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Making Yourself More Interesting: Speaking of Butts…Tip # 6

August 18, 2011

Speaking of butts, my Granddaddy always had a cigar in his mouth. He was born around the turn of the century—I think just before the turn of the 19th century, 1898? He survived the Great Depression, never finished grade school and never experienced what anyone would describe as great success—at anything—except, probably, at just enjoying life. My fondest memory of him was seeing him sitting at his old typewriter dressed in his work trousers and a tank-top T-shirt, pecking out a note to himself or to a friend. I didn’t think he was particularly handsome, he was certainly not well-educated or extremely articulate, although he did communicate his message very well, often in colorful language I won’t repeat, but never used bad words in public. He was not what one would call a gentleman in his private life. I watched him spit straight on the floor many times. If he needed a place to hang his pants, he would just hammer a nail in the nearest wall. He slept every day during the heat of the day and never started his business day before about 3:00 o’clock. He had many bad habits and could be pretty difficult for my Grandmother to live with most of the time. That’s just the way he was. But the public perception of him was quite different. He never left the house for town without neatly pressed pants, a clean white shirt, his “Fedora” cocked just so on his head, and a large leather-bound binder thick with client profiles under his arm. People who met him on the street thought he was a rich tycoon. He was once mistaken for being an FBI agent. Young women often flirted with him at the grocery store and he was allegedly quite a ladies’ man. He, more than anyone I have ever known, was masterful at making himself interesting, attracting friends and, to some extent, prosperity. Were he still alive today, I’m sure he would be just as mysterious and interesting; and, given the opportunities we have today, prosperous—if that’s what he wanted to be. But prosperity was never number one on his list. Fishing was.

He was fondly known by hundreds of people all over Central Alabama as the “policy man” for his work selling burial insurance—an interesting story in and of itself. I learned from him. When I started a solo-law-practice many years ago, I always looked my best and carried a folder with me wherever I went, lest people think I had no business (which I usually didn’t). One day a lady at the Circuit Clerk’s office asked me what was in that important folder and I had to confess that it was empty, that I just needed to appear to be working on something. She laughed at me and shared this story with the other ladies working at the court house. Soon, they were referring cases to me. In my vulnerability I had made myself interesting and it led to work. Interesting people are honest with themselves and others. (6) Don’t be afraid to make yourself vulnerable.

How have you made yourself more interesting by making yourself more vulnerable?

If you have missed earlier posts, click here.  Next post: Show Some Respect!


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  1. Paw Paw was definitely interesting! Great blog by the way Mr. B.

  2. Dan Sherling permalink

    I really enjoyed the above posting about your Granddad. He sounds pretty darn interesting from your description. He was not only an interesting fellow, he was genuine! God bless him! I also like the story about your empty folder. When I worked at U.S. Pipe I always grabbed a handful of paperwork and walked briskly with an expression of determination down the hallway to the “break room”. That was my method for enjoying an uninterrupted soft drink and snack! Worked like a charm.

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