Imperfect

Sometimes I wonder how I can even be in ministry. I admit I can be terrible. Especially when I am really angry or afraid. I won’t even be fully aware of spontaneously dropping F-bombs. Rapid fire, machine gun F BOMBS! 🙂 I like to blame it on my red hair. Or the devil. It definitely isn’t His spirit in me 🙂. My therapist told me a long time ago that I need to make peace with my sometimes “highly excitable personality.” Yikes. Why can’t I just be a new person in Christ and stay there?

I was recently in a car accident. It was a shocker because I didn’t see the other car. I heard a loud bang and then saw a grey blur of metal as the impact spun my car a 180. It all happened in a heartbeat! I sat in my car shaking. What just happened? I looked down and I had red marks across my chest from the seatbelt and my left thumb was already turning colors. I looked in my rearview mirror and saw that the other driver looked much older than me. Was she okay? I was shocked and sat frozen, unable to get out of my car and access the situation. I finally caught my breath and called 911 and told them there had been an accident.

Where are you located?

I am not sure. I’m really rattled. In Maple Grove. By Walmart. Across from Valvoline. By Starbucks. That side.

Where are you? Southbound? Northbound? What road?.

Uh Uh Uh, Southbound.

I started to hyperventilate. I couldn’t recall the name of the road even though I probably drive it every day. I continued to tell her the landmarks, a block from X highway etc. and she starts screaming at me!

SCREAMING!!!

MAAM! WHY DON’T YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE? YOU NEED TO BE AWARE OF WHERE YOU ARE DRIVING!!! YOU NEED TO KNOW THE NAME OF THE STREETS YOU ARE DRIVING ON AT ALL TIMES!!! YOU NEED TO….

Her screaming was not making me think any clearer. I’m thinking, why are you yelling at me? Lady, you have no idea if I have a head injury or if my breast is cut off. Hmmm Maybe I hit my head and am worse than I realized! Now I am really panicked so I start screaming back….

Me: What the F$#@$!##@!!!!! I am rattled! I am trying to F@#$#@-ing tell you where I am and F@#$##……

OP: Stop yelling at me! Stop swearing at Me!

Me: You stop yelling at me!!!!! I’m sorry but aren’t you supposed to be the calm one? You aren’t helping this……

I mistakenly gave her the name of a street across the highway from me and she says “No you aren’t there you are on X !!!” Ahhhh….so she knew all along. 🙂 Ha! Maybe she was trying to find out if I had been day drinking.

OP: Are you blocking a lane?

Me: We are off to the side of the road and cars are going around us.

OP: THAT IS NOT WHAT I AM ASKING YOU!!!!!!! ARE YOU…..

This exchange goes on for a couple more minutes and then she finally screams “ YES YOU ARE BLOCKING A LANE!!!!! WAIT FOR AN OFFICER!!!!” Then hangs up on me. I’m thinking, don’t leave? I can’t even talk right now. I then decided to reach out for prayer so I could calm the F@$@#$# down.

We both were obviously not having a good day and she was just trying to quickly assess the situation. I cannot imagine this exchange if it was a murder scene or an abduction. Later, I told the officer that the 911 OP was a real @#$#@#. He just smiled. Hmmm, Maybe he knows her. 🙂 My sister, who showed up to help later said to me “ Do you realize when you said that he had his body cam on?”

OOPS. God is still working on this Redhead, but that doesn’t stop Him from using me. Or you.

Forgive yourself for not being perfect. Only Big Sky Daddy is perfect and He already loves and adores you. Even if you spontaneously drop an F@#$#%%.

Starbucks

It’s half priced cold brew at Starbucks today. Hate or love Starbucks I wasn’t going to miss out on a cheap brew! 

I ordered at the screen and reminded them it’s half priced Tuesday. ”Great! Yes we know! Pull ahead.” “Do I have to remind you at the window?” “Nope, come on up.”

So of course you know what happens. I drive back thru and ask them to credit me back on my app. I was super nice about it because my days of drive thru iced coffee blunder meltdowns are long gone.

