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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

'Prayers!'

I spent all of my 30's learning about praying. I wasn't in seclusion in a religious order. I learned all this new stuff on the streets, so to speak.

Having been raised in an era and culture where we prayed everyday at school and prayed every night at bedtime, and this having been my experience for 29 years or so, I thought I knew what praying was all about. 

For instance, I believed that public prayers aside, all other prayers were private. They were between you and God and generally speaking, the mention of prayers, or details or prayers, did not make it into conversation. 

You prayed for important things. The Lord's Prayer, was always a good guide if you needed help with what to pray about. Jesus reminded us to pray for our Heavenly Father's Kingdom to be on Earth, just as it is in Heaven. 

Personally, I liked that part, since I figured it made sense to have Heaven on Earth, so everyone could be uniformly taken care of and happy. 

However, it seems praying is now in the domain of nonversation.

We've all seen it or heard it following on from a personal plea or a tragic statement: 'I'll pray for you' or 'I'll pray for them!'

My personal favourite, the shorter version of that statement, as seen posted on Facebook by those who particularly can't be arsed to say anything sincere and spout just the one word: 'prayers!' 

It seems like we have become a culture where those statements are very much disposable, nonversational phrases. The next time you hear a 'prayer' statement being made, give the dialogue some extra examination and judge for yourself.

Oh, on a final note, a personal plea to everyone praying out there: if you are going to pray, take a leaf out of Jesus' book and pray for everyone's peace and happiness ... not just for frivolous things like your 'team' winning or that your friend's cousin gets a date for prom. 

Amen.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lemon Aid

Dear Waiters and Waitresses,

I am coming to your aid in what seems to be a rather common problem in our town: the needless butchering of large quantities of lemons.

Whenever a customer asks for a glass of water with their meal, it appears the standard practice is to ask if they want lemon in it ..... and then totally ignore the answer!

In my case, I don't want some man-handled skanky piece of citrus in my glass, so my answer to the aforementioned question is always a resounding no! I have even resorted to lying, claiming that I'm severely allergic to lemons, in an attempt to hammer home the NO LEMON message.

Alas, I always get lemon and to this day no wait staff has ever acknowledged their oversight when the see said lemon cast aside.

Anyway, dear waiters and waitresses, if you are not going to listen to or heed the answer to the 'would you like lemon' question ...  then ... don't ask the question! Save yourself the verbal drivel. Or, better still, save some lemons!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Help! I've been Hugged!

Nonversation can be non-verbal.

What I'm getting at, in particular, are the casual hugs that have pervaded our culture.

It used to be that hugs were reserved children, or for fond farewells. There was something meaningful to it. Now there are hugs-hello; hugs-goodbye; hugs-because we don't know what else to say or because everyone else in the room is doing it!

Pet peeve: I've been hugged at networking events by people who have no idea what business I'm in, but 'know' me well enough for an embrace. It is so necessary to feign such sincerity? What's wrong with a handshake?

Worse still, are the people who aren't comfortable making eye contact with you while talking; but they can hug you. True story!

It seems we've got to the point where, in any awkward moment or pause, or when we don't know what to do with our hands; then the most culturally accepted thing to do is hug.

I, a self-confessed 'hugger' (among friends, that is) have had enough.

Monday, December 7, 2009

M'y I He'p Yew?

The following is the epitome of slovenly speech and something that frequently chafes my ears here in The South.

M'y I he'p yew?

Or the even sloppier: M'elp yew?

Translation: May I help you?

Just a thought: work on your speech.

If you are too lazy to pronounce the words, you are in no postion to help anyone.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Is Great Britain - like - in another country?

I have horrendous experiences with trying to mail things home to Britain. Sometimes it's a geography issue, sometimes it's nonversation that causes the problem. On one occasion however, a cocktail of both led me to the mother load of all things ridiculous! The fact that the incident happened in a store that 'specializes' in global shipping makes this tale even more stunning.

I have used this store to ship things to my parents address back in Britain several times and they have a record of the address in their computer system. They always begin by asking me if I have shipped to the address before and since the answer is always yes, they proceed to pull up the record by name, for speed and efficiency.

This one particular day, the girl who worked there could not find me in the system. She checked under my name. She checked under my parents' names. She checked under the street address. I tried to prompt things along by reinforcing the fact that the address was in Great Britain, just incase that would help in any way.

Well, she still couldn't find it, so she suggested we start over and re-enter everything into the system. I didn't have a problem with that, if it got me out of there as soon as possible.

We go through the address painstakingly and finally we get to the 'Great Britain' part.

'Great Britain?' she asks.

'Yes,' I affirm.

I'm starting to feel dumbfounded at that point because I have already spoken in a very obvious British accent; stated that I was mailing the item 'home to Britain' and then double checked she got the 'Great Britain' part during our search through the system. The clues were everywhere.

'Is Great Britain - like - in another country?' she asks.

All manner of answers gushed to my lips but I managed to simply point out that 'Great Britain is another country'.

Finally, the lightbulb went off and our search for Great Britain in the database for addresses in the contiguous United States could cease.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Great Brit-Tin Rate

I will be a little vague here, so as not to cause unneccessary embarrassment to the nice young lady who helped me out, but I have to share this story.

I was recently in one of these stores that specialize in postal services.

With birthday cards in hand, I asked, 'Will you weigh these cards for me please and let me know what the rate it is?' To be clear I added, 'I'm sending them to Great Britain.'

The young lady takes the cards and wieghs them and in a short moment repeats, 'You are sending them to Great Brit-Tin?'

** Side note: without fail, for some bizzarre reason a psychologist might palm off as subconscious mirroring, I frequently have people repeat things back to me sounding British-esque, but doing a horrible job with it. I'm sure they don't know what they are doing, so I let it slide; but let me just say this, it is a bit rude. How would it be, for example, if everytime I talked to an American (or more controversial still, a person with a Chinese or Indian or German accent, to randlomly pick a few) I mirrored them? Hmmm! Rude right? Be aware people ... be aware ... that's all I'm saying, and if you can tone it down, so much the better!

Anyway, to get back to the story, the young lady repeats, 'You are sending them to Great Brit-Tin?' to which I answer, 'Yes, thank you.'

Next comes the wide-eyed moment. She pauses and then asks, 'So you want the Great Brit-Tin rate?'

What? WHAT?

No! Give me the rate for Uganda! Especially if it is cheaper!

Of course I want the Great Brit-Tin rate. How else should we do this and how many times do I have to verify Great Brit-Tin for you!

Anyway, in all reality, she was sweet and I maintained decorum while the real conversation played out in full volume in my head.

As they say here in The South: 'Bless her heart!'