- If you ever called flip-flops thongs. Years ago my daughter asked me what I was looking for and I told her, “My thongs.” She got this horrified look on her face and informed me that they were called flip-flops, not thongs!
- If you remember getting your first TV. It was bulky, had a black and white picture, and got 3 channels.
- If you remember TV, movies, and music not laced with sex, profanity, or extreme bloodshed and yet they were classics.
- If you remember what you used to do before cell phones and the internet.
- If you had to eat what Mamma fixed or you didn’t eat at all.
- If they still had prayer and discipline in schools.
- If you watched the astronauts walking on the moon for the first time.
- If you remember where you were when JFK was shot.
- If you ever have said to someone, “Back in my day….”
- If you remember when Roe vs. Wade became law.
- If the serious behavior issues in your school were running in the halls, chewing gum, or talking too much.
- If your school or car did not have air conditioning when you were growing up.
- If you knew it was time for dinner because the sun was setting.
- If it seemed that everything you ate was deep fried, full of fat, covered in gravy, and mighty tasty.
- If a handshake was as good as a signed contract.
- If you remember when people stood for the pledge of allegiance and the national anthem.
- If your parents let you play outside all day without worry.
- If one of your first bikes was a Stingray.
- If you clipped playing cards to the spokes of your bike to make it sound cool.
- If you thought that marijuana would never be legalized.
- If you every played Pong, Space Invaders, Asteroids, or Pacman.
- If Etch A Sketch was your first computer.
- If you remember gas for under $0.25 a gallon.
- If you ever ate Swanson TV Dinners.
- If you don’t give a flip what other people think anymore.
- If people who visit tell you that the TV is awfully loud.
- If you know what this ad was about: “A little dab will do ya.”
- If you wondered: “Who were those old people at your class reunion?”
- Where there’s a will there’s a lawyer.
- A penny saved makes cents.
- Don’t bite the hand that leads you.
- You miss 100% of the shots eventually.
- The early bird gets shot.
- It’s my way or a higher way.
- He who laughs last didn’t get it.
- It’s like the blind leading the blonde.
- A closed mouth invites no fist.
- A house divided is a duplex.
- A journey of a thousand miles begins with my GPS.
- A lie told often enough is still a lie.
- A man is known by the company he works for.
- A woman’s work is never really appreciated until her man has to do it.
- All codes lead to ROM.
- All things come to him who is waited on.
- All’s fair in love and wrestling.
- Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no alibies.
- Clothes make the MANnequin.
- Don’t beat a dead horse…or a live one, for that matter.
- Don’t put all your eggs in one biscuit.
- Taste makes waist.
- Hair today, gone tomorrow.
- HINDsight is looking in a REARview mirror.
- If at first you don’t succeed, sigh, sigh again.
- If you can’t stand the HEAT , stay out of Miami.
- Into each life a little pain must fall.
- Quit saying, “It is what it is.” It is what we make it.
- It’s always darkest before the dumb.
- It’s not who YOU know, it’s who knows YOU.
- Less is more….more or less.
- Let your conscience be your bride.
- Loose lips sink relationSHIPS.
- Love means you always have to say you’re sorry.
- Nature abhors a vacuum, and vacuums suck.
- Never say never….never.
- No glutes, no glory.
- No news is no news.
- No pain, no pain.
- Nothing is certain except death and Texas.
- One good TURNcoat deserves another.
- People who live in glass houses need Windex.
- Religion and politics don’t mix because you can’t separate them.
- The customer is always right in his own mind.
- Time wounds all heels.
- Two lefts don’t make a right.
- When the going gets tough, you’ve entered Louisiana.
- You catch more flies with honey, but why?
I learned early in life that people are messed up. When I was in 1st grade, the teacher sent me and Johnny down to another teacher’s room to get some supplies. So what did we do? We did what any red-blooded kid would do. We RACED! As soon as we got to the door I proudly exclaimed, “I WON!!!!” My joy was short-lived. The teacher asked a stupid question: “Were you boys running in the hall?” We immediately had the look of shame come over us. She then sent us to the Principal’s office to tell HIM what we did. Good Lord. What HAD we done? We both got a spanking for that. I never even got to plead my case or let him know that I WON!
