Tuesday, September 19, 2006

To Think That I Saw it On Mulberry Street!

Lately, we've spent a lot of time holding campaign signs, and have generally been received well. Lots of waves, honks and smiles. There have been a few, however, that have stood out above the rest.

First, there are the kissers. Yes, there are actually dudes who will blow kisses. Usually these types are oily 60 year old men or 21 year old guys with thinning sideways mohawks.

This next category consists of salesmen and perky cheerleaders. How do I know how to identify these people, you ask? Well, the friendliest men in business suits are usually salesmen, and the only remotely friendly high school girls out there are perky cheerleaders (not to be confused with drama queen cheerleaders--they're not friendly at all!). This is one of my favorite categories, simply because they are the most likely to make a hilarious face, scream, hang out the window, honk, and wave, all at once.

There was one dude whose horn made the "Ah-Woo-Gah" sound. We laughed pretty hard the first time we heard it, but what made us laugh harder was when he went around the other way just to honk again.

Then there was the teen guy in a jeep who honked, and then lifted up some microphone attached to outside speakers, (I kid you not!) and said "Hi!" Mom and I stared as he went by, numbly waving. A minute later, we turned to each other, trying to affirm that we'd really seen that.

One lady kept mouthing things that I couldn't quite lip-read. At one point, I thought she said either, "I want a cheese sandwich" or "Those are the guys to go with." Then one day we saw her at a sale and she said, "I've seen you waving signs! I just moved here and I already know someone!" I thought that was pretty funny, and asked her what she'd been saying all those times she'd passed us by. She said that it was, "Are you still out here?"

One guy leaned out his window, just as we were about to call it a day, and yelled, "Go Home!" That was pretty amusing.

Then there was the dog in the motorhome. Somebody had a Rottweiler on their lap, and as they approached, it leaned out the window. Well, I thought that was sweet, and started to say so. As it passed me, however, the Rottie let out a huge, "I'll-snap-your-head-off" bark. I'm not usually one to get scared, but for some reason, this made me yelp. I'm serious. It caught me so off guard, I could not move. After I finally got back to normal, I couldn't stop laughing. It was such a weird experience.

At one point, my friends Erik & Sarah drove by and got stuck in traffic near the spot we were standing. We had a fairly long conversation about The Amazing Race until they could go again. We've seen several people we know, which has been lots of fun. One lady from church likes to make faces at us. She's the only one who has (consciously) stuck her tongue out at us. All in good fun, of course...I hope.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

It Don't Cost a Thing

Mom and I were given Starbucks cards and decided to use them yesterday while we were out. We decided to treat ourselves to the first pumpkin drinks of fall. She got her frapp, and I got my latte--both laced with pumpkin spice goodness. Now, I know that this may not sound like a big deal to all of you spring fans, but for a fall-enjoyer like me, this was glory.

Moving on. On our way to the car, I was telling Mom about an experience when my grandmother and I had been out somewhere and were just being friendly to a lady and her little boy, and she'd completely snubbed us. I remember my grandmother remarking on how unfriendly some people are, when being civil doesn't cost a thing.

So I was relating all this to Mom, because we'd just had a similar experience in line. I looked down at my cup, and instead of the usual heresy or hippie incoherence, I found "The Way I See It, #141." Now, this very well may be the first Starbucks cup I've gotten with any thing sensible written on it, other than the usual "Careful, the beverage you're about to enjoy is extremely hot" warning that is usually there. Anyhoo.

"The Way I See it, #141" said this:

I used to feel so alone in the city. All those gazillions of people and then me, on the outside. Because how do you meet a new person? I was very stumped by this for many years. And then I realized, you just say, “Hi.” They may ignore you. Or you may marry them. And that possibility is worth that one word.

-- Augusten Burroughs, Author of Running with Scissors.

I thought, how interesting that is. A simple greeting and a smile don't cost anything--there's no risk involved. If people ignore you, it doesn't really matter. But then again, it could be that the other person will be friendly. Maybe you'll learn something, receive a smile back, simply brighten their day, maybe even gain a friend. As this author points out, however unlikely it may seem, you could possibly find a friend for life! I really enjoy these everyday encounters with people I don't know. It's like having a window into the personalities of people you could easily gloss over. It's one of my favorite parts of everyday errand-running, when a perfect stranger can carry on an interesting conversation in the checkout line. Except when it's a desperate twenty-something guy with a bunch of beer talking about how single he is.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Walking Around

Since our three Japanese exchange students left last Monday, we have had a bit more time. One thing that went by the wayside during their visit was regular exercise. Mom and I have been trying to exercise more throughout this past year, and our cul-de-sac has been a major help toward that end. Mom and I often walk around the cul-de-sac several times in a day. We've counted, and it turns out that one time around the cul-de-sac equals 500 steps. (And I've heard 10,000 steps a day is recommended.) I may have already blogged about our tendancy to do this, but I can't remember.

Anyway, I am happy to have exercise time back, although it was good to have the girls here for the month. Mom actually went around a couple of times with Tim this morning, until he got tired of it, and they went inside. Then, tonight, Mom and I went around eight times and Tim joined us for the last two. We've been trying to boost the number of times that we go around, and we've been going for a goal of eight a day. We were just discussing tonight the idea of each week, adding one round to the daily goal. So next week we'd be doing nine a day. I'm excited about getting more healthy in that area. I like walking, and I like all the conversation that comes with walking with my family.

Monday, September 04, 2006

A So-So Spouse, Who Can Find? Well, Uh, Anyone...

My mom just recently talked with a guy who was talking about how he's hoping to find a wife soon, and she asked him what his criteria were for finding a wife. "A sense of humor" was top on his list. After he expounded upon his short list of "qualities," Mom replied, "None of those had anything to do with being a Christian. Why was that not a priority?" He said, "Because with me, there's a 99% chance that she'd have to be a Christian anyway." Mom asked, "Well, what about the other 1% chance?" He made it plain that he thought he might find a nice girl who wasn't a believer.

I thought that was pretty interesting. How specific would you be in the qualities a future spouse would have to possess? It's an important thing to consider. While nobody is going to be perfect, there should be some non-negotiables. There are plenty of unsaved people who have a sense of humor. And there are lots of immature, selfish believers. I'm trying to become less that way! :) But seriously, it is way too easy to become desperate. God brings the right people into our lives without us settling for somebody who is ungodly.

I'm kind of amazed at how many times in public, guys will flirt with me or my friends, trying to get a response. The only reason they would do that is because it must work! Not with me or my group, but with the kind of girls that they usually encounter. It is seriously sickening how many times a guy will try to get eye contact. Why in the stink would any girl fall for that? I think a big part of that reasoning is that they feel very incomplete. All the more reason for us to find our sufficiency in Christ!