There’s a common social conundrum that produces tension in my life, and I think it’s hilarious. I’m gonna call it “Community Grooming.”
Each new day presents potential grooming land mines – eye matter, clingy dryer sheets, eye lashes on cheeks, mismatched socks, dry skin, open zippers, clothes tags, boogies – fun stuff like that. Some struggle with these more than others. Honestly, I’m a mess – it takes a village to keep me presentable. I once went to work in my slippers.
There are two types of people – those who point out these imperfections, and those who don’t. I’ve got a friend who fixes my face every time she sees me. Others will spend the entire day with me and say nothing – if I were pantless they’d probably compliment me on my shirt.
So who is correct, the informers or the ignorers? When I observe a hygiene flaw in another, should I speak up? I find myself falling into the ‘informers’ group, but there are some non-negotiable exceptions:
– It is something they cannot change. Hair is permanent, and beauty marks do not rub off. I know, I’ve tried.
– I don’t know the person. That’s just weird.
– It involves teeth and there is no mirror. They will pick at it until their gums bleed, but that piece of peppercorn is not going to budge.
I’ve heard that cleanliness is next to godliness, but I wonder….. When Jesus walked the earth, perhaps his disciples ensured his tunic was securely tied before he addressed the crowds. Or maybe they informed him of his wine mustache before he spoke in the temple. If God incarnate experienced Community Grooming, I don’t need to feel bad about that button hole I missed or that mismatched earring. It’s part of the human experience, and it’s hilarious.
If I point out a grooming deficiency to you, know that I love you too much to let you go through your day with that piece of fuzz on your lip. And if it’s a beauty mark, I apologize. It takes an army to keep me together – I’m just trying to return the favor. Unless it involves your teeth – then you’re on your own.