“I was tired, bored and stressed out.” No, not me. On the contrary, since being laid off from a company after 16 long years, the one thing I’m NOT is tired, bored or stressed out. Broke? Yes. Stressed? Meh…
No, the quote is from Lori Anne Madison, a cute, blond, petite, six-year old whose one incorrect letter in this year’s National Spelling Bee ended her chances to beat out those twice her size and age.
I want this child. No, really, I want to adopt her. Not only is she tugging at this Grammar Nazi’s heart strings, but she’s sassy ta boot. With her cornfield blond bob and devilish grin, she reminds me of myself at that age. Not that I was spelling that well at the ripe old age of six, but the sassy part had definitely set in by then. Gradually through the years, with the constant din of the nuns spewing their diatribes with one raised eyebrow and dragon breath wafting over your shoulder if you even once forgot the “i before e except after c” rule and the “never end your sentences in a preposition,” imperative, the years of repetitive exercises soon burned a permanent indention in your brain. Spelling bees were the bomb, and I’ll see your AP class any day for the fun, instructive contest that has been lost in today’s dark educational abyss and replaced with standards of losing…I mean learning… tests. Read: “I’m tired, bored and stressed out.”
Years later, with children of my own, I had a tendency to chase them around the room with a red pen in my hand. This struck fear deep in their souls that sometimes prompted them to eat their homework before succumbing to my editor’s marks. (Who needs a dog?) My daughter’s response was always, “Mom, the teacher doesn’t care…as long as we get the idea.” My head exploded, my eyes bulged, and my head spun around ala Linda Blair. I reminded my daughter that some day she’ll be thankful that I was such a Word Witch. Not only would her homework end up looking like a blood splattered newspaper, but I then proceeded to red-line the teacher’s instructions, which were usually replete with typos and grammar gaps.
Recently, an app was devised by the Mitt Romney campaign which invites users to photograph themselves with their choice of pro-Romney slogans and then share them on social media. One of the slogans reads, “A Better Amercia.” Oops. Somebody didn’t observe the “i-before-c” rule. Really!?
So I’m getting out my crayons, poster board and Elmers glue. Then I’m distributing my posters that say “Lori Anne Madison for President.”
But first I need to fill out those adoption papers.