Tuesday, August 24, 2010

There's something a little fishy

It's our living room! Meet our newest creatures, who shall, for now, remain nameless. Mostly because they, um, don't have any names.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Speaka ze English?

There's been a lot of talk lately about immigrants needing to learn English. I don't really understand all the hubbub myself. When I'm in a foreign country I find it helpful to have my English-speaking-only self accommodated with a few signs and instructions in my language. So, I don't really mind being instructed to "pulse dos para espanol" when I make a phone call.

In fact, lately I've had a couple of encounters that have confirmed my long-held suspicion that it is not foreigners or immigrants who need help with the English language. It's salespeople and other customer service employees. I think we need a special button for them to press because I do not think we are speaking the same language.

I submit as evidence thereof the following two "conversations:"

Saturday, August 21, 2010 in the hair salon at Walmart:

Sales Girl: Can I help you?
Me: Yes, I'm looking for shampoo without sulfates.
SG: Without what?
Me: Sulfates. I had this crazy expensive keratin protein treatment put on my hair and was told to use only sulfate-free shampoo.
SG: Oh, well, let's see.

We peruse the shelves before finally finding one on the last set of shelves in the salon.

Me: Oh good, it's buy one get one half-off.
SG: No, it's not.
Me: But there's a sign on the shelf that says, "All Pure Results products, Buy One Get One 50% off"
SG: That's only for the products.
Me: Right, the Pure Results products. That's what this is.
SG: No, shampoo is not a product.
Me: Huh?
SG: It doesn't apply to the shampoo and conditioner.
Me: But it's hanging on the shelf that contains nothing but shampoo and conditioner. And they are both Pure Results.
SG: We can put the sign on any shelf we want. Shampoo and conditioner are not products.
Me: Do you know what "product" means?
SG: Product means things like gel and mousse and such.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 in the Atlanta Airport:

Scene: waiting for the train that carries passengers between terminals and the baggage claim area. Said train normally arrives every 90 seconds, and there is a little digital countdown clock that says how long until the next train. On this particular day, the clock keeps going higher (longer wait) every time it gets under 2 minutes. After standing and watching the countdown clock go up and down for about 4 or 5 minutes, I decide to ask the "attendant" sitting at a little attendant stand nearby if he knew what was going on.

Me: Are the trains not running?
Airport guy: The trains are running.
Me: Do you know how long until the next train gets here because the clock keeps changing?
AG: It'll be here soon.
Me: Don't they normally come every couple of minutes?
AG: It comes every 90 seconds.
Me: But, it's been about five minutes. Do you know what's wrong?
AG: Nothing's wrong with the trains.
Me: Well, do you have any idea when a train might actually come?
AG: The train comes every 90 seconds.

So, I am considering launching some sort of initiative for salesperson language training. Or at least a button I can press when I speak to them so that we are both using the same language.

Maybe "Press two for idiot?"

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Good Things

I love these kids. Sometimes I look at them, especially the three on the end, and my heart is so full it could burst.

This is it, I think to myself. This is what life is all about. Could there be anything better?

The answer to that is yes. There is something much better. Someone at least.

I find that I'm often satisfied with the things this life has to offer. Friends, family, food, laughter, beaches, campfires, sunsets, music, love. There are so many good things in this life I'm living that it's sometimes easy to be satisfied with the earthly version of God's good gifts.

I'm reminded of taking my boys to play games at the arcade when they were preschoolers. I didn't even have to put quarters in because they were content to steer and maneuver while the game was in demo mode. The glaring, all-caps "Please Insert Token" didn't diminish their enjoyment in the slightest.

They were completely satisfied with a fake game, never even knowing that there was a "real" version.

God has filled the world with His goodness, surrounded us with glimpses of Himself. When I stop and think about it, most everything good in life can be seen sort of as a "fake" version of the "real" good thing - the ONLY good thing - God.

We build friendships and learn that there is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother.

We fall in love and get married and realize we have a Bridegroom who loves us with an everlasting love.

We become parents and know the depth of a Father's love more fully than ever.

We create and get a glimpse of a Creator's heart.

What the Holy Spirit has been prompting me to remember lately is that the things God has given us, the oh-so-good things with which He has surrounded us, were never meant to satisfy. They were meant to make me hunger for the Giver of all good things.

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." (Romans 1:20-21)

May I never be satisfied with the gifts but treasure them as merciful glimpses of a good and gracious Giver.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Morning Checklist

1. Daughter up all night with a sore throat I hope is not strep . . . check
2. Dining room table full of breakfast dishes I don’t have time to clean up . . . check
3. Front porch (carpeted) full of nasty smelling water and dead crayfish my son knocked over this morning . . . and which I do not have time to clean up . . . check
4. Purse full of giant plastic motorcycles and horses keeping me from being able to find my freakin’ keys . . . check
5. Headache . . . double check