, well, it’s not for everyone.

Kavi, it DOES make one look distinguished, doesn’t it?!

Retired One, I was experimenting the other day with “links”. There are a number of people (Not the Rockefellers being just one) I’d like to link to and don’t know how to! Anyway, it shouldn’t be permanent.

Jodie, I’m pretty white myself and was guessed quite a bit younger for a long time – not so much anymore! Ah, well. I had my day!

Jess, I’m pretty sure there are leagues. Well, there SHOULD be anyway! Hmm. Will have to think of a slogan… Drunken Arm Wrestling is good clean fun – not like Drunken Indian Leg Wrestling, which is for perverts.
Oh, and that’s Indian Leg Wrestling done while drunk, not done by drunken Indians. Just in case anyone was wondering…

Douglas said...

I am glad it's comfy and warm in your head. It's often cold and lonely in mine. I was a sloucher til I injured my back in a drunken chairback walking incident when I was 16. Then I was given a girdle to wear and I found that sitting up straight was preferable to wearing that thing.

Steve said...

How I envy your awesome posture. I did archery was and was told that my head wasn't on straight. I could still hit the bullseye though. ;-)

Pearl said...

Douglas, drunken chair walking.
That's all I got. Oh, that and I'm so glad I'm not a teenager anymore, aren't you?!

Steve, If you can hit the bullseye, you're ahead of me!

naperville mom said...

I fall in the category of 'straight spiners' too. Gosh, how I love that spine of mine;)

Pearl said...

naperville mom, I'm very pleased with my spine today. My hair? Not so much. But I sure can sit up straight!

Not The Rockefellers said...

Kind of broad at the shoulders, narrow at the hip.
And everybody knew you didn't give no lip to Big John.

This post made me think of that. More Johnny Cash for your ipod!

Peace - Rene

fingers said...

I was a chronic sloucher in my youth. So when I tell you I had braces as a teenager, I'm not talking about my teeth...

Pearl said...

Rene, Big BAD John?! :-)

fingers, well if that don't do it, nothing will.

Anonymous said...

That's funny - just tonight I was watching my son in the Scholar's Bowl competition and thinking about how he was all slumped. But he was answering correctly, so there's that.

Pearl said...

Citizen of the World, it's good to start with a decent brain. We'll work on his posture later.

Jocelyn said...

Came here by way of Citizen of the World...and so glad I did, um, speaking of spending too much time in one's own head.

You're a charmer.

My mom was a stickler about proper grammar, particularly the use of adverbs.

Now I'm an English teacher.

derfina said...

Boy, this brought back memories.

My sadistic father used to put a strip of masking tape down my spine and if I slouched, he would rip it off real fast. Talk about a KNOW YOU'RE ALIVE moment!

BPOTW said...

I enjoy the time you spend in your head. And I'm typing this with an erect spine and a sucked in gut...which will last all of about 30 seconds.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I love hearing my own convictions validated!

I came by my good posture accidentally. When I was in middle school, I found that my back was bothering me and assumed it was from slouching in my chair. I made a concerted effort to sit up straight at all times and over 20 years later - I've never had any problems with my back.

People also think I'm taller and thinner than I actually am. They assume that I'm confident and automatically assign leadership roles to me.

I honestly think that this is all the product of excellent posture. It's like the best kept secret of success.

And at the end of the day - two pregnancies and three children later, a muffin top is hard to avoid. Good posture is my friend.