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It’s not often that another’s Facebook Status stops me in mid scroll but there is was… a small lovely little word that just hopped right off the screen and halted all reading mid track.  The word was Aplomb.  The comment was simply about the roles of a specific actress regarding a particular movie:  “I’m a great fan of people playing lots of characters which she does with great aplomb.”

This single word upturned my mouth into a full inquisitive smile that rolled into a veritable oooooow!.  What on earth is that gorgeous looking word and what lovely thing does it mean.

It could have meant a cow’s excrement for all I cared.  It still would have been a beautiful looking word. I delightfully headed over to my dictionary with bated breath and behold, it means, (what everyone else on the planet already knows), imperturbable self-possession, poise, and with great assurance.

Part of me was a bit shell shocked, I mean this is a basic vocabulary term that has a lovely coddled shape and hum that rolls sensually around the mouth.  I didn’t even need to know what it meant before falling for it.  Why isn’t everyone using it? Perhaps they are and I simply haven’t noticed.

Now, before you say, egads how can she be unaware of simple this word?!!!  I know… trust me, I know.  Well, I can’t say I’ve ever seen it spelled out before.  Being entirely dyslexic might have something to do with it, but frankly I think I just haven’t seen it. Couldn’t tell you.  All I know is that the word has so many qualities from a simple aesthetic standpoint that I was simply gobsmacked.  On top of things, aplomb is like a combination of what an orange and wood would taste like together.

It wasn’t long after responding, “I haven’t seen the movie yet but just want to look up the word “aplomb” : ), ”  before I felt like a complete idiot.  I felt like I’d just come across the word vanilla and publicly jumped for joy before sitting back down and quietly saying… oh… right, basic word.  I’ll just make myself invisible over here. All the while still privately jumping about, because it’s an awesome word!  : ) That has been one of those rarely felt downsides of my life.  Whether or not my knowledge of the English language appears happenstance or not, being dyslexic has the unfortunate side effect of making one fell rather nakedly stupid in a crowded room.

I live in two worlds that rarely ever merge and couldn’t be further apart.  One is dyslexic and fumbling and the other processes everything through a sharp as tack 165 IQ which allows me to spin ideas about with lightning speed and with endless possibilities, but don’t ask me to spell them.  It’s what has taken me through academia despite my grammar problems.  It’s just a more private world that can’t always be communicated.  My husband once said, It’s like being married to a genius who can’t tie her shoes.”  Unfortunately everyone else easily ties their shoes.

I get excited about little things like this word because I come pre-encouraged about the world and love those unexpected nuggets of really interesting and novel knowledge.  I love to learn.  But this is often offset by that sad little underbelly reminding me of my intellectual faults, which have a sting to them when you are dyslexic and they are publicly apparent.

So after feeling like a dunce I thought well, I love this word and I may as well enjoy it despite what the world must think of me.    So it’s today’s drawing!  Well I’m enjoying it anyway and that’s all that matters. : )  Aplomb.  It still looks lovely in text, doesn’t it?  What a great shape.  I just want to taste that word!

The drawing is of a man who strides forth with great aplomb.  He is offset on the right by my little face being a bit sad-sack that I didn’t know this word before: the dualities of the day.  For those of you who are surprised by my reaction to this little incident, well, meet my underbelly’s soft spot.

Aplomb © Britt Conley


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