I spent the day in a small town about 5 miles wide, and yes! I still got lost....
but that is not what this post is about
I realized that Osceola, AR is a small but friendly town.....uncomfortably friendly, like when you are at a stop sign with your windows down because it is one of the most beautiful days of the year and the gang on the corner not only says "hi" but ask you if your day is going well, and "do you need a light?" as they hand me their lighter......thoroughly confused me.
but that is not what this post is about
After I had an actually WONDERFUL day, business wise.....because I make up weird challenges for myself and then see if I can complete these "missions" to see how far I can get into a "secured" facility.
but that is not what this post is about
I set up shop at the ONE McDonald's, stuffed my face with yummy fries and lost myself in work...
I hear above me in a muffled voice:
"I just celebrated my 102nd birthday this week"
I look up at a tall man that YES looks like he is 102 or 127!
"wow, that is great" I politely said, smiled, noticed his cataract covered eyes and hearing aids, then looked back at my computer....
"Do you know why girls have curly hair?"
oh, crap! not only is he going to talk to me, he is going to loudly talk to me....
I cringe at the question because, frankly, I am scared what the answer might be.
"why?" I give him a side look as if that will deflect the coming answer.
"From looking at boys! You college girls need to watch out."
Bless the man with one foot in the grave. I ignore that he is legally blind.....
hey! he saw enough to see I had curly hair! Let's say he saw enough to see I look as young as a college girl.......
yea, I know....
"Well, I am a bit older than college."
"Well then, you need to really be careful because looking at boys can get you babies."
"yea, that is what I have heard"
He goes back to his "mcdonald's mens club" taking up 4 tables...none of them can hear....it would have been humorous, if I wasn't trying to concentrate!
As I was packing up my stuff to leave, he walked over and handed me this:
"You look like you might need this. You have a long life ahead of you."
So I looked young and SINFUL.
I have been teaching my sons......well, since birth....
AND I have been homeschooling them for 6 1/2 years.
As with most students, finding out what they truly have retained is like running in sand:
After finishing a great, visual, auditory, and tactile lesson, I ask
"So what year did this take place?"
"I don't know"
"Well, what was the purpose?"
"I don't know"
"Tell me the steps they took"
"uh, well....I can't remember all of them"
I gladly spend my free-time planning and re-planning to suit their educational needs. I figure I will get an extra smiley face in teacher heaven.
Two weeks ago, on a short car trip around town, Max got bored in the backseat and started reading the OSHA manual.
It was actually quite entertaining hearing him read, in a very animated voice, the regulations on floor holes....or as he read it FLO HOES.
Two long weeks after he read this information, I pick him up from a week long mission trip. He is telling me about serving in a mission house.
"....and mom, they weren't obeying the rules on floor holes. They had open holes in the floor that didn't have covers, or barricades, or guardrails."
This from the kid that can't retain my repetitive lecture on
"when you take your socks off, don't just toss them, take them to the laundry room"
complete with "repeat what I said", "now show me"
But apparently I need to say
It shall be unlawful to place, or cause, or permit to be placed, on any floor or roof or wall or other structure, haphazardly tossed sock(s).
To facilitate cleaning, every floor, working place, passageway, areas of comfy sitting, and storage of random outdoor items shall be kept free from freely tossed sock(s).
So I guess Max's learning style is how the OSHA manual is written.......ACHHH, I refuse to write my lessons like federal regulations.
Being a part of Su Casa Family Ministries, in Memphis, was one of the best things I have done with my life.
I helped with the children's ministry.
I was there over a year and the only thing I could say was "no llores, no llores...."
Which means "don't cry, don't cry".....but mine sounded like "no, your esss, no, your ess".
Somewhat helpful because the little ones stopped crying to wonder what was wrong with me.
Because of my foreign language disability, I felt I became a master at charades and sign language! I don't think the mothers of these little ones would agree.
