This is my post in a Mystery Topic Challenge. I’ve never done anything like this, so please, everyone, be gentle.
This is the assignment: You have a t shirt. You have to wear it all day, every day. It has one word about you, describing you in some way, written on it. It is from this word that strangers and friends draw their conclusions about you. What is your word, and why?
The word on my t-shirt is “rare.”
I choose it for three reasons: It is a small word, but it can have a big impact. It is also ambiguous.
Rare can be extraordinary and exceptional—a rare book, a perfect diamond, a full rainbow, a meteor shower, a total eclipse, an honest political candidate
Rare can also be abnormal, odd, or weird—a tsunami, a volcano eruption, a plague of locusts, a meteor hitting the earth, a snowball in hell, a porpoise on a unicycle
Or it can be merely unusual—a news day without Britney.
Even a day can be rare. James Russell Lowell asked, “And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days…”
We protect rare species of wildlife and rare breeds of dogs. We laugh at the rare joke we haven’t heard before. We can order a steak rare and it will not be overdone.
And so I choose to live with the word rare on my t-shirt. People who know me will interpret it in their own way. People I don’t know can get to know me—because I don’t like to talk about myself.
And that is kind of rare.