I assisted my fraternity brothers from USC in establishing a colony at Arizona State University. Somewhere between the pomp and ceremony, I found time to get myself into trouble. The short of the story is that I ended up sporting a cuff on my ear. I really cannot tell you why because I can’t remember. Lost somewhere was most likely brains as I got caught up in pride. It was an interesting social experiment for a few weeks.
I stood out in the ag classes back on the Cal Poly campus in San Luis Obispo. One would have thought that a 3/8-inch band of gold encircling the midriff of your left ear was no big deal. It invited quite the reactions, especially from one of my professors. He proceeded to do a double-take in the middle of his lecture, became a tad bit fixated with the scene and lost his train of thought. It took him a bit of doing to get back on track. What astounded me most was the number of conversations it struck up with members of the opposite sex. I was no Casanova at that time and the opportunities were good for my ego.
It was not too long before it was off my ear and permanently residing in my valet case along with my high school class ring and tie-clasps that I never wore. I hadn’t come home much at that point in my college days. San Luis was far enough away that I could make the drive home if need be and yet far enough to deter it. I flew from SLO into Sacramento for this trip (learned that if you gave up your seat because they’d over-booked, they would put you on the next flight out and comp you a ticket – I flew pretty much free for the remainder of my college days).
I shot down that escalator upon arrival with my carry on in tow and that ear cuff to experience a grand reunion with my Mom and grandmother. They felt a bite to eat was in order and who was I to argue over dinner. We did our catching up. They were all ears as I filled them in on my current activities. The cuff went without comment until the end of the evening when the elephant in the room was addressed. Our matriarch sweetly and simply put the issue to rest with the recommendation that the family was not quite ready for it.
That was good enough for me. Off it went and disappeared into my pocket later to be stashed in the valet.
Kind words make all the difference and our actions will always speak louder than the words. I vote for a return to the Golden Rule and loving our neighbors. And personally, get out in the sun and lungful that fresh air. ■