Later that same year one of the boys in the neighborhood thought it would be funny to push me into the mud at school. It WAS funny….for him. I was mortified. How was I going to explain this to Mom? Later that day there was a knock on our front door. I went to the door with Mom and guess who was there? The kid who pushed me into the mud was on our porch, and he wanted to know if I wanted to come out to play! No apology. No clue that he had done me any wrong. I just looked up at Mom and said, “Nope,” and shut the door. LOL. He had that surprised look on his face.
Recently in one of my classes there erupted loud laughter when one of the boys decided to cut the cheese. Everyone was holding their nose and giggling. Inside I was laughing so hard, but I stoically looked at the group and said, “Everyone does that. It is just a natural body function. We just don’t do that in public.” I thought I had put it to rest, but no…one of the boys called me out when he said, “But Mr. Dan…didn’t YOU think it was funny when you were a kid?” Dad-gum it! What was I going to do? Lie? I could have told them about the contests we had…but I just admitted that I did laugh when I was a kid and redirected them back to the project at hand.
The school counselor and I were talking about it and he started reminiscing about being in school and discussing the planets. He would always start laughing when they talked about the planet with the anatomical name. I told him about one teacher that was teaching about the planets and she used THAT planet as her example. She said, “Just imagine you live on Uranus. What would you see there? What things grow there?” OMG. The class was trying so hard not to laugh and I think I was coughing to cover up my laughter. She never knew what she said was so funny but I was crying from it.
Here is what I know about dysfunctional people: they honestly don’t know most of the time that they are dysfunctional. Everyone but them can see it apparently, but that does not change the fact that they are in dysfunctional bliss. There are a couple of things to do with dysfunctional people.
- Correct them, but do it in private. Shaming them is dysfunctional on your part, so don’t stoop to that.
- Realize that you may have to put some space between the two of you…especially if they refuse to change
I hate to break this to you, but everyone is dysfunctional at some level. We all have our flaws…even ME, and I am Superman! :o) Just admit it and you are on the road to becoming a responsible adult. I admit that I don’t like being an adult all the time. Sometimes I want to just be a kid and burp really loudly in class…..but alas…I must be proper. I am, after all…an adult. The good news for me is that I can write about it and tell the world! LOL.
Isn’t it ironic:
- That a small rudder can control a mighty ship, but we can’t seem to control our tongues?
- That we can know the right thing to do and then choose not to do it?
- That we instinctively want to be served, yet we neglect serving others?
- That we fail to prepare for the unexpected and then are blindsided when it happens?
- That some people don’t make the same mistake twice…they make it like fifty times just to be sure?
- That we expect life to be fair despite all the evidence to the contrary?
- That some people see stumbling blocks where others see stepping stones?
- That some people would rather live in constant drama and turmoil rather than live in peace and contentment?
- That some people are never satisfied even when they have it all?
- That we pay crazy money to those who entertain us, but neglect the ones who educate us and protect us?
- That there are leaders who mistake management for leadership?
- That some people can believe in hell yet don’t believe in God?
- That people can underestimate the power of love and overestimate the power of evil?
- That some people still haven’t learned how to forgive themselves or others?
- That people can put more value on being right than having relationship?
- That there are people who will love things and use people?
- That some parents neglect their children then wonder why they are so angry and are constantly in trouble?
- That some kids are given unrestricted access to the internet, then we wonder how they lost their innocence?
- That we can forget to invest our time and energy in children?
- That some people don’t accept responsibility for their words and actions and then blame others for their problems?
- That everything we love to eat seems like it is bad for us?
- That anything fried is like a drug calling our name?
- That a woman can remember everything wrong that a man has done but she can’t remember where she put her glasses?
“Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.” Lord Byron
Have you ever wondered if God laughs? I am sure He does. It has been said, “We make our plans and God laughs.” There is probably a lot of truth to that. I think there are many things that make God laugh.
