Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Asking (and Answering) Some Tough Questions by Carol Ross



This is me 'watching' football.


One of my special gifts in life is appearing as if I’m paying attention.  Some of you may deduce that this means that I have a short attention span.  Not the case--you see, I’m one of those ‘gifted’ people who is often contemplating some of life’s most perplexing questions while seemingly engaged in another task altogether.   For example, like other good American couples, my husband and I are sometimes invited over by friends or family to watch sporting events like football or basketball games.  I’m not really a fan of either, but I love spending time with these people.  Plus, I am a huge fan of the snacks that always accompany these gatherings.  So I snack and stare at the TV as if I am interested, when in fact I can sit through an entire game and not even know which teams are playing.  Because my brain is busy pondering--and sometimes even solving--some of life’s most important and vexing issues, such as…

Waiting for dessert…   Can someone please tell me what we are waiting for?  For it to get better?   Pretty sure it’s already good.  And for you cruel “dessert delayers” who say things like, “Let’s wait a bit before we cut the pie,” or “I’m too full for dessert right now,” which in turn forces me to wait… I’m telling you now that I don’t want to wait.  And just so you know--nutritionists agree that if you are going to eat dessert, it’s best not to wait because when you consume sugar directly after a meal it doesn’t spike your blood sugar as dangerously as it does on an empty stomach.  See--it’s healthy to eat dessert right after the meal.  Please--I beg of you--give me my dessert.

The Parking Lot Game…   My sisters and I named this activity during the countless hours of our childhood we spent riding around in parking lots while our mom looked for a “closer spot.”  Sorry, Mom (and all of you other primo-parking-space-seekers out there) but I could buy my groceries, load them into the car, get a pedicure, bowl two frames, and drive-through Starbucks by the time you find a suitable spot.  I know it’s difficult but I think it’s important to ask the question--is it worth it to burn hours of your life and eighty dollars of gas to park twelve feet closer?

Books and movies that don’t end…  I guess these are supposed to be ‘thought provoking’ and ‘profound’?  Not for my peanut brain (and by ‘peanut’ I mean highly sophisticated.)  I like things resolved, tied-up, satisfied.   If I want to read a book or watch a movie where I have to guess the ending then I’ll just spend some time looking at my own life and guessing how it might end...  I seek out books and movies because I want to escape my life for a little while.  I’m sure there are people out there who want to be left guessing and that’s fine.  All I’m asking for is a warning sticker on the front of these books for those of us who don’t want to guess.  Something simple like--'Warning: This book doesn’t end and may leave you frustrated for days'--would do nicely.  Is this too much to ask?

Ice cold butter…  This one is super important and probably highly controversial, but I feel it’s important to tackle these hard questions, so here goes…   Dear restaurant people, I love the soft fluffy buns you serve to tide me over until I get my meal, but why does the butter have to be as hard as a rock?  Is there a way to spread this butter without mangling the bread?  If so, please share.  Instructions delivered along with the bread basket would be ideal.  Thanks.

There, now aren’t you glad I don’t really watch those football games?  How would I have time to tackle these tough questions if I became a genuine sports fan?  I would love to hear about something that baffles you, too.  In fact, please share…so I know I'm not the only one who is feeling weird and alone.  (And by ‘weird and alone’ I mean brilliant and profound…)


50 comments:

  1. Baffling note: I'm too busy to do X. However, they do have time to earn all five stars on any Starbucks promo, watch at least 10 shows religiously and can speak in depth about the stars' personal lives, and have the cleanest car on the planet. All I asked you to do was buy 2 dozen cookies for our kids' party.

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    1. LOL, Melinda! I know so many people like that too! I always love it when I am walking in the house with seventeen grocery bags in my hands and my kids ask me if I can hold something for them. Um. Can you see me right now? Seriously.

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    2. Melinda, that is such a good one! Why not just say I don't want to make the time for that instead of I'm too busy?!

