Sunday, 26 April 2009

Candy Face

I don't know about you, but there's a lot of stuff I'd like to put on my resume that I can't. My husband feels just the same way. Once, not long after we'd married, we were visiting my best friend back in the States and her little boy introduced us to his friend. "This is Mary," he said, "she's my mom's friend. And this is her husband. He's wicked good fun."

To this day, he remembers that. He'd like it on his resume, just after Publications and Professional Presentations: I'm wicked good fun. References and testimonies available upon request.

There are a number of things I'd like on my resume. Once a friend of mine commented on my pot-washing skills. She claimed her pots were cleaner after I'd been at them. You know why? I wash not only the inside of pots, but the outside. It's just one of those things about me I can't change. I can't bear pots that are clean on the inside, but filthy on the outside. For years, it's irritated me that I can't note that down, somewhere between Education and Past Experience: When I wash pots, I get the outsides clean too. It has been noted and commented upon. References available upon request.

I'll tell you what else would go on my resume: I have a candy face.

I didn't know about my candy face until two weeks ago. I'd had a tough time in my Wednesday afternoon class; I'd had to yell at half a dozen kids who were yakking away in Turkish, only pretending to write compositions about their home towns. I'd had to bring up the embarrassing subject of their midterm results -- abysmal -- and my worries that they would not be ready for the finals. After class, I gathered up my papers and two girls approached my desk, smiling winsomely.

"Tee-cha, you are okay?" asked Melen.

"I'm fine," I said through clenched teeth. "I'm just a little worried about a few of you." I zipped up my pencil case. "I'm afraid some of you will have to repeat."

Esra sidled a little closer. "Tee-cha, you work hardly for us!" she whispered. "We like this!"

I looked up suspiciously. Their midterm results are done and dusted and they know damn well that nothing they say can change them.

Esra took my whiteboard eraser and began to erase the board. "Tee-cha, when on the weekend, we miss you! We miss your face!"

"Pffft!" I said, flushing. "You miss being yelled at!"

"No, tee-cha!" Esra insisted, still erasing. "You sometimes yelling, but you have sweet face!"

"Candy face!" chimed in Melen. "You have sweet face like candy!"

My hand went up surreptitiously, but no, not a trace of breakfast jam was stuck to my face.

And I cannot begin to tell you how genuinely honored I am. Never mind that I've had a good look at myself in the mirror and know The Real Truth, Melen says I've got a candy face. But where can I put that on my resume? Under Education? Qualifications? Past Work Experience?

Sometimes you just have to hide your lights under a bushel.

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22 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

There should be a place on a resume/vita for 'Special skills.' I've got a few I'd like to add myself.

Angela said...

I think job hiring would be a lot more interesting if we got to list some personal skills lie this, lol.

Carolie said...

That was wonderful, Mary! Thank you for that! And I agree, such things belong on our resumes.

Heh...I actually was able to put one of mine on a resume, as a wardrobe mistress: "Able to strip a clothed man completely from one three piece suit down to skin and dress him again in a new three piece suit (including tie, shoes and pocket square) in under 20 seconds."

Shame I can't list that on my graphic designer resume. I bet I'd get more attention with it on there...

Kim Ayres said...

Scrambled egg sandwiches are my speciality. I'm sure I'd have go any job I wanted, if only I'd thought to put that on my CV

Carolie said...

p.s. -- went to Ookawachi-yamaa and Imari this weekend, and thought of you, wondering if you'd ever walked those streets, or gone to the sake mill to see the kappa mummy enshrined and on display! Wish you could have been with me...what a day!

Jacqui said...

I once had a kid write my bio: "Jacqui is fun. She helps people." I kinda want that to just BE my resume. And maybe on my tombstone.

Mary Witzl said...

Charles -- You've got a few special skills and you didn't bother to share them here? Please come back and tell us!

Angela -- I can touch my tongue to my nose too. That one always seems like such a shame not to share.

Carolie -- I read that off to my teenagers and they are in awe of you. They want to know: 1) Was the man cute? 2) Did he cooperate? 3) Did you do up ALL the buttons?

Maybe we should all have a resume with nothing but important things on it, like this...

Kim -- I make a pretty good scrambled egg sandwich myself. Sometime we'll have to compare notes on how to make them.

Carolie -- Hi again! I think I went to Ookawachi-yama way back in 1982. It's in Saga-ken, right? But I don't remember the mummified kappa. I hope there'll be a post about this on your blog...?

