Friday, March 15, 2013

Wisdom and Weirdness

A wise teacher once said, "Do or do not, there is no try", so it is with that in mind that I give you this more-chock-full-of-advice-post-than-any-of-my-previous-advice-posts.  As always, the advice I share can be taken or left according to your own personal whims, but I recommend the taking.  They say that you learn something new every day, while I add that some days are like the month or so just before taking the SAT or GRE, with so many lessons being crammed into your head that it feels like you must never have known anything before, and that your brain is withering under the weight of all you've newly learned.  Lately, I've had a lot of those pre-standardized test days.

DO: Pay attention to sale tags.  I almost stormed out of Michael's today, thinking that the paper I desperately wanted and had not found anywhere else was $20, when I saw just in time that it was actually on sale for $12.  I'm planning to make a banner for 5 y.o.'s birthday party (it's a surprise-ssshhh!), and didn't want to pay so much for something that will be thrown away after he "awwww!"s over it.

DO NOT: Judge the lady outside of Michael's, holding a sc-uh-reaming toddler in a bear hug for almost the entire time you're in the store.  Yes, it looks bad.  Yes, it sounds bad.  No, it isn't how I would handle a screaming toddler.  But, I remembered that I had no idea what that child was like.  Maybe he has mental, emotional, or physical problems.  Maybe he would have been screaming just as loudly, but also running into traffic, if he hadn't been held so tightly.  Maybe the lady doing the holding is a renowned child psychiatrist who knows way more than me about the handling of temper tantrums.  Maybe they were both getting paid handsomely to perform a social experiment.  Judging others, especially strangers in snippet situations like that one, is simply not a good idea.

DO: Feel free to judge the people who literally haven't the money for their groceries, but smoke cigarettes as soon as they step outside.  Dirty clothes- no judgement.  Shoeless, school-aged kid in tow during school hours- no judgement.  Tattoos- no judgement.  "There was no balance on that gift card.  Do you have another way to pay?"  "No."- no judgement.  "Do you want to put some of the food back and just buy whatever you really need?"  "No."- no judgement.  The grocery cart full of Ribeye steaks, fudgesicles, ice cream, and soda- a smidgen of judgement (just enough for me to decide against buying their groceries for them).  Seeing both adults light cigarettes on the way to their car- bang the gavel, the verdict is in: Bad.  Gross.  Shameful.

DO NOT: Pay chain grocery store prices for lower quality, imported produce.  Instead, maybe become a patron of your local produce market, or visit the weekly Farmer's Market nearby.  Buying locally grown fruits and vegetables helps the environment, your health, and your local and personal economy.  Grocery store price: $3.99/lb for red bell peppers.
Farmer's market price: $1 for 3.

DO: Buy something just because it's pretty.  

I <3 Orchids
DO NOT: Pretend you don't recognize the pastor of your church when you see him at the Farmer's Market.  According to everyone I've asked, it's weirder to feign ignorance than to risk him not remembering that you've met before.  I was worried that he'd feel bad for forgetting my name, and I was pretty sure he didn't recognize me in my super-disguise of wearing sunglasses (I tend to think people can't see me behind them, but they always can.  Why don't I remember that?).  In hindsight, I understand that really, nothing bad would have happened if I had simply smiled and said 'hello'.

DO: Use your senses. There's a good reason that spoiled meat smells bad- it's so that we don't eat it.  Also, if you notice a greenish tinge to ground turkey, it's probably safer to assume that it's not your imagination, and continue under the impression that the meat is no good.

DO NOT: Be surprised if you fail to follow the above rule and then hear the words, "Is this meat...different?" when your spouse takes the first bite of the stuffed peppers you toiled over for hours. It's okay to be upset about the GIANT waste of time, money, and effort when you're forced to discard the whole dinner, quickly prepare something different, and still wash the hardest-to-clean baking dish in your kitchen.  Being unhappy about it is expected.  But don't be surprised.

DO: Take yourself on a scrumptious salad adventure.  Romaine lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, pomegranate whatever they ares, avocado, cajun spiced sesame sticks, all tossed in a bit of ranch dressing and drizzled with the best hot sauce.  A salad like that will make your mouth happy, even if the disastrous dinner has made it frowny.

What lessons have you learned, recently?


  1. Recent lesson: don't wait until the last minute/day/whatever to finish "whatever" because AVOIDABLE STRESS.

    1. Sigh. Where were you with that advice all my procrastinating life?

  2. This is all good advice, though I wouldn't even judge the penniless smoker. Addiction is a painful, awful thing, and some chains are almost impossible to shake off, ESPECIALLY if the rest of your life is miserable.

    (Sorry about the turkey.)


    1. I'm sure you're right about withholding judgement, but the fact that *I* was able to quit smoking after 10+ years of it makes me feel superior to those who don't quit. None of that makes me proud to admit, but there it is anyway.

  3. arils. They're arils. I don't know why you won't just believe me about that.

    Thank you for today's many lessons. I will likely abstain from buying a flower, though. My house is where they go to die. :(

    1. I knew you were going to say that about the pomegranate seeds.

      Maybe buy some pretty fake flowers? I saw some at Michael's. They may have even been on sale.

    2. Ooh! Target has some ITunes gift cards on sale, too! I'll pick up the flowers on my way...