Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Airing of Grievances (a little late, I know)

If you remember Seinfeld, you will remember the holiday known as Festivus. It is a "holiday for the rest of us." It always made me laugh because people took it seriously. Maybe they did that just to avoid another day of work or to have something to celebrate. Either way, it became a family joke for us. Every year, our family talks about the airing of grievances. And, since it's important not to allow the sun to go down on your anger, it seems to fit the Biblical mandate.

Obviously, I'm late in airing my grievances with the world. I've been sick, my friends, so please forgive me. Not to delay any longer, here they are (in no particular order but just as they come to mind):

1. I respect and admire James Spann, our local meteorologist guru, as much as anyone else. But, the people who ask him for specifics about their personal schedules, in light of the weather, just get on my nerves. For example, Mildred writes, "James, I am planning to get my hair done at The Beautify Yourself Salon on Highway 78 in Dora tomorrow at 9:30 am. It will take exactly 2 hours if Leanne has not scheduled any other clients (which she has only done twice...and I did not tip her either time) during my time slot. Will I have any issues getting home?" Can we just agree to stay off the roads during any type of weather emergency and not bother James with our personal agendas? And getting your hair done or buying groceries or going to school are NOT emergencies. Blood, babies, broken bones, burning houses...those are emergencies.

2. Driving down the road with your blinker on. It just gets on my last nerve. Please stop.

3. Hashtags. #fortheloveofallthatisgoodandholypleasestopjuststoprightnownoreallystop.

4. Selfies. I totally understand the desire to document life. But, if life is ONLY about you, there are some bigger issues to deal with. Look back through your Facebook photos. If the majority of them are of you BY YOURSELF (even if you are single or a teenager or for goodness sake, married), please take some photos of nature or buildings or traffic. Something else. Even if you are not self-centered, you appear to be.

5. Grammar. EVEN IF YOU ARE TEXTING, please use verbs. They never killed anyone. To be verbs are handy and short and take two seconds to insert. Use them, please.

6. And along the same lines and in the spirit of generosity, I have another grammar request. There are words that do NOT require doubling the final consonant before adding the suffix. Here's the THREE-part rule. (a) Does the word end in a single consonant? (b) Is the single consonant preceded by a single short vowel? AND THE ONE THAT IS OFTEN OVERLOOKED (c) Is the last syllable accented? If the answer to all three questions is "yes," then please double that final consonant (running, shopping, stepped). If the answer to any of the questions is "no," then do not double that final consonant (canceling, worshiping, traveling). See how easy that is?

7. Extremes are outdated and not effective. I see this in visiting my dad who resides in the Bibb County Correctional Facility every eight weeks. If one visitor breaks a rule (someone tried to sneak bacon in the prison inside a ziploc bag in their sock), then the rule is automatically changed to apply to everyone. So now we all take off our socks and shoes every time we visit. There are numerous examples including no bathroom breaks allowed, undergarments are checked, etc.) that come as a direct result of an extreme swinging of the pendulum. We are often guilty of this in our families and churches. If something happens that was not anticipated or hurts us or does not result in our expected outcomes, then we swing in the opposite direction and enforce a new rule. Balance, people. Balance.

8. Servers at restaurants. This is not a grievance about servers but about our behavior as customers. While I don't impose this behavior on others, I do see the benefit for our children. When a server comes to our table, everyone is required to stop doing whatever they are doing and pay attention. Eye contact. Full attention. No coloring, talking, staring out the window...actually talk to the server and give him/her our respect. It teaches our children that every person is important, and dismissing others is not acceptable. Plus, we do not want the butler/maid "you are here to serve me" mentality.

Well, that's it. My airing of the grievances. Plus, we are "rained" in at the moment (I'm truly hoping for some snow) and it's the best I could do. Do you have any grievances to air? If so, let me hear 'em!


Linda said...

Well, you named all of mine already! Especially #4. And with a daughter as a server, if you can't afford to tip, don't go out to eat. That's what drive thrus are for.

The Poitevints said...

This just made me laugh. I think I have been spelling worshiping wrong for a very long time. Oh look! My phone just corrected it. Maybe I haven't been spelling it wrong.