A manager helped the young employee to credit me back as I smiled and patiently waited. This girl just stood back from the window and looked terrified. I think she was expecting me to turn into a Karen, start screaming and toss my drink at her. Too many Karen videos circulating lately of food fights at fast food pick up windows.

I’m too old to throw stuff or start screaming at strangers. Especially before my morning coffee kicks in 🙂

Be kind at the drive-thru!

Redheads

I laughed today, as I saw a man walk into Cub Foods with 3 energetic red-haired children. They actually looked more like a small red tornado; swirling, pulling, shoving and bouncing off of each other. I couldn’t tell if they were having fun or ready to burst into flames! Ha! The poor guy just looked frazzled.

Ahhhhh. A family full of redheaded bundles of joy. Or anger. Or hysterics. You just never know what might show up, moment to moment.

My parents were most likely glad that they only had one. My mother used to save articles that she had found on redheads for me. One was a Time or Life Magazine article, in which they did a study on a group of redheaded children. They found some significant differences. Redheads were more easily angered, frustrated, and had a very low tolerance for waiting. Waiting of any kind. The magazine stated that is why the Vikings, who were predominately redheads, enjoyed fighting, killing and pillaging. They just couldn’t help themselves!

Redheads supposedly had a lower tolerance to pain, needed more anesthesia and were found to, more often, have addictive personalities. The study also included monitoring the children’s classroom behavior, the day after Halloween. Photographs showed the children, after an evening sugar binge, out of control and literally bouncing off the walls!

I hate to admit it, but when I was a child, I could occasionally be a handful. Ok, even as a young adult. Ok, up until about 15 years ago. Ha! Glad I got more mellow as the years went on. Most days I am pretty calm. Except in rush hour traffic after my morning McDonald’s coffee buzz. Or the afternoon drive home. Or waiting in line. Especially waiting in line. I think that is why the Holy Spirit always seems to manifests when I am standing in line. Probably safer for everyone. Sure keeps my mind off of pillaging.

Smarter Than The Average Bear

A friend “Susan” and I met up for coffee. As we got up to leave, she said to me, “You’re really smart. You know that. Right? “

I laughed. “We think other people are smart when they know something we don’t. That’s all.” Susan has an MBA and is no dummy.

The truth is, If we can keep our big burrito hole closed more often, we’ll learn a lot from other “smarties.”

One night, at a party, I was mesmerized by a stranger’s conversation. He was a manager at a fast-food place, and I had a ton of questions. How do they know how many McMuffins to make during the breakfast rush? How long do the fries sit there? Do employees ever spit in the food? You know, real-world-changing questions that I’ve had rolling around in my head for a while.

Later someone remarked, “I can’t believe you sat there and talked to that guy for half an hour about McDonald’s.” I said it was interesting. I find many things interesting that’s why I’m a great trivial pursuit partner. Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone plays trivial pursuit anymore ha ha Ha

Next time you think somebody’s more intelligent than you are ….. stop! 🙂 I bet there are plenty of things you know that they haven’t a clue on.

Then share them with me. I’ll meet you at Chipotle.

You Can’t Take Me Anywhere

I was out for dinner with a group of friends when the couple next to us exploded into a loud screaming match. Our stunned group suddenly stopped talking, and you could see everyone was uncomfortable. I quickly deadpanned, “Wow, dinner AND a show.” and calmly took another bite of my salad. My group burst into laughter, and we resumed our meal. It wasn’t so much that I was clever as I knew making this joke would break the tension. At least with our group, it would.

Later, I felt remorseful as the quarreling couple looked embarrassed at our laughter and left shortly after. How do you break the tension in a situation? With humor? Peacemaking? Pretending it didn’t happen?

Life Is Short-Flush!

Have you ever had a strange memory suddenly resurface for what seemed like no connection at all?  Today this one popped up… 

Years ago, I knew a guy who temporarily rented a room in a home, along with several other men, from a homeowner. The owner gave them specific rules when it came to the shared bathroom.  The men were not allowed to flush the toilet! The owner wanted to save water, and it was only flushed once a day. The communal pot sat all day until the owner made the official flush at the night’s end.  WTH?  I said what if you had to go #2?  He said that you were just poo out of luck 🙂. He learned to hold it and only do his sit-downs at work.

