Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Want My Six Dollars Back

“Can’t I get the price for the men’s cut?” I asked.
“No; you woman,” she said.
“But it’s a man’s cut,” I said. She wouldn’t back down, and I didn’t want to start a fight, so I paid the extra six dollars for the women's cut. I got the same service that a man gets, but was charged more.

At another barber shop, I was turned away; the woman there looked at the picture I showed her-- cut with scissors on top, clippers on the side-- but insisted that she did not know how to cut a woman's hair and couldn't do it.

This is the cut that was billed as a woman's hairstyle.
When I was little, I had long hair. I hated it. It got caught on things, and I had to braid it every night if I didn’t want to wake up with a horrible tangle. I brushed it out smooth and straight every morning, pulling out knots and tying it back, but by the end of the day it always had terrible snarls in it. It was heavy and stringy and annoying and, by the time I was nine, I’d had enough of it. I went to the hairdresser and had it all chopped off.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The End Of The World, Part II: When you come back again. . . would you bring me something from the fridge?

I don't really believe that Jesus is ever coming back. If I did, I'd being living with a sense of urgency, and I'd be getting stuff done.

I'd be a free-spirited, crunchy granola social justice and environmentalism fanatic. I would be involved in AFAC and ASPAN beyond sending a check or some canned food once a year. I would produce a bag lunch and a gift card for every homeless person who stopped me on the street. I would definitely not be wearing business-casual slacks and blazers; I would be in some kind of homespun fair-trade organic Quaker plain dress. I would be so humble that everyone would notice.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The End of the World, Part I

My supervisor and I have different approaches to correcting flawed work. When I’ve been assigned to rework a project, I begin by evaluating how the project was assembled, and then I assess which parts of the project can be salvaged.

My supervisor deletes everything and starts from scratch.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Once Two Strangers Climbed Old Rocky Top

Looking for a moonshine still.

Strangers ain't come down from Rocky Top. . .
Reckon they never will.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Rerun: Consider the POOR, ABANDONED Lilies

April 11, 2006

My mother received a peace lily as a gift many years ago, either as a wedding or a housewarming present—anyway, the lily is within a couple of years of my age. It’s enormous. Gargantuan. This is a plant that’s over 20 years old, over five feet tall, and has leaves you could use as small rowboats. And my mother, who anthropomorphises everything and panics at the idea of being responsible for something helpless and innocent, finally snapped after two-plus decades of watering this poor thing weekly and turning it to the light. Its presence in the living room just became too much for her.

Here’s what she did. She got up in the wee hours of the morning, muscled the lily out to the car, drove to The Plant Place at the other end of town, and abandoned the lily on the nursery doorstep, with a piece of paper on which she’d written, “Please take care of my baby.”

Now, of course, she’s wracked with guilt, as well she should be. I grew up with that plant. I moved army men and little plastic animals around in the pot and pretended they were in the jungle. I stretched out on the carpet next to that plant and did my schoolwork. That plant was as important to the house as the walls and ceiling. Okay, so by the time I moved out it had started to get so big that it was getting a little scary, but that’s not the plant’s fault. It did a very good job of being a plant. Lived up to its responsibility of plantishness.

My mother is afraid the nursery might’ve put the lily down. I just think it’s a miracle that both my brother and I made it to adulthood.

(Early Happy Mother's Day, Mommie. Sorry for the guilt trip.)

Justice Has Been Done

“I heard they gunned him down squealing like a pig.”
For the innocents killed in Your name:
Lord, have mercy.

“Like a pig. They should have chopped him up like a pork chop.”
For blood that cries out for more blood:
Lord, have mercy.

"It’s about goddamn time, is all I have to say.”
For the gifts of a strong will and a sharp mind, corrupted by the man you gave them to:
Lord, have mercy.

“They should have decapitated him on YouTube.”
For the souls he led astray:
Lord, have mercy.

 “All right, America!”
For the righteous fury that rejoices at his death:
Lord, have mercy.

“Justice has been done.”
For this and every generation in our broken world:
Lord, have mercy.

Orlin Wagner, AP

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Mary Month of May

It’s May, the most awkward time of year between my husband and myself. May is the month dedicated to Mary. We have very different opinions about Mary. We have very different opinions about many things, but the Mary one tends to get us both riled up.
It’s one thing to talk about how Christians should respect each other’s deeply-held beliefs and meaningful traditions. That makes me feel warm and fuzzy and very good about myself.
It’s another thing for a Baptist to watch her husband marching in a processional to place a wreath of flowers on the head of a graven image of the perpetually virginal Mother of God, crowning her Queen of Heaven. That's where the rubber hits the road, and I start acting like a twit.

Baptist Bingo: The Lord's Supper

Baptists are funny creatures. They are complex and contradictory in all of their forms, and they do take many forms. There are some things that you expect from them, which they usually deliver, and other things that you might expect and be surprised not to find. I’m going to be exploring some of the quirks and stereotypes of Baptists in a feature I call:

If you are a Baptist, you probably think that I left a lot of critical things out and put in some junk. Too bad; it’s not your blog. If you aren’t a Baptist but will have the opportunity to attend a Baptist service in the future, keep an eye out for the items on the card. If you fill out the whole card, though, I think you may be spending too much time at church. Go watch a football game or something.