Monday, December 15, 2008

My Dumbo Complex

Ok...this is hard for me to talk about. I have an issue that I like to call my "Dumbo Complex." My friends know all about it, my husband provokes it (he thinks he's cute), my kids (at least Bryanna) think it's funny, but I live in fear. I beg you not to laugh, although I'm sure you will.

I have big ears. No, let me rephrase. My ears are not necessarily large - they're probably no bigger than yours - but they stick out like two antlers on a young buck. Drama Queen I am not!

I was completely oblivious to this extreme until somewhere around 2nd grade. We were watching a video during class and my little girl friend who was playing with my hair said "You're ears are huge!" The whole class giggled. Thus began my "Dumbo Complex."

From that day forward, I never once wore my hair up in a pony tail. Arguments ensued between my Mom and I as she tried to sneak in pig tails and braids and bows and clips. During Jr. High and High School, I didn't have the option of a bad hair day. I made sure to rise early every morning so that I could shower and blow dry my hair. As if my dumbo ears weren't enough, I was also blessed with thin, baby fine hair, forcing me to try every hair style under the sun to hide my ears by adding volume to my hair.

Since hitting my early 20's (I would say 23+) I've began to relax about it. I wear my hair up often while in the privacy of my home and occasionally I even step outside, into the grocery store or into a restaurant in a high pony tail with sweeping bangs. But I'm still severely conscious of stares and whispers - convinced without a doubt that they are all about me and my ears!

I like to think that I'm an attractive woman. I'm petite but curvy, baby blue eyes, hair so naturally blond I've had hair stylists refuse to dye it...but I still feel the need to compensate. I feel myself climb into a shell when I'm out with my husband, my ears are dragging the floor behind me. I actually feel bad that he has to be seen in public with me and my two appendages. So if I happen to leave home with my hair up, I usually wear full eyeliner, blush, glossy lips, etc. Nothing hooker-ish, but enough to make a good attempt at re-directing attention to my face, rather than my satellites!

Funny story (sort of): While I was pregnant with Bryanna, I was an hour from cesarean and the nurse came in with a portable ultra sound to make sure my baby girl was still breech. She scanned over Bryanna's butt nestled tightly under my pelvic bone and then up to her little peanut head jammed under my ribs. I heard my nurse giggle as she looked at the screen and then at me and proclaimed "Look, she's got some earns on her!"

*sigh* You've guessed it - my kiddos both inherited the ONE GENE I prayed would skip over them. Luckily, they are still much too young to be bothered by their ears. I'm sure it won't take long though. My hottie loves to grab Bryanna's ears and tell her to "Fly away!" If he only knew the insecurities it causes... I try to protect Bryanna, but I wonder if it will ever be enough!

Today was Izaiah's 1 year well baby check-up and my lack of sleep gave way to laziness this morning. So I threw my hair in a pony tail and made sure my face was as beautiful as I could make it before loading the "chirrens" in the car and heading to the Pediatrician. Oh the innocence of babies. While waiting to be called back, a mother and her son walked through the waiting area, headed toward immunizations. I heard the cutie whisper "Mommy, look at her ears." I felt his Mom grab his jacket and begin the 'how-embarrassing-I-don't-know-how-to-answer-him' drag.

It takes me a while to recover from these incidents. I keep telling myself not to give in to my temptations to hide, for my own children's sake. I want Bryanna and Izaiah to grow up confident - knowing that they are more than their ears, or a freckle, or a scar. I still think I'll be up early to fix my hair for the next few days, at least.

This is my life as a Mommy in Jeans and High Heels (and Dumbo ears)! *MUAH*


  1. The moral of the story (Dumbo) was just what you said. You are MUCH more than the sum of any one(or two) parts. Every person has their body flaw....don't you fool yourself. Keep your head up and ears out!! Just giggle about it. And you will set the tone for them, your kiddos...if they do not see insecurity attached to you about your ears they will handle it better and the peers comments will affect them less than it affected you. You managed to nab your hottie, big ears and all, and he love em', so what's the big deal?(no pun intended.

  2. see my feet!!! I have caught all kinds of hell for these babies!!! You I could hang from tree branches with my toes or I could be found on the beach...follow my footprints...HA!!! It IS pretty 45, I sure do not care...I have tons more to worry about! (I know, I am also the two comment queen!'s just a tick, the doc says not to worry, wink!)

  3. Girl make those ears work for you. WIll Smith did. He is a megastar. You are too! Flaunt your ears proudly.

  4. My daughter inherited the ear trait from her dad. Her ears stick out like a sore thumb. That's why I am so glad that she is a girl. I just let her hair grow long and she has worn it that way ever since. She just covers them up and never wears her hair in a pony tail except in private. She has a "Dumbo" complex also.

    We laughed together driving in the car as we were following my ex on the way back from a function, when my daughter pointed out from the back he looked like he had on Mickey Mouse ears.

    Thanks for the comment love on my SITS FB day.