 I mean, how much money could someone really save? The average toilet uses 1.5 gallons to flush.

Yikes! That rule would not have worked with a house full of women.  That first night would have required a Roto-Rooter visit, and that would’ve been the end of that Hitler Youth Camp.

May the Lord bless you, ladies, with ample TP throughout the next couple of months, regardless of the threat of shortages.  

Have extra? Help a sister out. The men are on their own. They learned to whiz outdoors when they were 3.

I Can Hardly Wait

I had one of those….gotta go, gotta go, gotta go, gotta go, gotta go, gotta go RIGHT NOW kind of days. (Sorry! You’ll be singing this in your head at midnight! Ha! )

After using the bathroom at church, I drove to the nearest Holiday gas station to fill my tank for the week. I chose the button to pay inside at the pump because I had to go…AGAIN! I flung open the door and rushed back to the women’s bathroom. Oh no! It was occupied, and another woman was waiting. “Crap! I can’t wait. I am going to use the men’s room.” I said out loud to no one in particular. The store was empty, and I would make it quick. No one would be any of the wiser.

I entered the bathroom, and when I turned to lock the door, I was surprised to find there wasn’t one. Just a urinal and a stall. “Lord, I hope no one comes in. I will just make it quick,” and I headed into the stall. Mid-process, I heard the door open and a zipper being undone. Quick, Jeanne, say something before he starts…… “Uh! Oh! Oh! I am so sorry!!!” I say in the direction of the loud zipper. No response. Yikes! I do have a low voice; maybe he thinks I am a guy.” I force myself to speak in a higher octave, “Sorry, the women’s bathroom was occupied, and I couldn’t wait!”.

“No problem” I heard the zipper again, and the door opened as the person exited. “Oh, Jeanne! Learn to control that bladder! Or don’t drink so much coffee!” I continued to berate myself as I washed my hands and prayed that this stranger and his bladder had already left the building. Nope. He was waiting outside the bathroom and flashed me a huge ass smile. “I am so sorry. I know if a man was in the women’s bathroom, I would have probably freaked out.” He winked, “No problem, I was just shocked to hear another voice.” I looked down at his shirt and saw he was an employee. “I bet you get this all the time.” “Not really. most people just wait.”

Wait. Wait? I am too old to wait any more. Neither can any of my friends. Haven’t you seen those commercials? We can’t wait unless we take a pill. Or until someone invents a coffee that doesn’t run right through you. Or better yet, let’s just have express bathrooms for those of us over 55.

Thanks, buddy, for being so lovely about it. I don’t know how I would have reacted if I had heard a man’s voice coming from a stall.

Looks Can Be….

“Your dweeb is late, so I am ordering an appetizer. I also need alcohol if I’m forced to listen to that whiny, high-pitched voice for an hour.” Michelle flagged down a bartender and asked for the largest glass of red wine in the place. It was 11 am on a Friday, and this downtown sports bar was already filling up.
Michelle and I were both in marketing, and Bill had promised us lunch if we listened to his sales pitch. He was selling air time on our local cable channels, which, at the time, was a relatively new concept. “Okay, Jeanne, What do you think he looks like? I bet he is 5ft 2, 100 lbs, thick glasses, and no hair.” I laughed” You’re mean!” But the truth was I wondered what Bill looked like too. We had spoken with Bill numerous times over the phone, and he relentlessly pursued us for an appointment. Even though he was engaging and super funny, his voice sounded more like a hormonal woman desperate for chocolate and a romance novel. I kept one eye on the incoming steady stream of mostly male customers and my opinion to myself. It was the early 90s, and you couldn’t secretly preview anyone on Facebook or LinkedIn. I hadn’t asked Bill what he looked like and told him to look for a tall redhead and a blonde trying to look important and businesslike.
A tall, dark, and very handsome man headed toward our table with a large glass of red wine. Michelle snapped, “Finally! But where are my onion rings?” “Do I look like a server?” Bill laughed and sat his 6’2 self down in between us. Our mouths dropped open. Bill was model gorgeous and nothing like we expected. When Bill turned his head to get a server’s attention, Michelle looked at me, smiled, and bit her lip. I mouthed, “You’re married!” Michelle continued to give Bill a hard time and told him the tab had already started as he was late. We had a great time, and our lunch flew by quickly.