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  2. Oh Carol I know exactly what you mean.i spend many an hour watching football with my husband and not seeing a thing.come to think of it I did it at school too.'Eleanor could do really well if she pulled her head out of the clouds,' my school reports used to say.so I guess it's too late for me to change now.anyway,I don't really want to.just keep on dreaming that's what I say.

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    1. Thank you, Eleanor! That is me. Sometimes people will ask me what just happened and I want to say..."You mean inside my head?" LOL I know they are talking about the game, but I find what's going on inside my head much more interesting.

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  3. I hate cold butter!
    Haven't watched a football game in years.
    Weight Watchers told me to park far away and walk to the store. Then, I could call it my exercise for the day.
    You are soooo funny.

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    1. OMG cold butter. I'll never get it. It's like the best day ever when you find a place that puts that little cup of soft, whipped butter on your table. I want to go back to those restaurants all the time!

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    2. Yes! Is whipping the butter that difficult? I feel like offering to do it myself...

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    3. I'm laughing because I write at a restaurant chain while my twins are in preschool and they keep the butter ice cold. I love going there, but if I wait for the butter to thaw, my bagel becomes cold. I'm just liking that you made me think about this, although I'm still in a win-win situation because I get a lot done there.
      I also enjoyed your thoughts on parking lots.

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  4. I'm crying laughing right now. This is why I love you so. So, let's see ... you are not the only one who ponders these important mysteries of life. Here are some of my questions: Why is that when you have all the time in the world to get somewhere there's no traffic, but when time is of the essence, there are five million extra people on the road? Why do doctors threaten to cancel your appointment if you're fifteen minutes late but when you show up on time, they make you wait an hour before actually seeing you (and then only spend about fifteen seconds with you, I might add)? And along the idea of books that don't end - what's the point of a trilogy that is actually just one REALLLLLLLLLLLY long book that someone chopped into three parts? I thought every book should have a beginning, middle, and end. I get that there can be a long term issue that last three books, but SOMETHING should be resolved in each book. Right?

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    1. Oh My Gosh, Amy! I almost included the doctor visit thing, too, but my list was getting too long LOL! Doctors schedule like five people for the same appointment time--so how about if I start bringing three or four of my friends along for an appointment, too? And Amen with the book thing. Trilogies or series are fun, but stopping in the middle of the story--not fine!

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  5. You are so funny! I'm there with Pam--I don't look for good parking places. I keep trying to come up with something profound whose presence in my life I don't understand, and all I've come up with is algebra, which my math-teacher-son-in-law insists I really DO use.

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    1. Okay Liz, I agree with the Algebra thing, too. I saw the funniest cartoon not long ago....Dear Algebra, please stop asking us to find your x--she's never coming back.

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  6. You've given me my morning laugh for sure. I can only say---isn't it wonderful that we women can multitask? Ask a man the same questions and his answer would likely be: "Say what?" After which he would give a play-by-play account of the boring game.

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    1. Exactly, Roz! I like to prefer to my mind wanderings as multitasking, too!

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  7. Yes, Carol! I'm thrilled to have that scientific information about having dessert right after dinner! People who want to wait drive me crazy, too. I'm always ready for dessert. About the cold butter - very aggravating. if you have coffee or tea with whatever requires the butter, put the butter on the saucer and place it on top of the hot cup. It'll soften quickly. Our favorite coffee house always warms the butter for you - we're scone freaks. I'm a pedestrian, so parking's not an issue for me. My aggravation is people who call you on the phone, then spend the entire conversation scolding children or pets while you wait. Your post was a great way to start my day. Thank you!

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  8. Muriel, Thank you! Scones...yum. A fellow dessert connoisseur--isn't dessert the reward for eating the meal? That's what Mom used to say, and she never made me wait(: Brilliant about warming the butter under the cup! Yes--that phone thing is a good one. I have someone in my life who does this so much to the point where she'll have conversations with her husband while I'm on the line...Ugh, I just want to hang up.

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  9. Love this. And so been there with the traffic deal. One time I had left beans cooking on the stove, which I remembered in the middle of a massage. Not only did every light between the massage therapist catch me while my house possible burned to the ground, but the train caught me as well.