One day, I was using my fabulous MAZ-charades-skills on a mom. I was simply telling her to bring a diaper next time. I must have gotten carried away with my theatrics because she left and came back with a translator.....she thought I was saying her baby was very sick.
I left that part of my life, defeated, because no matter how hard I tried, how many times I asked "how do you say.....spell it....", I could not get a grip on Spanish. One time, I thought I was answering in Spanish, but I was informed it was French....my two years of French in high-school crept back into my brain.....strange!
Every time I am around the spanish speaking community, I am reminded of my failure.
Until! YESTERDAY!!! greatest day of my life
Non-English speaking man: "check for me?"
Lady: "are you S? "
Man; "si, and G's check?"
Lady: "you want your check and G's check?"
Lady: "where is G?"
Man: " si, check"
Lady: "where is G?"
Lady looked at me...."oh my word"
I stood there deep in thought......I know I can help.......what are the words for "where is".....
Me: "Dawn Day Es Taw, G?"
So proud of myself I did not even think of not being able to understand the spanish answer to where G would be!
I was in luck!
Man, smiling...because I am pretty sure I asked where a female or object and not a male...was.
WHAT!!! STEP BACK WORLD!!!!
I was so happy I did a tiny disco boogie and then turned to "lady"....
"O K!!!! YES! I GOT THIS!! G is either at a Family Ministry or his house!"
(click on above pic)
I want to take this time to encourage all my friends and family to get involved with a really great ministry!!! You don't have to speak Spanish, or be a master at charades!
In an effort to mail letters for work, I stopped at the post office (after hours) to quickly buy stamps and deposit the letters.
I walked into the lobby and an eclectic looking lady was staring at a corner. I ignored the weirdness and approach the stamp kiosk. I read the book of information on the screen.
"YOU CANT MAIL ANYTHING........POSTAL CLOSED!"
I slowly turn, preparing myself for a banshee with a hatchet.
"I'm just buying stamps", I reply to the wire-haired lady with bright. red-framed spectacles.
I look her over as I think.....crap, that is me in 20 years.....except the floral print moo moo dress (hopefully).
I look outside for the "caregiver" that obviously lost a patient........no one.
"yes, I can buy them from this machine. It's ok."
I turn back and hope that I have selected the right stamp.....why are there so many different stamps? I just wanted it to say 'stamps for letters'.
Moo Moo: "AHHHHHHHHH!"
then she whispers to invisible person
"dont give her a receipt"
I turn sideways so I can keep an eye on Moo Moo AND continue navigating the too-much-info-to-choose-from stamp machine. Choose, swipe my card, and wait on the receipt.
The lady leaves the building. I turn around and the screen reads
"printer out of order, no receipt" CURSES!
Moo Moo Voo Doo
I turn back around and an old man has entered. He is staring at the locked door with a big sign that reads "Closed Saturday and Sunday"
"EXCUSE ME, DO YOU THINK THEY WILL BE OPEN TOMORROW?"
why is everyone yelling?
I stare a few seconds at this man......I look in the parking lot for the weirdoville van that is letting their citizens off one at a time.
I point to the sign, "They will not be open on Saturday."
"WHERE IS ANOTHER POST OFFICE?"
I point in the appropriate direction for my next statement. "There is one behind the Huey's Restaurant."
The man leans way too far into my personal space..
"JULIE? I DONT KNOW JULIE!" He turned as if he were going to leave.
The lobby suddenly became incredibly small, hot, and depleted of oxygen.....
As I planned my escape route and timing.....the man looked at me...just like this
For teachers, tutors, parents, and anyone that organizes the unorganizable.....
Enjoy my FAVORITE video (about 2 minutes).
They have used audio from a couple of kids having a conversation and put it to adults actions.
If you haven't read my ClassicMaz blog from the beginning, then you probably don't know WHY it is named CLASSICMAZ. There was a SNL skit with Justin Timberlake as Classic Peg.
