Irregardless [isn’t a word]

I keep a small notebook on my nightstand for writing things down that cross my mind when I’m either in bed, getting ready for bed, or when I awake in the middle of the night with some prophetic dream for the nations. While that last one doesn’t really happen too often, the first 2 do–and I want to be ready. I enjoy blogging, and I must confess that I don’t want even one would-be blog to slip through the teeth of my steel trap memory…which rusted open long ago.

Last night as I was pacing back and forth across my room (while my wife asked why I was pacing), I decided to write something down in that little notebook. This morning I was trying to remember what it was. I just walked upstairs to my nightstand and read these words: “Irregardless is not a word.”

Wow, isn’t that revolutionary? Isn’t your day complete? Can’t we all hold hands and sing Amy Grant classics? Let’s close in prayer.

Just kidding. Why would I write that, and moreover, what would have been going through my head that would make me think that such a statement is memorable, or even substantial enough to build anything on? I’m going to retrace my cerebral steps and see if I can piece together just how I got to “Irregardless is not a word.”

We just got back yesterday from a 10-day vacation. We spent a week at a rented beach house on Anna Maria Island in the Gulf of Mexico. It was amazingly wonderful. We essentially did nothing for 7 days straight. Our biggest decision at any moment was “pool or beach?”

And of course, we snapped lots of pictures. Unfortunately I ended up in several of them. So what? Well, you must understand that when I see a picture of myself, I get vantage points that the mirror over the bathroom sink doesn’t offer me. And to put it succintly, I’m going bald. When I look straight on in the mirror, all is well (well, comparatively speaking). But when I get that rare shot from the back, or top, it becomes quite obvious that all is indeed not well. Additionally, I’m out of shape. If my bathroom scale is right, and the scale at the doctor’s office I stepped on last night is right, I put on about 10 pounds in those 10 days.

And you can call it vanity. Go right ahead. You’re entitled. But to me, the primary issue isn’t the hair. I’ve always had as my plan to shave my head bald when I reached the tipping point. And when I say bald, I mean Mr. Clean bald. I mean shiny head bald. I mean not a speck of hair bald. The problem? Well, I’m not in great shape. At least, not in my opinion. And in order to really pull off a good bald head look, it really helps to be in good shape.

And did I mention that one of my many nicknames in high school was “Lumpy”? Its because my head has hills and valleys and lumps in it that my thinning hair hides. Feel the right side of my head and no joke you’ll swear there’s a volcano on my head.

And to me, I’d like for “bald” and “out of shape” to stay away from each other. For me, they don’t go together, like “ir” and “less” as in “irregardless”. It’s what smart people call a “nonstandard” word. It’s a word that is formed when people mistakenly combine “irrespective” with “regardless”. You see, some things just don’t go together.

The next (more spiritual) step I’ll take in retracing my steps is one that I’ll save for next time. I’ve really got to get better at writing shorter blogs. For the one of you that is still reading this one, I’d like to say thanks and I’ll continue the thought in my next post.

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