Believing my own eyes (not)

Ronda Rich's picture

It’s getting to the point that I don’t believe my own eyes or trust what my ears hear. Sometimes it feels like I’m starring in the old movie, “Gas Light,” where the world is conspiring to make me think I’m crazy.

For the record, I know I’m crazy. It runs in the family. But it’s a good kind of crazy that is fun and interesting where we view the world in an off-kilter way. But I’m telling you: People are out to make me think I’m really crazy. The kind of crazy that isn’t good.

Three times this week, people have vehemently disputed things I saw or heard. In many conversations with the phone company, each customer representative vowed that what I heard the previous rep say was wrong. Even though I would repeat back to the rep what I had heard and she would say, “That’s correct.” The next rep would stop short of calling me a “liar” but deny that was ever said to me.

“Then pull the tapes of the conversations,” I replied, referring to those little messages that say, “This conversation may be recorded for the purposes of improving customer service.” For the record, that kind of audacity will get you “accidentally” disconnected.

Then there was that business meeting in Texas. I couldn’t make the meeting due to a prior commitment but my creative partner flew from Los Angeles to attend. Several texts and phone calls from him to me went something like, “Why am I here? I thought we were going to brainstorm creatively but this is a financial meeting.”

Puzzled, we discussed phone conferences that we had both been part of and what had been said. Back and forth, we batted dialogue and came to the conclusion that we were right. What we had been told was not what was happening in the meeting.

To settle it, I called the man who set up the meeting. “How did we so badly misunderstand?” I asked. This was a nice way of giving way to explanation.

“I don’t know,” he replied. “I just don’t know.”

As friends and family will tell you, my brain sometimes doubles well as a recorder. So, verbatim, I begin to recite exact dialogue from our conference call. He began to waiver. “Oh, it just began to change. It snowballed and got out of control before I realized it.”

“Why didn’t someone tell us that?”

“Well, well, well, we should have.”

My confidence in my ability to receive information clearly was suffering when I pulled out of my street as three fire trucks blew by, their sirens screaming urgently. Half a mile from my house, I saw them pull into the drive of a big house, covered in billowing dark smoke. Immediately, I began to pray for the house, the family and any animals that might be trapped. A few minutes later, I was at the hardware store when three more fire engines came screaming by.

Four old men standing around commented lazily, “Wonder what that’s for?”

I spoke up. Note to self: Keep your mouth shut. “It’s that big colonial house. It’s on fire.”

Every man looked at me and laughed sneeringly. “That house ain’t on fire.”

“Yes, it is. I saw it.” Note to self: Keep your mouth shut.

Their ridicule was clear. One man spoke up. “It’s something at the back of the house but it ain’t the house.”

“Oh.” I mumbled. “Well, I hope I’m wrong.”

I felt like a fool. I really thought I hadn’t seen what I had seen. And even when I drove back by and saw flames licking out of the top floor windows, I didn’t believe my eyes. Even when a fireman refilling his water tank at a nearby hydrant, told me it was true, I didn’t believe my ears.

This, I now know, is how really crazy feels. Before, I was just pretending.

[Ronda Rich is the best-selling author of “What Southern Women Know About Flirting” and “The Town That Came A-Courtin’.” Her newest book is “What Southern Women Know about Faith.” She lives near Gainesville, Ga. Sign up for her weekly newsletter at www.rondarich.com.]

adamh789
adamh789's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/12/2010
Time to Order Christmas Gift Baskets - ugg boots

Many women dread the thought of trying to pick out Christmas gifts for a guy.  Classic "most wanted" are an array of the most love story expensive electronic gadgets, most which are doomed to be obsolete the moment the package is opened.
But truth be told, most men these days are tiring of the endless march of electronics, many of which only further complicate their lives.  They would rather have more meaningful gifts that simplify their lives, not complicate them further.  With that being said, here are some simple rules for selecting the perfect gift for any man in your life.
Rule #1. Understand his/her passions
Generally speaking, men are not complicated creatures. Aside from work and family, most men dive into one, or perhaps two hobbies, with an eye toward excellence.  They will pursue these with a passion that often borders on obsession.   If you take the time to listen, he will inevitably give you the clues you need to select a gift to help him in his endeavor.  It may be that the yard lover would love nothing more than an electric pole saw for trimming hard to reach bushes, the book lover his first e-book reader, or the outdoorsman a new pocketknife.
Rule #2. Look to his/her children
It's no secret that men aren't good at communicating their emotions.  Despite that, men love their families passionately.   Gifts that remind us of that affection, and more importantly, that's it is returned, will always win us over.  How many times has a child found a box of ugg boots seemingly meaningless knickknacks hidden away in his father's closet.  Picture frames with family photos, handwritten notes from the children, and other hand-crafted memorabilia from those who love us are treasures of incalculable value.
Rule #3.  Simplify his/her life
Men, just like women, are inevitably pressed for time.  With economic conditions being difficult, the demands of both providing for, and caring for, our families weigh upon us heavily.  Time has become the most precious of commodities.  Small gifts that simplify life are, in many ways, more appreciated than large, complex gestures that become yet another burden to be borne.  While they often aren't grand gestures, gifts aimed squarely at making our lives easier are perhaps the most appreciated of all gestures.  Books and magazine subscriptions can be among the most simple of things to show you care, without adding complexity to his life.
When to order? As soon as your favorite gift basket company has their offerings online, place your orders. Most websites have spots in their shopping cart where you can request a specific delivery date-we recommend you request no later than the 20th of December to allow for multiple attempts should the recipients not be home. Gift companies will build your order closer to your delivery date requests.
Remember, Christmas stock is ordered early, but received just in time to build Christmas designs. Shelf stable items have a minimum shelf life of 6 months. Other more fragile items like cakes and fresh baked cookies are baked to order links of london so don't worry about freshness.Remember most gift baskets contain food items. Therefore it is imperative to use an experienced gift basket company to ensure your items are fresh, built to order and delivered on time.