Friday, August 27, 2010

A Week in Review August 27

Hello! I'm adding the date in this week's header so that you'll know that this is a new entry, and not the same week in review that's been here for two weeks now. Where have I been? I don't know, but let's do A Week in Review

Osmond Mania
I’ve had a story to tell for more than a week and am just now getting to it! The Osmonds were at my store Saturday the 14th for a signing. No, not Donny and Marie, Jay and Wayne, who have both written books. And David Osmond came with them; he’s someone’s son (we still don’t know whose), and he’s recorded a new cd. My friend MH (initials) thinks that David is “dishy”, and I suppose she’s right.

The celebrities were scheduled to arrive at noon. Women started lining up at 10, right when we opened. I’ve seen these women before – in fact it was the last time we had Osmonds at the store. They stake their claims first in line, and then give instructions on how an Osmond event should be handled. You might think, at first, that they’re the group’s managers or at least family or friends, but who they really are are over-aged, crazed fans that’ve followed the Osmonds around since 1972, and that’s way too long. One woman actually brought photos of herself at other signings to share with Jay and Wayne. Another talked to our manager about a “gt” she’d just been to with Donny in Las Vegas. He didn’t know what a “gt” was. It’s a get together, of course. Oh yes, of course. He didn’t mention the fact that you have to buy tickets to those. She didn’t get a personal invitation.

By about 12:30 we had a group of 15-20 women swarming the table, and they stayed put for the full two hours. Really. It was nice to have people there (it’s always awkward when an artist comes in for a signing and then sits there with no one to talk to), but the same group for two hours? How crazy is that? Even after the Osmonds left they stayed – basking in the glow, I guess.

MH told me that morning that the cooperate office wanted us to take good care of David Osmond, and since she is in charge of these signings, she felt responsible for making his stay a pleasant one. She even made him a gift basket. I was working the back register while the celebrities and fans mingled, and she came back to tell me a story that started with, “So, I was feeding David Osmond a roll…”

“What?!” Followed by loud laughter for several minutes.

“No, I mean I was bringing him a roll.”

Still laughing, ten days later.

But it was a weird day. I wouldn’t have blamed her if she had started feeding him a roll. She would have fit right in with the crowd. By 2:00 we were all feeling a little weird and pretty creeped out. We just walked around in a daze wondering what kind of parallel universe, where the Osmonds are still super cool, we’d fallen in to. It was weird, and creepy. It’s a strange thing, celebrity. It makes people act in all kinds of strange ways, and I don’t really know why.

An Event of Another Kind
We had our annual summer social with the COB on Wednesday. It was very nice. MH (of roll-feeding fame) went with me. I tempted her with the opportunity to meet Elder Holland. There is a member of the Twelve responsible for every division of the COB, and Elder Holland is ours, and I’m very glad. We had dinner, and some entertainment from a group called Blue Harmony that was quite good, and then Elder Holland spoke to us for about 30 minutes. He didn’t have anything written down; he just talked about missionary work and a little bit about his calling as an Apostle, and about all the work that there is still to be done. It’s hard now to retell it all, but he said some things about the natural tendency to feel like you’re not enough, and realizing the full potential our lives and this work, and about so often being surprised by it all. His words really touched my heart. I felt a much needed boost of confidence, and some motivation to do more. It’s good when those two things can come with a healthy balance. I do love Elder Holland.

Here’s something else I love, and it’s not connected to my previous story at all. There’s a tv show on ABC on Thursdays called Wipeout, and it’s my new guilty pleasure, only I don’t feel guilty about it, and instead of a pleasure it’s a gut-ripping laugh fest. You know how people falling down are always funny? Well this is falling down times 1000, and it’s ok to laugh because they volunteered! And they know that a wipeout is coming their way. The commentators are good, too. It’s a full hour of no-brain laughter, and I’m using it as my weekly therapy treatment. Here’s a clip if you’re interested.

I think that’s it for this week. Thanks, as always, for being my other form of therapy.

You are loved.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Week in Review

Hello! I just got back from a lovely walk and then ate fried shrimp. Tasty. I wonder, though, what the balance is between the goodness of walking and the badness of fried shrimp? Let’s just put an important life lesson into play – take the good from any situation and be happy. Let’s do a Week in Review.

She’s Back
Melissa returned from Connecticut on Wednesday, and it’s been nice to have a roommate again. I will admit, it might be hard at times to remember that there is another person in the house. For example, when I’m getting dressed in the morning and need clothes that are still in the dryer, I’ll now have to get dressed before going to the laundry room, and then get dressed again for real. That’s an inconvenience, but worth the trouble to have a friend back.

I’ve had a heart-to-heart with my imaginary friends who have kept me company this summer. They feel displaced, and I understand that. I want them to know how much their support has meant to me while I’ve sat alone, watching tv, playing minesweeper and cursing the smokers who live upstairs. I couldn’t have gotten through it without them. But, now that Melissa is back, we have to be careful about how we interact because me wandering around the apartment talking to what appears to be no one might freak her out. So, the imaginary friends are relearning their appropriate boundaries, and I’m trying not to say, “Oh Chandler, could you BE any funnier?” and “Joey get out of my peanut butter!” out loud anymore. You know, now that I think about it, my imaginary friends look a lot like the cast of Friends. Huh.

