Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My clay feet

I got the idea for this post from 2 sources. One was a really hilarious post by Josh Griffin (www.morethandodgeball.com/?p=3490), a youth minister at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. The other was the misconceptions of ... my brother’s girlfriend.

My brother has a new girlfriend. Before she met me, she had the misfortune of reading my blog, so naturally she thinks I’m a much nicer person than I really am. Thus I feel obligated to set the record straight, for her and anyone else who has read this blog but never actually met me face to face.

Here are the Top 10 proofs that I am a normal, average person with clay feet (it should be noted that my teenagers were thoughtful enough to help me with this list):

10) I am rarely on time. If I have never been late for an appointment with you, it’s because we’ve never done anything together. I reason that it is acceptable to be a certain number of minutes late (say 5 or 10), but will huff and puff if I am kept waiting. My time is precious; everyone else’s is of little to no value.

9) I am a hothead. When I lose my temper, I say words that rhyme with spit and slam it; sometimes even truck. I have what can be described as an explosive temper, with the eruption beginning with yelling and ending in unintelligible mutterings that continue long after I’ve left your presence.

8) I’m a guilt tripper. When my kids make noise about doing something (usually related to church or being nice to a sibling), I “gently” begin reminding them of their moral obligation to the rest of the world. I usually whip out a rolled up scroll listing everything I have done for them since the day of their birth and ceremoniously read it back to them. The discussion usually ends with words that sounds like, “The least you could do is…”

7) I say stupid things. In an effort to win arguments, I start spewing stupidity to throw my adversary off balance. This is close in strategy to name calling, but is more subtle. For example, if we are talking about global warming and I’m losing the debate, I might say, “Well I notice you still want me to buy you those Hollister sweatshirts when it gets cold outside.” Huh? What does that have to do with it?

6) I play the martyr. I have been known to invoke, “Woe is me.” It sounds something like this, “Oh sure, Mom can never do anything right, blame it on me, what do I care? It’s not like I have feelings or anything. After ____ years, I’m used to it.”

5) I won’t let go of things. Hours after an argument, I’m still making pointed, sarcastic remarks. I left all the lights on in the house yesterday and got my little feelings hurt when questioned about it. Hours later, I’m still saying, “But I guess if I hadn’t left the lights on….”

4) I don’t hide my feelings. When I don’t like things, I raise my voice really loud to draw attention to the problem, just in case anyone within earshod isn’t aware of the situation. For example, I’m cooking dinner and everyone else is watching TV. I don’t say, “Would someone come help me, please?” No, it’s much more effective to say really loudly, “I wonder what it’s like to have a real life and be able to enjoy leisure activities like watching TV?” This is even more effective if preparing dinner involves a cutting board that I can slam around as I talk.

3) I am mean. If I’m in the middle of something (like writing this post) and someone wants my attention, I will tell them in no uncertain terms to get out of my office and not come back unless they are on fire or bleeding.

2) I get postal when sleep deprived. I admit it, I take my moods out on those around me. I’m like that character from Dickens’ Bleakhouse who insists he can’t be held responsible for his actions because he is such a child. Only I say, “Maybe if I could get more than 4 hours of sleep a night…”

And the number-one proof that I am a normal, average person with clay feet:

1) I am obsessive. When I asked my son for an example of this, he replied, “You’re writing a post about your shortcomings!” (Now THAT's funny!)

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