I was at a Men’s Conference a few years ago and we were singing, “Let It Rain.” Oh boy, did it rain?!!!! Be careful what you ask for when you are praying or praising God…just saying. I look back and think God was saying to the angels, “Watch this.” Then He laughed as we ran for cover from the deluge.
God laughs at our simple-minded thinking…especially when we think we have things figured out. That is usually when He throws us a curve ball. He laughs when we predict weather. How many times have the weathermen got that one wrong??? He laughs when the devil thinks he has got the upper hand on one of God’s kids. He laughs when anyone tries to be Him.
God laughs, and I believe he likes to hear us laugh too. Laughter is part of pure joy, and joy is rooted in our soul as an anchor to help us through the storms of life.
Have you ever laughed at the absurdity of something? I have, and I am sure God does too. Some things are just ridiculous and aren’t worth debating, fretting, or losing sleep over. I know God does not lose sleep over anything…so why should we?
When I was in high school a kid nicknamed me Smiley because I smiled all the time. I really didn’t mind it because it could have been a lot worse! I remember a kid nicknamed Stinky. LOL. The few times I got in trouble at school was usually from laughing about something. It didn’t help that I knew I could make other people laugh!
“If you give up on your dreams, what’s left?” Jim Carrey. Jim dreamed of being a big star and making money by making people laugh. Despite dropping out of school and lack of support from his Mom, he never gave up on his dream. With the encouragement from his Dad he became one of the most successful comedians in recent years with his films grossing billions of dollars worldwide…all by making people laugh. Obviously, it pays to laugh.
Have you ever had your life flash before your eyes and experience true terror? That happened to me yesterday. I got a text from the Assistant Principal telling me I needed to go cover a class. This was not just any class. It was a Kindergarten class!
I felt this nauseous sensation come over me as I started my way towards the abyss known as the Kindergarten hallway. I knew that I was walking towards the edge of sanity and I might not come back. It was like the scene in The Green Mile with somebody calling out “Dead Man Walking.”
I had to relieve Ms. Kaba while she went to meet with a parent about her child’s behavior. As I saw Ms. Kaba leave the room, I realized for the first time how Daniel must have felt being thrown into the lions’ den. All these little aliens were looking at me like they were ready to pounce.
They were happily munching on their snacks (which most of them were wearing all over their face, hands, and clothes). Almost on cue about ten of them surrounded me and started asking me questions. All I remember was saying “Yes, no, yes, no, yes, no.” I am not even sure what I said yes or no to. I prayed quickly, “Lord, please don’t let them touch me.” I really did not know what to do, so I went across the hallway to the lead teacher and told her I needed help and I needed it NOW.
She was amazing. She came in, surveyed the room, and then announced that she was setting the timer for 2 minutes to finish eating. She would be back in two minutes and anyone not finished would have to clip down (apparently that is like a death threat to a Kindergarten kid because they took it very seriously). She came back in 2 minutes and reset the timer for a minute and a half and announced that they had to have EVERYTHING cleaned up and put away in a minute and a half or they would clip down.
The kids started moving so fast it was like watching a film that had been sped up. I had to tell some of them to slow down to keep them from hurting themselves or someone else. Sure enough, in a minute and a half she came back in and surveyed the room. All the mess was cleaned up in a minute and a half! Wow. I just stood there with my jaw open at what I had just witnessed.
Then she proceeded to put the class into “stations.” She set up 4 different stations and gave them specific instructions for each station. She then set the timer again and told them when the timer was up, they would rotate to the next station. This was like watching a great master conduct the most beautiful masterpiece in the world. The kids just fell into line and did what they were told.
About that time, Ms. Kaba returned from her parent meeting. I had this weird sensation like I was waking up from a bad dream. I thanked her for what she and her co-workers do every day. Kindergarten kids are so needy! That is not a good thing for me because I am very needy too!
I think that Kindergarten Teachers are up there next to Jesus. They have the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon, the courage of Samson, and the love of Jesus all wrapped in a smile. I know that I am Superman, but Superman met his Kryptonite in the form of a Kindergarten class. I now have a profound respect and love for anyone who teaches Kindergarten kids. You guys rock!
