Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Coloring outside the Lines

I guess I’m just one of those people that as a child I always colored inside the lines of my coloring book. I tried very hard not to let my crayon make any kind of mark beyond the lines. This could be more telling about my personality than I had realized before. As a child I pretty much obeyed rules that were set down by my elders and wasn’t easily swayed by the cliques in school that always seemed to be pushing the limits. Pretty boring kid, huh? I am not saying I was a saint, mind you, otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten an “A” in cathechism class with a “B” in conduct! Probably from talking too much.

I think many people that grew up in New Jersey had blank sheets of paper for coloring on instead of a coloring book with carefully drawn lines. Why, you ask? Because they like to drive over the lines clearly painted to designate my side of the road vs their side of the road. More often than not, they’ll have their wheels either right smack in the middle, or just over the line into my side. The first few times this happened I would grumble “stay on your side!” and continue to complain to Rick about their driving habits. He looked at me and asked me if I had never colored outside the lines. You know, he said, some people just color differently. Hence, my title. It got me to thinking that it would make a great personality/temperament test to sit people down with a coloring book and crayons and see what happens.

I would not think about taking up more than my fair share of the road. Obviously this does not enter into their realm of thought. But what happens when two people “coloring outside the lines” meet in the middle because neither one can keep to their own side? Some drivers hog the road more than others and you never know who you’re going to meet coming around a corner on narrow, twisty roads. Maybe I’m thinking a little deep here this morning, but this could apply to more than just driving.

So far, so good. I’ve learned to stay well onto my side just in case. Let them color as they choose as long as no one gets hurt. Who am I to judge? Maybe I’ll learn to color outside the lines too. Hmm…maybe not. Well, maybe just a little.

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