Even though Bill was funny, charming, and super hot, neither Michelle nor I thought our customers were ready to pay for cable ads. He still picked up the tab and told us next time, it was on us. Later, Michelle and I decided we would never again “conjure up” an image of anyone before we met them. Now we have Linkedin, Facebook, and a variety of other platforms to get a sneak peek and form an impression. But is it really an honest assessment?
I knew a woman named Carol, who met a guy on a dating app. She told me she was very disappointed when they finally met for lunch. Not only was he negative, but he was also 20 years older and many pounds heavier than in his photo. He had very poor eyesight, walked into a wall, and she had to help guide him to a table. He complained about liberals, drug addicts, and smokers during lunch and that he would never date one. When Carol insisted she didn’t smoke, do drugs, or hadn’t voted in years, he still insisted on walking her to her vehicle. Why? He needed to sniff inside her car to make sure it didn’t smell smokey when they said goodbye.
I was like, “NEXT!”
Carol laughed, “No, we are going out again.”
Smartass me, “Why, does he need a seeing-eye date?”
“I don’t know. There is just something about him.”
They dated on and off until she temporarily took up smoking. Yes, this is a true story and still makes me laugh.
As easy as photos are to find now, they are still not an accurate assessment of who one is. Or will be. Or could be. As Robert Palmer sings, a pretty face don’t make no pretty heart. And vice versa. But I’d check your next Tinder date’s vehicle for smoke, excess clothing, and garbage.

Homeless untidy smokers just might be a deal-breaker.

Ginger Snapped

Today, I went to a Costco to pick up a couple of items. I was having trouble finding them so I asked several employees who were more than happy to help me. I even went into the pharmacy area looking for a supplement. They didn’t have it but the pharmacist was more than happy to order it for me….and the price was better than I expected!

I’m as happy as a little girl 🙂 and told the pharmacist and his crew how much I appreciated them. In fact, several weeks earlier a prescription that CVS was going to charge me $1000… Yes $1000… Costco filled for $12.00!

So I decided that, on my way out, I was going to tell one of the managers how happy I was with this Costco. As I went through the checkout, I asked an employee who was helping to put my items on the conveyor belt if there were any managers on the floor. He pointed to two women that were standing 20 feet from me, near an employee area.

As the cashier ran my items through I looked over and the employee I had just spoken with had walked over to these two women. He pointed at me and I heard him say “see that woman with the red hair? She wants to see one of the managers.” They asked “Do you know what it’s about?” “No, she just said she wants to speak with one of the managers.” One of them replied “We will speak to her when she gets done checking out her items.” I thought how nice of him!

I could hear all of this because now they were only 10 feet away. Isn’t it funny how we can have supersonic hearing at times and at other times we can tune out someone who is speaking directly to us?

So as I turned to walk toward them, they looked at me, then looked at each other like “NOPE!” Then they quickly punched some numbers into a keypad and escaped behind a door as I stood there. Stood right there! They knew I was coming over and they fled!!!!! Ha! They probably thought “oh my God it’s a Karen! A redheaded Karen!”Probably fleeing for their lives. Don’t tell me there are no stereotypes of older white women. Or Redheads. Especially older, very pale large Redheads! The guy wasn’t helping me! He was warning them. 🙂

So I started speaking to a guy with a supervisor name tag on who had just walked up. “ Are you a manager?” “No, is there a problem? ” “No, I just wanted to tell a manager how much I love this store and how helpful everyone is. I’m also a new member and was concerned with having Costco fill my prescription but they’ve actually saved me a lot of money and have been more than gracious and helpful.”

Mr. Helpful Snitch started circling us to find out why the albino Karen isn’t happy and I think he was surprised that I had a big a$$ smile on my face.

The supervisor smiled, thanked me, and said he’d pass on the compliments.

I laughed and it didn’t upset me. Seriously. I love this Costco. Too bad the managers missed out on a kudos, today. Not every request of a manager is a negative one.