Stupid Evil Fairy
I owe Kent an apology. He was my top pick on So You Think You Can Dance this season, a cute, cute farm boy from small town Ohio who melted my heart every time he got on stage. I was so sure he’d win. He had the tween vote! Don’t the tweens rule the world? But, Kent took second place to Lauren.

Before watching the show I was thinking about the fact that none of my favorites have ever won. They’ve come close, like Kent did, but haven’t taken the grand prize. Strange. And then I remembered the curse that the evil fairy gave me when I was born. I used to think, like I once told Tiffany, that the curse was limited to making sure that I never win a drawing, but now I have to wonder if it doesn’t also mess with my favorites winning, too. You know how the story goes – the fairies in the land gather together to bless the new baby. I got beauty, wit, a gorgeous singing voice, and then that crazy old bat stepped up and said, “none of your favorites will ever win a competition”. Nice. I don’t see why she had to drag others down with me. So, I should send an apology to Kent. I am sorry.

To be fair, I’ll also say that Lauren is a great, great dancer, and deserved the win as much as anyone.

I heard a clip of Dr. Laura ranting on the radio this morning and was horrified. You’ve probably seen the story in the news, if not then here’s a report. I don’t want to dwell too much on Dr. Laura’s story, per say, but instead on the death of general civility. Just this week we’ve had the flight attendant who used the escape slide to get away from a cursing passenger (the escape slide, that’s awesome), and now this Dr. Laura thing. It’s ridiculous. What makes people think that they are right to treat others with such disrespect? It takes a self-importance that I really don’t understand. Heck, I see it all day at the bookstore. People will cut in line or interrupt a conversation because they have “just a quick question”. Whatever. Wait your turn.

I tend to believe that those who are rude continue to do it because they can get away with it, and at times are even rewarded for it. Most people will back down to a monster just to avoid the confrontation. And I know that from a retail perspective that store associates are told to make the customer happy, or, in other words, give them what they want. Parents used to teach their children that they won’t get their way by throwing a fit, but our adult society quickly convinces one of just the opposite. It’s very sad, and I refuse to join the crowd. I’m not a perfect model of politeness, but recent events are making me recommit to doing my best. It’s a loud, obnoxious world. Let mine be one of the quieter voices.

Thanks, as always, for giving me some attention.
You are loved.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Week in Review

So how’s summer time treating you? Alright? Is the tan all you were hoping it would be? I have a significant farmer’s tan going – round neck line and definite sleeves. Nice. If I’d thought about it earlier I would have taken a picture for you. Remind me to show it off when we see each other again. For now, let’s do A Week in Review.

Summer's End
You know how some people would love to live in a place where it’s 75 degrees year round? I’m not one of those people. I really like the change in seasons. And now that it’s August and we’re heading toward fall, I find myself really looking forward to it. This morning I wanted to eat a pumpkin cookie, and while walking through the park I thought about the leaves changing and the air cooling off. Mmmm, I love that.

Fall makes me want to buy new clothes, too. I think it’s all those years of back-to-school shopping. I still think that I need everything new in September, including notebooks, and of course makeup. The cosmetics companies are sending me emails with their new fall colors, tempting. A new season is right around the corner.

Lessons Learned
Speaking of going back to school, the school of life has taught me a lesson in self improvement this week. Back in January a coworker of mine came down with a strep infection that spread to major organs in his body, and embedded into the bones in his lower back. He was very, very sick, in the hospital for weeks, and then home on medical leave for months.

After the first couple of months passed, some of us started to doubt that he’d ever come back to work. He’s in his 60s, and has talked about retiring for years. This seemed like the perfect opportunity. I was just waiting for the day when we got the official word that he was done. Then I started to get frustrated with the fact that we were all having to cover his work while he was gone. And then I started to wonder out loud to friends just what his secret and devious plan might be? Why is he holding on to this job when we all know that he’s not coming back? I got caught up in speculation and ran wild with it, adding some pessimistic, almost accusatory, feeling.

And then, last week, we were told that he had gotten clearance from his doctors to come back to work. He was in the office on Monday and has been here all week. When I saw him on Monday, all those bad feeling went away, and I knew how wrong I had been. It was good to see him. We talked a bit about his illness. It was awful for him. He thanked me many times for covering different jobs while was gone. He told me how much he had missed this place, and that he had wanted to come back months ago. Being an invalid was making him crazy. I told him jokingly that we were all placing bets on whether or not we’d ever see him again, but I was secretly embarrassed about the attitude I harbored all of that time. Why didn’t I trust his good intentions? Why not give people the benefit of the doubt?

I thought, too, about the negative feelings I had while speculating, and about other times when I’ve felt the same way – all tense and bugged – and I finally learned that those feelings tell me that I’m on the wrong track. Either what I’m thinking or doing is wrong, or I’m losing patience when I need to hold on to it. It’s a lesson learned, and I hope that I’m mature enough to change my ways. Give people the benefit of the doubt, and trust your gut. Things work better that way.

I think that’s it for now. I hope you’re all happy and healthy. Thanks, as always, for your constant care.
You are loved.