Jacqui -- That is a great bio because it's self explanatory. I don't blame you: I'd like that on my tombstone too. 'Candy face' is wonderful, but it requires explanation. And it's open to misinterpretation...

Charlie said...

When I look back at my old resumes they're so boring they put me to sleep. But that's the way you have to play the game, a hired cyborg who's as personally interesting as dirt.

As far as your candy face, I hope it looks like M&Ms because they're my favorite.

Eryl Shields said...

I wash the outside of saucepans too, and must confess I didn't realise that other people don't, yuck!

Years ago on holiday in Italy complete strangers kept coming up to me and saying I was 'dolce'; it began to rather freak me out but it was nice too. I would definitely put that on my resume: Italians like me.

Bish Denham said...

You are honored indeed. At those times when you're feeling a bit sour around the edges, remembering someone likes your candy face should sweeten things up for you.

Robin said...

That is a sweet (no pun intended until this second) and lovely compliment.

AnneB said...

But were there Snickers when they said this, or just Turkish Delight?

Mary Witzl said...

Charlie -- When I've been eating M&Ms, I definitely have an M&M face. But this time there wasn't an M&M in sight!

When I look at my old resumes, the first adjective that springs to mind is 'flighty'. If I try to put a positive spin on that, maybe it's 'impetuous'.

Eryl -- Not to denigrate your special quality, but I've had that happen in Italy too, though no one said I was dolce. Scottish people, sadly, seem to think I'm a dodgy character. I'm not surprised that we have this Italian-lovableness in common, though, especially given the saucepan thing. No one in my family sees how special this is.

Bish -- Let me tell you, I've been living off that compliment for two weeks. I acted all nonchalant and dismissive, but it warmed my heart. In fact, I'm actually trying to live up to it. Hmmm, maybe those girls are smarter than I'm giving them credit for...

Robin -- It was, and all the more valued because it was straight out of the blue and I'd been, if anything, rather nasty. I'm definitely a fly that prefers sugar to vinegar.

AnneB -- Wonderful pun! Actually, there was American delight. And (very possibly) Turkish snickers, but at least I did not hear them.

Carolie said...

Please tell your teenagers that although I was a dresser for many actors, here's the scoop on the firs one:

1. Well, I certainly thought so! He was Terrence Mann, who played the choreographer in the movie Chorus Line, and was the original Rum Tum Tugger on B'way in Cats. It was a LONG time ago.
2. Yes, he had no choice.
3. Yes, all the buttons (but we learned the hard way that it was best for him to zip the zipper himself).

As for the kappa mummy story, I will indeed add it to the blog!

Anne Spollen said...

That's so nice! After I had kids, I became an amazing multi tasker.

I can help a second grader with fractions while cutting apples and still make the neighbor-on-the-phone think I am interested in the details of her root canal without missing a beat.

Does that count?

adrienne said...

Now that's a great qualification for a teacher. Good thing it's not a requirement, though. I don't think every teacher would make the cut.

Mary Witzl said...

Carolie -- That part about the zipper really made me laugh! My kids will love that. In fact, I wish you would write about that on your blog too!

AnneS -- Wow, that definitely counts. I could do this too, but my neighbor would soon get the idea that her root canal wasn't a top priority. I think I'd manage the apple cutting okay, but I'd be distracted by the fractions.

Adrienne -- Well, I don't always make the cut myself. Today, for instance, I had a vinegar face about 87% of the time.

kara said...

but what KIND of candy?

Mary Witzl said...

Kara -- I don't know and I didn't ask. I just hope it's not a marshmallow.

Kappa no He said...

That IS a compliment. I turn into some oni when I get mad. Maybe if I had a candy face people would listen. Or at least not leave the room.

Wicked good blog, btw!

terrie

Carole said...

A candy face...very nice. Funny how people can see your heart even when you get aggravated. That could go on your resume also. "I genuinely like people and they like me."

Not that many people could say that.

Mary Witzl said...

Kappa -- Believe me, I turn into an oni too! I suspect these girls are just buttering me up, hoping that by fawning over me they'll get higher marks. I've told them that their midterm scores are already recorded, but maybe they didn't understand...

'Wicked good blog' -- that's going in my C.V. too. Can I quote you?

Carole -- I'd love to put that on my resume, but, um, there is the matter of a few of my in-laws and a former office supervisor in Tokyo. They might spill the beans. Maybe if I changed 'genuinely' to 'generally' and added a few disclaimers?

But thank you! Too bad you're not one of my in-laws...