I received a friend request on Facebook this week. “Big whoopdee ding dong,” you say.
I agree. Generally Facebook friend requests are not a big deal.
But this one was. At least it was for me.
The last time I talked to this person we were seniors in high school. I told her I couldn’t come to her church anymore and she told me we couldn’t be friends anymore. It was both one of the easiest and hardest friendships I ever had to let go.
We’d been friends in grade school but had drifted apart. Then senior year we started chatting again because we were both in show choir.
We were on a school bus on the way to a show choir concert when she said, “If the bus crashed now and we died, do you know what would happen to you?”
That phrase comes out of my mouth as often as I’d like to stuff Ben & Jerry’s into it, which is multiple times per day.
I am a horrible listener. That’s supposed to be a guy thing, right? Well, somehow I got the male auditory chromosome.
Here’s a typical conversation between my husband and me:
Me: “What time’s your doctor appointment?”
Me (15 minutes later): “What time’s your doctor’s appointment?”
Husband: *glares at me while poking his tongue out the side of his slightly opened mouth*
I know the key to being a good listener is attentiveness. I seem to have no problem paying attention to the words that come out of my mouth—I hear myself asking the questions just fine.
But something happens from the time I stop speaking and the other person starts. It’s like a door or flap to my ears snaps shut, like the blue velvet box Richard Gere holds out to Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman.”
Science was not my thing in high school. I barely passed biology, which was the only science requirement for graduation at my school at the time. We had a brief and extremely painful unit on genetics as part of that class. Here’s the only thing I took away from it: Those DNA strings would make pretty bracelets.
But when my mom made the decision a few years ago to get tested for the Alzheimer’s gene, jewelry was the last thing on my mind.
We had spent many slow, sad years watching her father shed his conscious life like a snake skin, leaving behind a new man, for sure.
Did you know that when a snake is shedding, its eyesight is also affected? According to Wikipedia, the skin over its eye can become milky, which impairs its vision. This leaves the snake feeling more vulnerable (like, duh!), which flips the aggressive switch in its brain.
And that’s exactly what happened to my grandfather. Everyone was the enemy and out to harm him in some way. It was after he pushed my grandmother when she tried to stop him from going out for a drive in the middle of the night that we knew something was seriously wrong.
Luckily, my mom doesn’t have the gene. But it’s the comforting words of her medical provider that stick with her: Not having the gene doesn’t mean you won’t get Alzheimer’s.
This past weekend our satellite company offered a free trial of BigTimeMovieChannel. These free trials are like ice cream to me—a treat and something I don’t get nearly as often as I’d like, especially in theaters (have you seen how much ice cream costs in theaters—ridiculous!).
But there’s also something about these “free” trials that disturbs me.
Over the course of the trial, they trot out the best they have to offer—the most recent blockbusters, the award winners and some of your old favorites.
Have you noticed that these free trials are almost always over a weekend? Back-to-back hours of nothing but time to watch the dangling carrot, giving you the impression that it will always be like that.
When I was writing my last post, I saw an interesting little tracking tool in my WordPress navigation bar: “Revisions.” A week or two before, I’d commented on another blogger’s post that I, like her, was a first-draft gal—I wrote the first thing that came to mind and pretty much left it at that. I might tweak it slightly, to correct little misspellings, etc. But that was it.
Interesting how perception and reality don’t live in the same universe.
Because I love facts, I checked the revision counts for all my posts. This is only my 13th, so it didn’t take that long. On average I revise these conglomerations of words 41 times.
The fewest number of revisions came in at 13, with the most at 84.
That seems a little nuts to me. How about you?
Can you tell which is version 19 and which is version 55? Yeah, me neither.
My husband (who is an artist/illustrator) and I have had many conversations about our paralyzing inability to let our pieces go. We have the worst time calling things “finished.”
In my defense, I used to work as a copy editor so the need to tweak is part of me now and not something I can just toss aside.
Also in my defense, I’ve been the victim of NSS (not saving syndrome) and have lost some important words. So I probably over save. Never mind that WordPress has built-in autosave. Still doesn’t feel like enough for me (even though it’s every two minutes). Keep reading for more awesomeness…