Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It's Those Little Moments....

You may have heard the saying, "Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away." Yeah, breathless moments are fabulous, but that's not really what defines most of our days/weeks/lives. Nope, the ones that really make us all who we are are the ones your mother told you build character, those smack-to-the-forehead moments; the ones that leave you blushing, and really test your ability to remain calm and sane.

Like that moment you are on your way to meet someone, high fiving yourself for being right on time, and then realize you forgot something and have to go all the way back home. Return to start.

When you walk into a room full of strangers and are so relieved to see a friendly face waving to you...and then realize they are waving to the person behind you.

The panicked moment when you're talking to someone but you can't remember their name, so you try to avoid introducing them to the person you're with. Hey there, you!

That awkward moment when you realize you've kept talking after the call dropped out. Sometimes I will throw in a "Can you still hear me? Oh, I think I may have lost you...." only it's probably been a full 60 seconds since the call ended. I just didn't realize it.

Or when you say good-bye to someone, but then you both continue walking in the same direction.

You try to open a door by pulling it, when the sign saying PUSH is staring you in the face. Give your self an additional 'moment' if there is someone behind you waiting and watching.

You finally finish exercising and feel slimmer already--toned, tightened, lean--and then have to peel your sweaty Spandex off your body, which gives you the feeling of being a sausage, stuck in the casing. I have had times of sheer terror when I thought I would have to cut the clothes off my body.

When you leave a room angrily and dramatically, then realize you forgot something and have to go back in to get it. These little moments will make you wonder if you really need those car keys, or if you should just abandon your car and walk home.

I can't decide which of these is worse: when you ask someone when they are due and they are not pregnant, or when someone asks if you're pregnant and you're not. A friend told me over the weekend that, in order to avoid these type moments, you should refrain from discussing whether or not someone is pregnant unless they are in the delivery room at that moment.

How about that moment at the drive-thru when you take big ol' swig of your Diet Coke, only to find out it is the sweet tea the person behind you ordered? (Imagine their moment, when instead of a big sip of sugar, they get your Diet Nectar of the Gods instead).

Or when your dental hygienist is, for some reason, asking you a string of questions that are not yes or no, and she has instruments in your mouth. Can I blink Morse code in response?

Coming home at the end of an evening and thinking how amused and entertained everyone looked while you were telling that funny story, then seeing your reflection and realizing they were probably looking at that piece of spinach stuck to your tooth.

You blurt out the wrong answer...with great confidence. Oh, really, that wasn't it?

How about when you glance back over your shoulder, then trip over something because you weren't looking? I was leaving a shoe store years ago, when the owner wished me good luck in a pageant I was competing in and said she had no doubt I would take home the crown. I turned to say thank you, and tripped over the curb in the process. I know she was impressed by all that grace and poise sprawled out in her parking lot.

The moment in your backyard, when you are performing old pep rally dance routines from high school, and your neighbor sees and thinks knows you are crazy. Wait, is that one just me?

The list goes on and on, and on. The good news is that we can all relate because it happens to most everyone (although I do seem to be higher than average on the receiving end of such situations). So, pull the toilet paper off your shoe, give that door a good, strong pull, and feel free to let what's-her-name make her own introduction. Go ahead, seize the moment (before it seizes you)!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Rock Our World

I was beyond surprised this morning when, after finishing enough Diet Coke to focus my eyes, sit in an upright position and read actual words, I saw online that Clemson's iconic Howard's Rock had been vandalized. Here is but one of the articles detailing the incident, along with a little history of the beloved Rock and what makes it special to Tigers everywhere.

Social media is full of outraged and saddened fans, along with zealous suggestions for protecting "the Rock" going forward, and doomsday sayers already predicting that future generations will never have access to the Rock, that this classless act has ruined it for everyone.

And while I have no doubt that the perpetrator(s) of this pettiness will be caught (if the Clemson police caught me *allegedly* rolling through a stop sign while jamming to "Holding Out For a Hero" back in 1998, they will no doubt be all over this completely heinous crime), in the meantime we should consider a thing or two. To help make sense of the situation.