P.S. Ms. Kaba has 2 young kids at home and is expecting her third. She teaches Kindergarten kids all day then goes home to deal with her own kids. How crazy is that? Crazy good!
(A tribute to teachers to the tune of Red Red Wine)
Red red eyes, burn in my head
Make me forget that I
Should be in my bed
Red red lines are covering my eyes
I thought I was doing right
Grading papers all night
With red red eyes
I had sworn that with time
I would find my way to bed
I was wrong now I find
Just one thing makes me forget
Red red eyes
Stay closed for me
I can’t stay up all night
It’s tearing apart
My blue blue eyes
I had sworn that with time
I would find my way to bed
I was wrong, now I find
Just one thing makes me forget
Red red eyes
Oh how I need Visine
Help me to see again
Got papers to grade again
Through red red eyes
Have you noticed how old everyone else looks as you get older? Particularly at Homecoming. That is why I don’t like going anymore. I am now in the group of people that the kids gawk at and giggle about how old they look. They can’t believe we are still driving. Admittedly some of us shouldn’t be…but I am not there yet!
I don’t like getting old and frankly, I resent the fact that my aches and pains are now my main topics of conversation. I don’t like to be raising my hand for another prayer request every week at church. What really irritates me is that my mind still thinks I am 32.
My wife and I were talking about wisdom and how much we have learned from making mistakes. She laughed and said she did not think she was much wiser now because she still thinks with her heart…and that gets her in trouble because people tend to take advantage of that. I am like that too, except that now I trust…but verify. It is a lot less painful in the end.
I was talking about my bad back to a friend of mine who is fighting cancer. We make quite a pair! Anyway, he sent me a couple of things to encourage me. I thought they were excellent, so I am passing them on to you.
Exercise for People Over 50
Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you can have plenty of room at each side.
With a five pound sack in each hand extend your arms straight out from your side, and hold them there as long as you can.
Try to get a full minute, and then relax. Each day you will find that you can hold this position a little bit longer.
After a couple of weeks, move up to ten pound sacks. Then fifty pound sacks, and then eventually, try to get to where you can lift a one hundred pound sack in each hand, and hold your arms straight out for more than a full minute. (I’m at this level)
After you feel confident at this level, put a potato in each sack. (I am proud to say that I am now at the level where I have a potato in each sack!)
Benefits of Growing Older
- In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.
- Kidnappers are not interested in you.
- No one expects you to run into a burning building.
- People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.
- There is nothing left to learn the hard way.
- Things you buy now never wear out.
- You can eat dinner at 4 p.m.
- Senior citizen discounts abound. You just have to remember to use them.
It seems that some people are just destined to be dramatic, but I have to wonder why? Life does not have to be full of drama every day, does it? Don’t we have enough real issues without the drama?
One of the things about kids is that they learn very early how to turn on the drama for effect. They tattle, they cry, they hit, they scream, they pout, and they throw temper tantrums. I recall seeing a father in Branson many years ago sitting on a bench. His hands were cupped around his face as he calmly watched his toddler in a screaming tantrum laying in front of him on the sidewalk. Tourists walked about and were laughing at the scene. I wish I had put it on video. It would have gone viral for sure.
My wife was telling me of a funny quote she saw recently. It said, “Have you ever looked around your family and thought: Well, aren’t we just two clowns short of a circus?” LOL. Thankfully, my family is not in that category now, but I know plenty that are.
The problem with living a life full of drama is that it robs you of your peace. Just watch the people that are constantly in turmoil and see if this is not true. They lack the ability to cope, so they stress, they complain, they gossip, and they stir the pot to make others feel their pain.
I try to avoid people who live like that. It seems that they are constantly trying to get others to wallow in the mire with them. I have wallowed in self-pity before and it isn’t pretty. At some point we have to shake it off and realize that if we want things to be different, WE have to change. We have to take on the attitude that says: “You can change the world when you change YOUR world.”
Unless you are professional actor, please leave the drama to the pros.