November 26, 2008

You try to make a list…

…but eventually you exhaust yourself with the possibilities. So, I have decided to condense all that down to two things for which I am thankful.

Life—all of it. From the worst despairs (which, given what I see in the world around me is about the equivalent of a flea-bite on an elephant) to the greatest joys (again, in comparison to others, I have been blessed beyond what is my right and due).

Love. That I am able to give it, and that I receive it far in excess of expectation.

May your day of Thanksgiving be full and rich.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:23 AM | Comments (8)

November 18, 2008

“Jeepers, Creepers…”

“...I'm sorry for absolutely ruining your life by passing along to you a genetic predisposition for myopia and astigmah-tizzzzz-um..."

Yeah, doesn’t quite trip off the tongue, does it?

But, it was bound to happen, and the warning signs have been present for a while now—squinting, confusing one letter for another on the chalkboard, difficulty reading. Tiny Terror has now joined the rest of her family in the need for ocular assistance.

And it wasn’t pleasant.

Of course.

Because when you’re a kid, you tend to say stuff like, “I want glasses like you and Mom and Rebecca and Jonathan and Ashley,” without really considering what you’re saying. And you complain about the aforementioned inability to see the board and stuff, and wonder why your parents won’t take you and get a cool set of glasses right THEN! And then you show up at the Walmart vision center and the doctor tells you you need glasses, and all of that theoretical ‘wouldn’t it be cool to have glasses’ make-believe stuff is suddenly very real, and you start trying on frames, and you think that your friends are going to make fun of you, and you’re a young girl at that age when any criticism of your appearance sends you into fits of despair, and you can’t find anything that you like, and everything you do kinda-sorta like your dad won’t buy because it costs too much, and then everyone’s trying to tell you to hurry up because the store is going to close, and you HATE EVERYONE and HATE YOUR EYES and finally decide you shouldn’t have been saying you wanted glasses, and you wish you could go back in time and say that you want perfect eyes FOREVER, and you close your eyes and wish hard and all you get are tears.

So, you know, lots of fun at the Walmart vision center last night.

She finally settled on a pair that was reasonably-priced and fit her face and looked very cute to me (but less so to her, of course). This angst was on top of the fact that we almost had to reschedule again, after having been called last Tuesday (when our appointment was) and being told the doctor was ill, so we’d have to pick another day. Couldn’t do it Wednesday (church), couldn’t do it Thursday (the other doc doesn’t take Blue Cross), couldn’t do it Friday (football game), or Saturday (youth trip to Atlanta), not Sunday (church), so yesterday was pretty much it.

And so then when Reba got there, they said none of us were on the schedule.

Seems whoever called us didn’t actually write it down on the calendar. I heard all this second hand through the cell phone:

REBA: “They say we’re not on the schedule, and we’ll have to come back another day.”

ME: “No, they’re going to see you, because they already called us and changed it once, and I don’t care how many other people they’ve got to see, they’ll have to see you, too.”

R: “But they’ve got other people already scheduled.”

M: “Not our problem—tell them to make the other people wait.”

R: “Terry.”

M: [thinking angry thoughts]

R: “They’re asking who called you.”

M: “How should I know!? They called, we rescheduled because they called, and you’re not leaving until they see you! It was some woman, and I don’t know who it was. I didn’t ask for her name, she said she was with the Walmart vision center!”

R: [relaying information] “Okay, well, they said they don’t know who it was…”

M: “It. Does. Not. MATTER. WHO. CALLED. US. Look, ask them if the doctor was sick last week on Tuesday.”

R: [asking] “Yeah, they said he was out sick.”

M: “Okay, ask if they had someone calling to reschedule people.”

R: [asking] “Yes, they said someone called to reschedule people…”


R: “WAIT! Hold on and calm down--she’s talking to the manager—they said something about giving us a gift card to make up for it—”

M: “It danged well better cover the whole cost of whatever the insurance doesn’t cover, because we’re not going to go through this again.”

