July 23rd, 2006

Bruce, Caroline

Just an update

I thought I'd diverge from the customery rant for a moment to give an actual update. You know, journal, update, they go together like a horse and carriage. I think that's how the song goes, anyway. Maybe it was horse and cart, I'm not sure. Ox and wagon? Oh well, whatever, Frank Sanatra was right.

The braille math course keeps on chugging along, as does my hatred of same. Yes, folks, hatred. Bitter, resentful, deep-seated, irreversible, irrefutable hatred. Bible says we're not to hate people, but it makes no mention of braille math courses.

Today was an unusual day, for a variety of reasons. Good thing is I finally did finish reading The Rapture by Lahaye and Jenkins. I'd been meaning to for some time now, and today I found the time.

Well, what else can I say? We have an awesome God, bottled water tastes better than tap water, I've got my laptop connected via an ethernet cable because I can't get it to recognize my wireless network, I despise alcohol, how it tastes and what it does to intelligent human beings, our football team is wonderful, Art Bell's back on the radio again, waiting for his next retirement show, we need rain badly, I hate those stupid "hands in my pocket" bank commercials, if we don't get a new Corner Gas episode on TV I'll be mad, and Coke Zero really isn't all that bad a drink. You're up-to-date.
  • Current Music
    That annoying "hands in my pockets" bank commercial
Bruce, Caroline

Guys Just Don't Get It

Much has been written, sung, and lamented on TV talk shows of the inexplicability of men to women.  Women don't understand our need for power tools, watching the game instead of a romantic moonlight stroll (through the shopping mall), cars and electronics, and gifts that actually do something besides sitting in a box and sparkling.  And I'll admit that there are many aspects of my fellow man that defy logic.  The fact is, though, we're not logical.  Men never have been, although we claim we are.

However, let it be said that, in differing though equally inexplicable ways, women defy logic too.  Ladies, we love you - I can't think of a single gender I'd rather date - but the fact is, there are many aspects of womankind that quite simply make no sense.   A few of these follow:

1. What's with the shoes?  Women are, for whatever reason, obsessed with shoes.   They can spend an entire afternoon checking out shoes, and coming home with way more shoes than they have feet.  They labor over choosing just which shoes they want to buy, this decision is absolutely everything to them, nothing else matters.  Then, every time they wear any pair of their new possessions, they go around saying, "I can't wait to get out of these shoes, my feet are killing me!".  Men, on the other hand, have this weird predisposition to comfort and functionality over stylishness and agony.

2. What's it like to go into the store "just in case I see something I want?"   I remember one time, before I was older and wiser, actually looking forward to going shopping with Virginia, a young lady-friend of mine.  I wanted a book on tape, she said she was looking for some things, so naive as I was, I anticipated the moment.  "What are you looking for?"  I asked.  "Oh, I don't know, let's stop in this store" - and the next one, and the next one, and the next one, until the entire mall had been gone over with a fine toothed purse - "in case I find something I wanted."  I'm glad I picked up my books first, or else I would have forgotten what I'd gone there for in the first place.

3. Why is it that when men lift weights and so on to build muscle it's vanity, but if women take every opportunity they have - in the bathroom at home, in the bathroom at work, in the bathroom at the restaurant, in the car in the middle of rush hour - to do their makeup, screaming in horror if their face isn't absolutely perfect, it's a necessity?   Why do men have the corner on the vanity market?  Why do women agonize over their appearance, then slap any poor, unsuspecting guy who compliments their looks?

4. Just what does "Well, if you don't know, I'm certainly not going to tell you" mean?  Is that something like the flashing 12 on a VCR or the "You can't miss it!" at the end of a set of instructions given by a farmer to a traveler from the city?  Or does it mean the same thing as when, after twenty-five years of marriage to your husband, trying to mold him into just the perfect spouse, you complain that he's not the man you married?

As I said, I fully realize that there is a great deal about men that makes absolutely no sense, but I wanted to take this opportunity to show just how truly equal men and women really are.  And it's great, for without the marvel of discovering, dealing with, accepting, and eventually loving the inexplicable, where's the mystery that keeps a relationship fresh?
  • Current Music
    Same Stupid Commercial
Bruce, Caroline

Lasting Impressions

Apparently, this particular drama team went around and did presentations forchurches and youth groups and the like.  In 1988, they stopped by my home town, and they were hosted by my church's youth group, in which I held a minor leadership position.  We were to present these people with a meal, and then be of whatever service we could to them in getting set up for their performance in one of the local schools.

Melanie, the young lady who sat across the table from me at dinner was extremely engaging.   I don't remember a thing about our conversation, but I do remember that not only was she willing to listen to the mindless ramblings of a dorky high school kid, but she left me with the impression that she was genuinely interested and genuinely enjoyed our conversation.

Since she wasn't involved in every skit during that evening's performance, Melanie was able to sit down frequently and during intermission.  She chose to spend much of this time with me, talking to me or describing to me what was going on on stage.  Her last words to me that evening, and ever, were words of encouragement.  I never saw her again.

I left the school with a heavy heart.  I felt that, in those three short hours, I had made a good friend.  I knew enough then already to realize that good friends aren't easy to come by and should be valued when they do.  I also knew that in all probability, I would never see her again.  In a very short time, one person had created an impression that has lasted eighteen years and shows no signs of diminishing.   I will always be grateful to her.

This whole incident begs a question.  What lasting impressions have I made?   How often have a few well-chosen or poorly-chosen words had a profound affect on someone I knew for only a short time?  If one person's kindness could have such a lasting effect, then it stands to reason that my attitude, my actions, my words, my deeds, could have an equally lasting impact on someone I might meet in passing.  I hope that the positive somehow manages to outweigh the negative, but, just as Melanie will probably never know the effect she had on me, I will probably never know the true effects of my interactions with others.
  • Current Music
    Will this commercial ever get out of my head?