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    1. Oh, Patricia. I did this once with candles. And they weren't drip-less. Ugh, three candles ran down all over my antique radio and my freshly painted wall, while I was in town...

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  10. The dessert thing kills me. My mother-in-law is always doing that. I don't particularly care if you're "too full" for dessert because I definitely am not. In fact I ate less at dinner to eat more dessert and I would prefer that to happen now...is pretty much my line of thinking :)

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  11. Agreed! I plan strategically for my dessert. I'm sorry that you didn't...please don't make me suffer because of your poor planning LOL!

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  12. Thank you, Tara! Is there anyone out there who really wants to eat a butter popsicle?

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  13. Carol, this is PRICELESS! You had me smiling at all of these questions/observations. Especially the ones involving food. :D

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    1. Thank you, Cerella! I will admit to REALLY liking my food--especially dessert. In fact, an awful lot of those mind wandering-multitasking adventures I have involve food--maybe too many(: LOL

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  14. Carol-I love you:) That is all. Oh, and move closer. Okay, that's it.

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  15. Jennifer--I love you, too! Wouldn't that be so great to be closer?

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  16. I completely understand... I do the same thing all the time while my girlfriend goes on these rants about things I don't really care too much about, I mean, I tried to listen, but it's the same things over and over... and I have the gift too, so I can get away with some "yeah, you're right" 's and "uh huh" 's here and there. While she is talking, I think about things like, why in the world would someone WANT to be a math teacher....? I don't understand how that could be fun... I mean, the majority of your students will hate you because they hate the subject so much... One of the things I ponder most is why four way stops are always so awkward for bicyclists. As one myself, cars always think we are going to run the stop sign until we put our leg on the ground... And then they wave us to go after our foot has already hit the ground and we have come to a complete stop... but let me tell you something, it is so much easier if you just go because then it takes me like 20 seconds to get up to a fast enough speed to get out of your way... Anyway, Carol, I totally understand this gift that you are so blessed to have.

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  17. Being "too full" for dessert is something that just doesn't exist. Look at eating a meal like running a race, if you stop and take a break it's difficult to begin again,you lose steam and don't want to keep going. Now if you keep running it's easier to finish and quite frankly you feel better about yourself. Eating a meal is the same way; if you keep going until the finish line, which in this case is dessert, you are more satisfied and overall life is better. The struggle is when people don't understand this concept. Carol you are so insightful and I couldn't agree with you more on everything. Keep up the good work.

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  18. Well said, Katelyn. We are kindred souls...I , too, am good at the 'uh-huh's' and they 'yeah, rights.' LOL. And...why WOULD someone want to be a math teacher....?

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  19. Oh, this is a good post! The only thing I really know for sure about football is that I can write really well while they're footballing and only look up when they are touch-downing. This is enough for me. Waiting for dessert? WHY? WHY would we do that unless it's not here yet! That dessert was always my focus, not the rest of this "nutritious" stuff and I planned accordingly. I do my deep thinking at stoplights: how does driving all over town to find cheaper gas and save 60 cents make people happy, why does the dentist ask me how I'm doing when I walk in, do politicians believe the most annoying commercial on the radio wins. So many questions.

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  20. Oh, Cheryl! We are clearly like-minded as well. As you can see--dessert is often still my focus! You mentioned some good ones, too. I love the driving all over town to save 60 cents on gas! My mother in law used to drive to four different grocery stores with all of her coupons--burning fifty dollars in gas to save twenty cents on a jar of peanut butter. And the dentist...LOL!

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  21. My random thoughts: yes, people who talk to spouses, kids and pets while we're on the phone. Even worse, people who keep putting me on hold to answer another call as if my time isn't just as important. I too can "watch" a sporting event and look interested when I'm a million mental miles away. But then, I've never understood football or soccer. What is going on--other than the occasional touchdown or goal? I'm more interested in my characters' dilemmas. Oh, and why do clerks in stores ask at the register if I've found everything I need? If I hadn't, I wouldn't be checking out!

