The other day I was talking with a friend about how our habits have gotten so lax since our kids have grown up. When our children were small, we never allowed them to eat anywhere but at the table, and really curtailed their TV watching to about a show a week. But these days, we all trot down the hall with dinner plates to eat in front of the large screen. We feel quite guilty about it--Beve and me, my friend and her spouse, shoot, lots of people we know. I don't know how things came to this pass, really, but here we are.
So imagine the great howl riccocheting through our house when, last night in the middle of a basketball game that E and Grampie were watching, the satelite dish suddenly turned off. I spent hours on the phone this morning with the Direct TV people, particularly a smoky voiced woman who'd forgotten to set her DVR to record Grey's Anatomy tonight. 'Oh well,' she said, 'I'll watch it on ABC.com tomorrow.' 'Isn't that against the rules for you to even talk about, seeing how you work for Direct TV.' 'Probably,' she said, cheerfully. 'But you won't tell anyone.' Then she set us up with a repair man to come out--MONDAY! That's like one-two-four days from now. NO TV for four days...and just as I decided I wasn't up to making the trek across the state! What exactly am I supposed to do with myself all weekend while my family is gone? Play with the dogs? Something productive like read or study or play the piano? HA!
And we've had the phone repair folks out three times in the last week. Oddly,we didn't even notice that our phone wasn't working for something like 5 days, until Grampie called Beve's cell in a panic, thinking we'd died or something. And you know what I hate more than the inconvenience of these things not working? Having the repair people tromp through my house. Obviously, like I said, I watch TV. I know that most serial killers, rapists and thieves worm their way into houses by dressing up as repair people. I'm always shaking my head at those little old ladies who let them in...but when they pull into my driveway I'm right there, meeting them at the door with a smile and two barking dogs. Who knows what they could do to me?...But, if truth be told, that's not really the reason I don't like them in my house. I'm not really afraid by nature. If I were, we'd probably be worried enough about security around here that we'd lock our house and carry keys. Now that I've admitted that, I'm sure all the criminals who read my blog will hunt us down...That's why we have this 110 pound lab who likes to jump at people's faces. He and the frantic Springer are our security.
No, the thing is, I just feel awkward having strangers in my house. I never quite know how to handle it. And, without being sexist, I'll admit that only once in my memory was it a woman who came to do a repair. No, make that twice--an exterminator who didn't set foot inside was also female. But other than that, plumbers, electricians, cable guys, washing machine repair people--all men. All strange men wandering around my house. And I don't like it.
So I'm feeling a little cranky. Beve's off being a good son--and a good dad to SK, who was really happy to see her Daddy--a good brother, a good egg. That's my Beve, for you. His brother's wife wrote me a note today thanking me for allowing him to do it. I laughed when I read it--like I 'allow' Beve to do anything. That would be the day when I actually had that much control over the giant I live with. It was a nice note, though. I'm just saying...
Wow, what a random post this is. You might be waiting for me to say something profound at this point. Making a spiritual connection. But I don't have one. Not tonight. Not when I'm grumpy about not being able to watch the Cavs play, having to spend so much time on the phone my battery practically died, and getting to set up an appointment for another stranger to walk through our door. Sigh.
It's the ordinary, the daily that reminds me of how far I have to go spiritually. It isn't catastrophes that define growth, but what I do when I'm faced with inconveniences, long waits and all the other complications that come day after day just in the living of them. And tonight I'm aware of just how human I am--I'm made of flesh and bone, and dying flesh at that. If let to solve my own daily troubles, and think about the ones ahead, I'll eternally be what E fondly calls, 'grumpy gills' (Name that movie!). Let each day's troubles be enough for that day, Jesus said. Let me wear them lightly as well.