R: [asking] “Oh, okay—the manager just came out and said she was sorry and they’d stay here later and make sure we all got seen. Now calm down.”

In my snit, I failed to figure it probably would have been worth waiting another day or two, but once I get my dander up and think I know what’s acceptable and what’s not, there’s little to talk me down off that limb that I’m sawing so hard on.

But, it still rankles, you know?

I mean, do they have a problem with their staff prank-calling patients to tell them to come another day, and then not write it down? Is their staff so huge (with its five or six people) that they can’t figure out who screwed up? Is it really good policy to interrogate customers and expect them to anticipate being screwed over by whoever it was that called, enough to know it would be good to get the person’s name so when it came time to come to the store it would be readily available? Is it good to poke people with sticks and inconvenience them instead of the silly cow who messed up in the first place? And why is it they said they had four other customers scheduled at the same times as us, yet only one of which actually showed up? And why is my Blue Cross eye coverage so awful—it only pays for a portion of the exams, and nothing for glasses.

Anyway, I got off work and drove on over there (having a fine time all the way, venting and raging and Walter Mittying as I heard the staccato pocketa-pocketa sound as I crushed every single lens in the store under my feet), and everyone was nice and solicitous, aside from Miss Prickly Pants and her quandary about choosing a set of frames.

She was made to feel better with the purchase of a pink plaid patterned case that will hold her new glasses.

I wish I were so easily unburdened.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:51 AM | Comments (11)

November 03, 2008

I am not one to make predictions...

...but I feel pretty safe in making this one.

Should it happen that Americans elect a Democrat as President tomorrow, I can guarantee that when the new Administration moves in to the White House and various executive-branch offices, all of the computer keyboards will have their full complement of 'O' keys, and there won't be trash strewn all around, and things that belong to The People won't mysteriously disappear into staff briefcases as souvenirs, and in general the transition from R to D will be businesslike.

Businesslike, although not quite as efficient as the coordinated efforts made this year has been at encouraging the registration of fraudulent voters and assisting them in casting ballots, collecting fraudulent donations from all corners of the globe, and the effort by the press to bury its carcass in a steaming pile of irrelevance.

Gosh, I'm sure it'll all be worth it in the long run, right guys?


As for what will happen should the opposite situation occur, I can't quite say. Given the obstacles, it certainly would be quite a repudiation of the aforementioned influence of the ballot-box-stuffing/untraceable walking-around-money/yellow "journalism" troika, and I do certainly hope that it would come to pass. But when cheats lose, it's a bit much to expect them do so gracefully.

In any event, go and exercise your franchise tomorrow, and whether your choice wins or loses, please don't be an idjit. (And yes, I realize this is more difficult for a certain group of you.)

UPDATE 11/4/08: I went at lunch today and did my part to beat back the rising tide of Wobblies and Weathermen and their fellow-travelers.

I do have to say that it was pleasant for the most part, although the polling place was packed pretty tightly. After finding a parking place, the wait from first getting to the end of my line until I fed the ballot into the machine was thirty minutes, which is a bit longer than I remember it in the past. Then again, maybe not.

But in any event, it still felt like a good ol' American election--no screaming or hollering or thugs or mugs--just a bunch of folks standing around waiting and talking. I will say this, though, no matter what party it happens to be, people who are tightly-wound partisans are downright odd.

One early-middle-aged lady came out the doors after voting, dressed in a sharp bright red business suit, stilletos, little rectangular glasses, upswept brunette hair--yep, the full Palin. You could tell she was some sort of big-R Republican-type person and full of that odd chattiness that politicians and politician-wannabes affect, and she probably thought she was either a) being cutesy, b) being completely non-ironic in showing her devotion to the ideals of Sarah Palin, or c) this was the way she's always looked (not likely). But gee whiz--party loyalty's one thing, and dress-up is quite something else. It makes you seem about ten years old. And frankly, we've got enough childish people in politics.

And also frankly, she didn't quite pull off the look, either. Which offended me deeply.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see how this all turns out in four years.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:57 PM | Comments (16)