During the process of looking for a lost puzzle piece, I discovered that it was a horrible dusty mess under my big king-sized bed. I often neglect that area since it is very hard to clean. So, it was high time to do a deep clean. I pulled out the bed enough to do a decent job and decided to start by using the vacuum cleaner. We do not have carpet, so I thought that the attachment hose would be best for that area. As I started my big job, I noticed there wasn’t much suction. It took me several minutes of shaking and blowing in the hose when finally, whatever it was came loose. I was then able to shake it down through the hose revealing itself through the bottom hole. It wasn’t a chunk of dusty goo like I expected, it was a flashlight! Now, if a flashlight can get stuck in a vacuum tube, what creative and most outrageous place can a missing puzzle piece be?
…you have a huge urge to read the subtitles in the movie Avitar to your spouse, and there are no children around!
…you announce to the adults around you that you need to go potty.
…you respond to a stranger’s child calling for Mom in public, and your own are not even with you.
…you notice a shift in your thought process from when in childless years a screaming kid in public would spark the thought of: “someone shut that kid up” to the present: “I feel so sorry for the parent of that screaming child”.
…you notice yourself gently rocking back and forth and you don’t even have a baby in your arms.
…your children’s wardrobes are way better than your own.
…when you don’t even remember what a clean house is anymore.
…your car’s floor is covered with cheerios and juice box straws.
…you keep calling your spouse, “kiddo” by accident.
…when you have to use all the energy you’ve got to resist telling your friends about the most exciting news…how your kid pooped in the toilet yesterday!
…you still talk out loud while driving, even when the kids are not there. Thanks to bluetooth technology, the public will never know the truth, that you are actually crazy and that your kids drove you there.
I have a very good friend who passes along canned e-mails. I am one who actually enjoys them, especially since she tends to pass along those that are inspirational or have some valuable life lesson. One of her last e-mails just about floored me and had me thinking for days. You may have seen it. It was about a street violinist playing in a busy subway. The e-mail cataloged his hour that he played. He had very few people stop and enjoy him. After his hour playing he earned $32. And when he was done, nobody seemed to notice, nobody applauded.
So the point here is that this was no ordinary street musician. The man was Joshua Bell, a well known violinist. He was playing a violin that was worth millions of dollars. The kicker for me was that two days prior to his subway gig, he had performed at a sold out show in Boston where the average ticket cost $100! The whole situation was a setup or rather, an “experiment” by a newspaper. Whether this story is true or not, for me, the moral is very important. There were several theories about why the people in the subway treated him differently there, than when he was in his up-scale lifestyle. I am willing to bet however, that a huge factor was class stereotyping. People don’t expect a famous well-to-do person to perform in the low-class’ stage known as the dirty subway.
Even though I try very hard not to stereotype, I know I do it to some extent. I remember watching a similar experiment on TV years ago. I was so embarrassed with my reaction. They had a young man dressed in tattered, baggy, grungy clothes. The audience’s task was to think about how we felt about that person. The next scene was a clean-cut man dressed in a business suit with a nice briefcase. Again, the task was to think about the man. It turned out that the two men were actually one in the same, just wearing very different outfits. The quick experiment worked on me. I viewed the first guy as a thug, and the second as a safe, good guy. I was left astounded with myself. How could have I felt that way? How on earth did I become so shallow?
I think that it is human nature to judge people a little bit, but the lesson here is that we should think before we judge people by just their looks. Really, when you think of it, we are all the same. We are all human. It doesn’t matter if we choose to wear wierd clothes, sport strange haircuts, and are not elite business people because deep down, we are all one of the same… just like the man in the TV experiment.
The other day, as I drove through the countryside I spotted a coyote. I was so thrilled and honored to see wildlife that I was not accustomed to. I took pleasure in seeing the creature roam so closely to the road as I sat all safe and secure in my protective metal shell. As I shared my little slice of pleasure of the day, I realized that there are plenty of people out there who don’t share my excitement… mainly (I assume) the area’s cattle farmers.
I often take pleasure in things that would typically irritate normal people. I’m not sure why, but as the new popular phrase goes, “it is what it is”. I started thinking about what some of those irritating things are, and here’s what I could come up with, which I am sure it’s just a small fraction of my irritations:
- The biggest one is snow. I LOVE the ice and snow. I know that there is a battle out there, between the bigger, stronger Hot-Weather team and my team, the Cold-Snow team.
- I love garlic. That may not sound so irritating, but when it comes to pickled garlic, Russian style, well, lets say I know a few people who don’t appreciate me when I eat the pungent morsels of goodness.
- I love watching the squirrels at a rest stop on our way to the valley… some people can’t stand the rodents.
- Due to my upbringing in New Zealand, I happen to enjoy Vegemite. In case my American readers don’t know what it is, it’s a yeasty, salty, black paste that can be spread on bread or toast and is often a breakfast or lunch food Down Under. Most Americans that I have met can’t stand the stuff. When I want my husband to give me a bit of breathing room, I go and eat the yummy black goo. It works every time.
- I love, love, love, loud, fast tempo music full of bass. There’s something about the energy it creates. I have been told in the past that I was wierd because normally females like quiet, slow, sappy love songs. Not this one, that’s for sure!
- I think it is absolutely wonderful that we have deer roaming our neighborhood and we even have some that actually bed down in our yard. I know for a fact that there are people in our town that would sadly love to see them gone.
- My secret pleasure is to fill a mug with chocolate cake, then drench it with cold milk, making it a pile of delectable chocolatey goo. Mmmm. Some say that is simply gross.
So this is a warning. If you find any of these offensive, look out… I may be nearby and my freak flag will be flying, and it may cause you some irritation.