Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday.


I've loved the "Roger and Elaine" story for a long time, but am just realizing it comes to us compliments of Dave Barry.

If you've ever dealt with anyone of the opposite gender, you may appreciate this:

Let's say a guy named Roger is attracted to a woman named Elaine. He asks her out to a movie; she accepts; they have a pretty good time. A few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves. They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither one of them is seeing anybody else.

And then, one evening when they're driving home, a thought occurs to Elaine, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: ''Do you realize that, as of tonight, we've been seeing each other for exactly six months?'' And then there is silence in the car. To Elaine, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: Geez, I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he's been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I'm trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn't want, or isn't sure of.

And Roger is thinking: Gosh. Six months.

And Elaine is thinking: But, hey, I'm not so sure I want this kind of relationship, some kind of obligation that he doesn't want, or isn't sure of either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I'd have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we are, moving steadily toward . . . I mean, where are we going? Are we just going to keep seeing each other at this level of intimacy? Are we heading toward marriage? Toward children? Toward a lifetime together? Am I ready for that level of commitment? Do I really even know this person?

And Roger is thinking: . . . so that means it was . . . let's see ....February when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer's, which means . . . lemme check the odometer . . .Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change here.

And Elaine is thinking: He's upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I'm reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more intimacy, more commitment; maybe he has sensed -- even before I sensed it -- that I was feeling some reservations. Yes, I bet that's it. That's why he's so reluctant to say anything about his own feelings. He's afraid of being rejected.

And Roger is thinking: And I'm gonna have them look at the transmission again. I don't care what those morons say, it's still not shifting right. And they better not try to blame it on the cold weather this time. What cold weather? It's 87 degrees out, and this thing is shifting like a garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent thieves $600.

And Elaine is thinking: He's angry. And I don't blame him. I'd be angry, too. Oh, I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can't help the way I feel. I'm just not sure.

And Roger is thinking: They'll probably say it's only a 90- day warranty. That's exactly what they're gonna say, the scumballs.

And Elaine is thinking: maybe I'm just too idealistic, waiting for a knight to come riding up on his white horse, when I'm sitting right next to a perfectly good person, a person I enjoy being with, a person I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about me. A person who is in pain because of my self-centered, schoolgirl romantic fantasy.

And Roger is thinking: Warranty? They want a warranty? I'll give them a goddamn warranty. I'll take their warranty and stick it right up their ....

''Roger,'' Elaine says aloud.

''What?'' says Roger, startled.

''Please don't torture yourself like this,'' she says, her eyes beginning to brim with tears. ''Maybe I should never have . . Oh God, I feel so . .... ''

(She breaks down, sobbing.)

''What?'' says Roger.

''I'm such a fool,'' Elaine sobs. ''I mean, I know there's no knight. I really know that. It's silly. There's no knight, and there's no horse.''

''There's no horse?'' says Roger.

''You think I'm a fool, don't you?'' Elaine says.

''No!'' says Roger, glad to finally know the correct answer.

''It's just that . . . It's that I . . . I need some time,'' Elaine says.

(There is a 15-second pause while Roger, thinking as fast as he can, tries to come up with a safe response. Finally he comes up with one that he thinks might work.)

''Yes,'' he says.

(Elaine, deeply moved, touches his hand.)

''Oh, Roger, do you really feel that way?'' she says.

''What way?'' says Roger.

''That way about time,'' says Elaine.

''Oh,'' says Roger. ''Yes.''

(Elaine turns to face him and gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say next, especially if it involves a horse. At last she speaks.)

''Thank you, Roger,'' she says.

''Thank you,'' says Roger.

Then he takes her home, and she lies on her bed, a conflicted, tortured soul, and weeps until dawn, whereas when Roger gets back to his place, he opens a bag of Doritos, turns on the TV, and immediately becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a tennis match between two Czechoslovakians he never heard of. A tiny voice in the far recesses of his mind tells him that something major was going on back there in the car, but he is pretty sure there is no way he would ever understand what, and so he figures it's better if he doesn't think about it. (This is also Roger's policy regarding world hunger.)

The next day Elaine will call her closest friend, or perhaps two of them, and they will talk about this situation for six straight hours. In painstaking detail, they will analyze everything she said and everything he said, going over it time and time again, exploring every word, expression, and gesture for nuances of meaning, considering every possible ramification. They will continue to discuss this subject, off and on, for weeks, maybe months, never reaching any definite conclusions, but never getting bored with it, either.

Meanwhile, Roger, while playing racquetball one day with a mutual friend of his and Elaine's, will pause just before serving, frown, and say:

''Norm, did Elaine ever own a horse?''

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Making Comfort.

I just had the most comfortable grocery shopping trip ever.

I tuned out grouchy customers, focused on only the items I needed, didn't have to deal with employees who didn't want to be there, and eliminated my typical wandering through ever growing aisles -- a really helpful facet when navigating with crutches.

I'm pretty sure I actually decreased stress during the time I spent on this task.

How, you ask?

By using!

I know I've blogged about this in relation to my foot issues before, but now that I'm restricted again, I'm starting to wonder why I don't save myself the hassle of the grocery store more often. The delivery fee is only $10. The prices are not higher than what I pay when I shop myself. Now, instant gratification is not a thing with; you do put in your order 24-48 hours in advance.   But I'd say that unless you are an extreme couponer who has to have your groceries the second you think of your list, you should give this a try.

If you are in Baton Rouge and try Valet Grocery for the first time and don't mind an extra step, please let them know I sent you by filling out the "how did you hear about Valet Grocery" with my name and email address.

Even if you don't do that, though, consider giving hassle-free grocery-making a shot. IMO, it's worth it.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Weird, tragic news always puts a clearer lens of appreciation on this beautifully boring life I lead.

One of the strangest feelings I can experience is to be shamefully grateful and sympathetically prayerful, all in the same breath. Yet here I am again.

May the Lord bless and keep us all, just as He was asked to do in Numbers 6. May He make His face to shine upon us and be gracious to us, even when we don't understand, and can't see clearly at all.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

5 Things I'm Thankful For (The Crutch Version).

The top five things I'm thankful for while on crutches are:

  1. Days when fire alarms don't go off. There's probably no real need to elaborate here.
  2. People who hold open doors. This is not a joke. Never underestimate the value of your kindness to a friend or a stranger. Crutch users get all kinds of cardio from merely walking down the hall, so it's super nice when able-bodied people take a few minutes and open what has suddenly turned into a really tedious door for them. I will forevermore go out of my way to do this for those who have found themselves to be handicapped, and if I don't, shame on me. 
  3. Sunny days. Many things do not mix well. Oil and water. Hair and food. My daddy and big cities. RAIN AND CRUTCHES. Also, apparently the world ends when water hits a cast? That said, I really don't think it's too much to ask the weather to work around my schedule for the next 8 weeks, do you?
  4. Bags. Pre-crutches, I had no idea how handy bags were. I mean, I thought I knew, but I really did not. Now I know. I get it. I really, really get it. Bag makers, you rock, and I love each and every one of you. 
  5. Kindness and consideration. See explanation beside #1. (I'm not being lazy. I genuinely mean this. Every smile and gesture is noted and appreciated.)