Peg would tell stories about how awkward things happened to her, or how she caused accidents and end the story with "Classic Peg".
I, too, am awkward and cause problems........ending a situation with "Classic MAZ" ringing in my head.
Like this morning...
I was dropping off my youngest at church. I sat in the car to finish posting a picture on instagram. I look up as a car is backing up and coming to a stop right in front of my car (about 5 feet away). The guy looks like my friend's husband, but not. I look back down. I look back up and he is grinning. I throw a stupid "stick your face out and grin big" right back at him and he rolls his window down. All this time I'm thinking, "something is different about SP".
I roll my window down and realize, by the way we are parked, I won't be able to hear whatever he says...so I open my door to get out of my car. As I'm closing the door, his gaze seems to be slightly behind me as he says "what are you doing?" I prepare to say something witty as a lady walks from behind me toward his car.
Oh My Word......He IS NOT my friend's husband AND he IS NOT smiling/talking to me. I am so close to this interaction that I can't just get back into my car like an idiot.....
So I go into the gym, where my oldest son is working the desk. I am sure he is not happy that I have come to see him at work. I make up 2 random questions and then walk back to my car and FLEE!
(BY THE WAY, my friend's husband is a good friend of mine and there is no reason why I should not have been aware that this wasn't him........sheesh)
I am at a work seminar by myself. I am surrounded by nice dressed men and women of the business world, which means I am feeling VERY out of place. My table fills up.....thank goodness, because I was by myself and fearing that it was going to be high school ALL OVER AGAIN...
It would have been much better to stay ALONE because after my table filled up, a man asked if he could join us. I found this odd because he had to pull a chair away from another table to squeeze in with us.
After getting situated, he asked me "what was your maiden name?"
I told him and he loudly proclaims to the table "yes, we went out in college!"
Everyone looked at me. this guy has on a western style dress shirt with the pearl buttons and khakis that have western stitching ON THE SIDES.
My first and natural response was to say "...ha ha ha...whatever! I don't think so!" But I was not there as MAZ.....I was there as someone's employee....so I tried to think of a "professional" reply.....
Before I could speak, he continued, "we had History together, my freshmen year of college. this girl was hilarious! I took her to a party.....a mixer.....she was a riot! she had everyone in tears, laughing."
the table looks at me again.
I politely smile as my brain is scanning memories to see if I remembered any of what he was talking about. I looked at everyone's faces and developed a sudden urge to just slide out of my chair and under the table.
THEN it hit me:
I remember this guy. I DID have history with him. He saved me a seat everyday and told me stories of how he was a rodeo bull rider. at the age of 18, he had a fake hip.
I did remember the mixer. BUT I remember him asking "are you going?"
I said "yes"
I saw him at the mixer.
I dont remember being funny, so maybe he had been drinking. I don't even remember talking to him AT ALL. Not sure how he got "we went out" from that mixer.....
Back to the table,
as everyone is staring at me waiting for my response.....and probably waiting for a funny one, to put them in tears
I smiled. I stretched out my hand to get a drink of coffee....stalling. But instead of gracefully taking the coffee mug...
I spilled the guys water......and then the host rose from my table and walked to the podium to begin introducing the guest speaker......
When I walked into work yesterday, I was greeted with
"you can really wear that sweater, baby girl"
approaching me with arms wide for a hug.
I was confused as to why wearing clothes was a noted accomplishment so I dodged the hug and responded "oh yea?"
and then gave him a side five as I walked by, denying the hug.
Today, I arrive after NO SLEEP.
I was greeted by the same person with..
"heh heh heh, rough night darlin?" and then I was given a two second back/shoulder scratch.
Yesterday, I met a guy that was proud to tell me he was from Trinidad. I usually relate to guys better than girls, but there are some guys that you cant have a normal conversation with........
I noticed that this guy was really wanting me to think he was great. yuck.