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  22. These are good, Leigh! And my thoughts exactly. I love the store clerk asking if you've found everything you need--so funny!

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  23. I'm cracking up over here reading the comments!! I'm baffled to know why doctors insist on taking your blood pressure as soon as you are called into the office? At my doctor's office it's actually taken in the corridor BEFORE you reach the office. They take your weight first (as if that's not depressing enough), then they shove a thermometer in your mouth while fitting you with a blood pressure cuff. I mean, am I the only person out there with white coat syndrome? Then they usually tell me my pressure is a little elevated. Duh!! I'm a little nervous and I was rushing to get here on time!! And, I've just watched at least 20 videos in your lovely waiting area of heart attack and stroke warning signs!! Might that not make me a tad bit anxious??!! I had to get that out of my system. Does anybody know why we park on the DRIVEway, and drive on the PARKway? Loved this post Carol. : )

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  24. Laurie, too funny! These are so great. They do seem rather blood pressure obsessed at the doctor. And the scary videos in the waiting room while you're waiting to go in....really? Like that's not going to make you a little nervous! Very good point about parking on the driveway, too. LOL!

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  25. Something that baffles me are "Crazy jogging ladies" who constantly tell you to pick up your feet and breath deeply. Love you, Aunt Carol!!! Alec

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    1. Love you, too, Alec! Thanks for stopping by. And I'm so proud of you! 5k here we come!!

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  26. To go a step beyond the waiting for dessert what I don't understand is the comment "oh, this is too rich for me." What exactly does this mean? Is is it too delicious? Too heavenly? The people that say a dessert is too rich must be the same ones that want to wait for their dessert. I say cut me a big slice of the too rich dessert and put it on my dinner plate!

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    1. I'm laughing because I can tell who posted this one! Chocolate anyone...?

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  27. OK, why don't we just skip the dinner and go to the dessert!

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  28. I'm definitely convinced that forcing others to wait for dessert is a symptom of psychopathy. Or sadism. Perhaps a sadistic psychopath. Regardless, we should not be friends with such people. Instead, all of the dessert-straight-after-dinner people should form some sort of very exclusive club and just eat dessert all the time.

    On another note, my mother plays the Reverse Parking Lot Game. She is of the mind that the farther away she parks from civilization, the less likely anyone is to ding her car. Sometimes, we're parking in the lot for a completely different store just so she can be far enough away to give herself piece of mind. I don't know if the two go hand-in-hand, but she's also paranoid about locking her car. She can beep that stupid key fob twelve times and still have to send one of us kids out there once we're in the store just to "make sure." Make sure what? That your fob didn't fail TWELVE TIMES? Anyway, I digress...

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    1. This is awesome, Amy! Thank you for making me laugh out loud (as I eat out of a tub of Ben & Jerry's): The reverse Parking Lot Game LOL!

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  29. Sorry, but I actually watch the games. Love football (And the Super Bowl 2015 will be held in Glendale, Arizona, less than 10 miles from my apartment!) so I’m one of those concentrating on the game and shouting at the top of my lungs. However, I loved your post. Had many laughs which always makes my day.

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  30. Ah, Marion! You would get along with my husband's family so well! My father in law has been telling me for years that if I only understood the game better then I would come to really love it. Then he tries to explain it to me--so sweet, but it cracks me up. How exciting to have the Super Bowl in your backyard though--hope you get a chance to go!

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  31. Everyone in my family loves when I watch football with them because I'm like you and not paying one bit of attention. So I get to be the "go fer" the snacks person. That way they don't miss a play.

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  32. I'm the same way, Sandra! Just happy as can be to refill plates and grab the chip bag(: It really is a fun way to spend time with friends and family--even if our minds aren't really on the game.

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  33. I love college football season. Long hours on the couch keeping my husband company while eating chips, stitching binding on quilts, doodling plot ideas, scanning old photos into my computer.....it's all good. Loved your blog post. How we all identified with it!

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  34. Carol, I'm laughing so hard at your post and all the comments! You're hilarious, and gifted ;)! I'm pretty sure making people wait for dessert is a sin...

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