Clemson fans, take heart. The truth of the matter is, that while it is sickening and disappointing, there is good news. Clemson is more than just a rock. To be honest, the Rock is more than just a rock. You see, it isn't something that Clemson uses to celebrate a victory. It's not a mascot, and it doesn't represent any kind of bragging rights. The Rock is rubbed by players (and fans alike) who commit to giving 110%. And that, my friends, is a state of mind. It says that on the football field and beyond, win or lose, we will give it our all, put our hearts into it, and strive to be excellent.

I have gotten numerous messages and comments from rival college football fans about how their team is going to take a bigger piece of the rock when their team next comes to Clemson, put another dent in that rock, et cetera, et cetera. It's all in good fun, because everyone knows that rivalry is the heartbeat of college football. Passion from the fans is what it's all about. I shake my head and laugh a little, because I know that they don't truly understand.

But here's what Clemson fans need to remember, and other folks need to learn: no matter what the scoreboard says, no matter if there is a rock or no rock, we are proud of our University. We call ourselves the Clemson family, and there is a sense of community, of pride, of longstanding tradition, that cannot be touched by vandalism or diminished by antagonistic words or actions--this sense of pride and the love we have for Clemson is difficult to even describe to those who are not familiar with it.

So, in simplest terms, it's not about the Rock. I don't mean to diminish this despicable act, but it's about more than Howard's Rock. It's about something no one can really wrap their hands around, and it is this: we will keep right on loving Clemson, South Carolina. Bursting with pride that we are a part of Clemson University. Cheering on those Tigers every chance we get. We bleed orange, and you can't take any part of that away. GO TIGERS!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Too Bad, Even for Dad (Gifts to Never, Ever Give)

This Sunday is Father's Day, a day in honor of dear old Dad.  Father's Day typically takes a big backseat to Mother's Day, and we all think we're going over the top buying Dad anything but a tie, and firing up the lawn mower and chopping down that crab grass in the front lawn for old times' sake.

But the times have gotten complicated and, as it turns out, there are far worse gifts out there than the old standby necktie. So, just in time to guide your pursuit for a present, I found a few gifts that Dad can absolutely live without. Please make Papa proud and give the gift of anything other than these:

For starters, I found this handy wallet-size bottle opener, which can be engraved with significant dates such as anniversaries and birthdays. Which begs the question: does your Dad drink so much he can't remember important dates and celebrations? Or do these dates just make him want to crack open some booze and toss a few back? Either way, this one seems more than misguided. Maybe it's best not to encourage bad behavior. Unless you want one fermented father showing up on Alice's birthday in July.

Golf gifts are always popular for dads, and this one definitely puts a unique spin on the game. And I have to think that this little gem would find Dad, um, in a relaxed state while he practices his putts. But doesn't he already spend enough time in there? Not to mention the horror of being asked to caddy for Dad while he plays this course....

Trendy new scents are all the rage in the world of cologne, and frankly, there are so many bad ones out there it is hard to choose the ultimate no-no. You may remember that Burger King came out with "Flame" a while back, in case your Pops wants to smell like the essence of flame broiled meat (and really, who doesn't?). Sadly, I also came across scents like sushi, blue cheese, and Play-Doh made just for him. Those are terrible, but ultimately, I found this one to be the worst. When was the last time you were at a funeral home and thought the smell was so intoxicating it should be bottled and distributed to the masses? Mmm, I smell dead people.

A rest and relaxation getaway, perhaps, would be an ideal gift for the busy dad. However, this getaway? I do not think so. "A Weekend For Both of You in The Nude." I am having night terrors just from finding this ad. Please note that the Paradise Valley Resort is located in the great state of Georgia; it's no wonder the South gets a bad name. This makes kissing cousins seem positively demure.

Finally, let's agree to avoid giving anything that says #1 Dad. Remember the argument the t-shirt started on that Seinfeld episode? Morty Seinfeld and Izzy Mandelbaum know what kind of chaos competing for the #1 Dad title can bring about. In the interest of safety (and sanity), please avoid ranking your father above (or below, for that matter) other dads. Maybe just give the guy a hug and tell him he's the best in your book, rather than relying on a coffee mug to make such a provocative statement.

No matter what gift you do decide to bestow on Dad, here's to the king of the remote, the guru of the grill, the lord of the lawnmower. Thanks to the dads of the world for playing catch, telling bedtime stories, always knowing the weather forecast, and all those bike riding lessons. Enjoy your Father's Day!