I was stuck sitting beside him for 8 hours. It was pure torture to politely laugh at his not-so-funny humor, smile everytime he looked at me (which was a lot), and to pretend to be interested in what he was saying.
I really wanted to roll my eyes, tell him to get a life, MOVE ACROSS THE ROOM.
Today, I knew I would be in an even smaller space with this man. I positioned myself where NOBODY could sit by me. One look at me should say "I dont like to be near people" but in a nice, professional way....of course!
Trinidad walked into the room and rearranged tables and chairs to sit right next to me......great...
"Im from Trinidad, remember me?"
"I remember.".....crap, here comes my polite smile....not going to make it the next 4 hours, Im burning up, have a headache and feel the need to spew my opinion of this guy to his face.
He touches my wedding ring "hey, you werent wearing a wedding ring yesterday."
I restrain myself from punching him. "I know, I don't always wear it."
"I was going to ask you to come to Trinindad with me."
"hmmm, I don't think so."
"what? We would have fu..un..." (sing song voice)
"Isn't it in the tropics?"
"YES! It is beautiful!"
"yea, that doesn't sound appealing to me."
"You would love it!"
"I really don't think my husband and I would like it. We like cooler weather."
"I wasn't inviting your husband."
At this point, several of his female coworkers start laughing.
"Trinidad, we told you she was married!"
They turn to me. "Don't listen to him, he is crazy!"
I had been playfully harassing some other people in the class, so I used my humor to steer the conversation in a different direction AND I moved further back into the corner.
At this point I was sitting under the heat and began to burn from the inside out. After about an hour of feeling like I was in an oven, I ripped off my fleece pull-over.
Trinidad turned around and smiled. I wanted to pull my turtle neck over my head and disappear, but instead I said,
"If you don't pay attention, you are going to have to write a 500 word essay to get your certification instead of the quiz."
This just made him grin more.....and add a wink.
I am driving myself (and others) crazy with texting. If I am not saying inappropriate or outlandish things due to auto-correct, then I am sending texts to wrong people. I SWEAR when I look at the name it is correct, but when I push send...somehow I have texted to the wrong person. This has caused some unfortunate information getting to the wrong people. I am having to erase all my texting threads several times a day.
AM I THE ONLY ONE WITH TEXTING DISABILITY?
I'm not sure if the problem is the tongue or the brain....or both together!
Once I finally decide to let loose and talk to someone, I say the worst thing possible for that individual person:
"well, I mean, there really isn't a good politician. if you are in politics, there is something shady about you."
"My dad is a politician."
(of course he is...)
blah blah blah".....it is funny because he is so crazy! off his meds!"
"I have been diagnosed with blah blah"
(of course you have....)
"She is really odd.....you know, like one of those that treats her dog like it is her baby!"
I go into the next room and there are 27 professionally taken pictures of this person's dog dressed up like a dang child!
Please just let MAZ stay away from ANY conversation!
I'm sitting in a packed waiting room near the Memphis Airport.
I am positioned in the back and underneath the TV.
The morning news is reporting an assault somewhere in Memphis. I am not listening until I hear some redneck lady say "white women just don't feel comfortable in Memphis anymore!"
I don't look up from the computer but my mind wanders to what is being reported. I immediately think "what a stupid thing to say.....why do they always interview the ignorant people?"
She continues to speak while I am typing: "Memphis is dangerous! White women are not safe by themselves!"
At this point, I start to recall the waiting room when I walked in.....no women......no whites.....but packed!
She ends with: "I don't know of one white woman that doesn't feel this way!"
I get a weird sensation, like someone is staring at me. I look up. Every single person....man.....none of them white....was looking at me.
If I had thought about it, I might should have just gone back to my typing, but since I respond, speak, react without thinking......
I shrugged my shoulders and said "well, I don't have a problem." Then looked back at my computer. Laughter rippled through the room. I looked up and they were all smiling at me.
Well, one wasn't.... but with all the shaking and scratching, I am assuming he did not know what was going on anyway!