Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Old Habits Die Easily

“Old habits die hard.”
We’ve all heard that saying, that old habits die hard. Is it really true, though? I mean, sometimes we have old habits and something happens that helps us to kick the habit pretty quickly. Isn’t that right?
“Russ,” David said. “What’s the answer to number 12?”
The math test was tricky. I think I could have been pretty good at math if I had wanted to. My sister was a math major for a while and she is an accountant, so I know it’s there in my genes somewhere. I wasn’t horrible at math, I just didn’t apply myself to it so I never excelled at it. Then again, maybe it was that day in math class that gave my numerical taste buds an aversion to anything math.
“David,” Mr. Pinder scolded. “No cheating. Take your test.”
Then again, maybe it was just because I was a high school sophomore at the time. Anything traumatic that happens when you’re that age can have permanent lasting effects on your psyche. And maybe it was that math class that kept me away from a world of numbers and directed me toward a college career in Psychology and Sociology.
“I’m not cheating, Mr. Pinder,” David protested. “I was just talking to myself.”
Yup, some old habits die quickly. Like chewing on my pen, for example. Why I was taking a math test with a pen in the first place is beyond me, but that’s what I was doing. As my brain sifted and searched through the knowledge stored inside of it, the old default habits took over and my mouth chewed chewed chewed on my pen until I noticed a funky taste in my mouth.
“No, Russ. You can’t go to the bathroom,” Mr. Pinder said. “We’re in the middle of a test.”
My life was over. It’s important to a 15 to get their education. It’s important for a 15 year old’s education to finish their math tests. It’s also really important to a 15 year old to avoid being a mockery. So, it’s important to a 15 year old to avoid being the center of attention when you have black ink inside your mouth and smudged all over your lips.
“Please, Mr. Pinder,” I begged. “I really need to.”
“Can’t you hold it for another 20 minutes?” He replied.
“Not really,” I said, lowering the hand that was covering my mouth.
Sometimes, like when your old habit is chewing on pens, old habits can die quickly, especially when you’re not quickly able to escape the classroom because the teachers aid is already gone with the hall pass and you have to sit back in your seat trying to hide your black smile from everybody around you but every one sees it and you’re embarrassed and that very black-toothed moment is the single incident wrong with everything that has ever gone wrong in your life. I don’t chew on pens anymore. True story.

1 comment:

  1. what was your teacher's reaction when he saw your black-toothed smile? It reminds me of a hilarious scene in an Ernest movie (Ernest goes to Jail?) when a guy gets a leaky pen in his mouth and he ends up trying to wipe it with a crumpled piece of paper, and it just gets funnier and funnier. Thanks for reminding me of funny pen incidents. I enjoyed that.