O Lord, You and I recall that announcers used to caution viewers, “Don’t touch that dial!” Now, we’re told, don’t use the wrong remote, hit that delete button or swipe that screen. Keep your voice down, or you’ll confuse Alexa or Siri or Roomba. OMG, it’s bad enough that technology confuses me. I’m supposed to worry about confusing technology?
One day, upon fetching the mail, my husband all but sounded a trumpet as he waved a letter. “Guess what?”
Turns out, he’d won 2021 Doctor of the Year. Not only did the company promise to laud his superior work in syndicated publications, they offered a website where he could obtain a beautiful plaque to commemorate his many accomplishments as a radiologist.
“And I thought you’d done family practice for 41 years.” I crossed my arms. “All this time, you’d been a radiologist? What else haven’t you told me?”
“I didn’t know I was a radiologist, either,” Hubby said. “How nice of them to remind me. Though I might remind them I retired in 2019. And that my name isn’t spelled “P-H-I-L-L-I-P-P.”
“Picky, picky,” I said. “Here, they bestow this incredible honor, and you fuss about silly details.”
After all, nobody has sent me an award. I can think of several I could win, hands down:
- The Technology Hates Me Award. I have no doubt I could win world honors.
- The Ultimate Spreader of Potato Chips on the Kitchen Floor Award.
- The Best Loser of All Important Items, including, but not limited to, purses, keys, IDs, visas, passports and passwords.
- The Ratty Bathrobe Award, granted only to those who display a special talent for anti-romance fashion.
When I protested my marginalization, Hubby agreed. “You should have taken first place in every category.”
“Darn right,” I sniffled. “You’d think they’d at least give me an honorable mention in Garage Crashing.”
Hubby said gently, “As much as I’d love for you to receive all you deserve, too many awards in this household might get expensive.”
“Yep.” He brought up www.dr.phillipp.awesome.radiologist.com. “Seems they want me to pay for my plaque.”
“Pay?” My cheapo gene shriveled. “For an award?”
“Yes. And I’m not the only lucky winner in the world asked to contribute to his prize.”
Hubby showed me an article by Dino Jahić, editor-in-chief of the Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia. He was notified he’d received a special award — one he could pick up for only 4,750 Euros ($5,600) in “participation fees.”
At least, Hubby said, they spelled his name right. He tossed his own vanity award letter into the trash.
“Vanity of vanities; all is vanity,” said wise King Solomon in the biblical book of Ecclesiastes. No doubt, God granted him sufficient smarts to realize he shouldn’t pay big bucks to inflate his ego.
After all, God gave Solomon his gifts, so why should he bribe the world to recognize him?
We aren’t obliged to pay them off, either. For those who love Him, God is always on the front row, cheering what we, with His help, accomplish.
Plus, He always spells our names right.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have you ever received a vanity award?
O Lord, I am late in observing National Sons Day — no surprise to You or anyone else who has received my card two weeks after the fact. Still, You know how I love and celebrate my baby boy, though, OMG, he’s 6’5” now, with little boys of his own.
First, never lose a phone. Especially in an airport, where tech-loving monsters lurk.
Five minutes after forgetting my phone, I dashed back. It already had landed in a monster’s maw.
My husband tracked my cell’s location. Still in that area! We searched until our flight began boarding.
No monsters. He/she must have morphed back into human form.
Rather than pay for rescheduling, with a possible overnight stay, we flew home.
While my family will use a microwave until it makes us glow in the dark, Hubby comes from a family of fixers. They conquer all weird car noises. They can smell a suspicious flame from miles away. If a meteor dents their patio furniture, serenity — and restored furniture — soon return to their backyard.
So, once home, Hubby continued his mission. He attempted to contact the airport lost and found — kept as secret as the Federal Witness Protection Program. Upon finally unmasking the department’s identity, he learned they allowed no phone calls. He completed a complicated online form.
Lost and found did respond. Zero success.
Hubby ordered a new phone. However, rather than keeping my original number, as we requested, the company representative deactivated it. She buried it on the distant cyber-planet Zorxx, where no human had gone before.
Ack! Changing one’s cell number compares to switching universes. Or purses.
Still, I said, “If the new number doesn’t make me glow in the dark—”
“No, the company made the mistake,” Hubby declared. “They should fix it.”
He soon discovered our communication company, while short on communication, was adept at designing phone trees:
(Music plays. And plays. And plays.)
Recording: Welcome to Hope-You-Die-Before-We-Answer Company. To pay your bill, press one. If you are ecstatic with our service, press two—
Hubby: I paid our bill. I’m anything but ecstatic with your service.
Recording: Thank you. Press four for our 12-phone plan. Press five for our 24-phone plan. Press six—”
Hubby: If I have a complaint?
Recording: No, if you want to know what we had for lunch.
Hubby: I don’t CARE!
Recording: The caviar was delicious. Click.
(Music plays again. And again. And again.)
Recording: Welcome to Hope-You-Die-Before-We-Answer Phone Company. …
When Hubby finally forced himself to request the lunch menu, he made progress. Fourteen people gave him different advice. After three weeks, none had restored my phone number.
While practicing medicine, my husband fought government regulations regarding bandage width. He grappled with insurance demands that cancer patients, instead of battling disease with radiation, visit tanning beds.
I believed in my fix-it warrior. He would crash through red tape. Force them to retrieve my original phone number from the planet Zorxx.
I was right!
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Who’s your family fix-it person?
O Lord, it’s that time of year in Indiana when summer and Indian summer engage in a polite tug of war. Windows open or shut? Air conditioning or heat? Ceiling fan or extra blankets? Though when it comes to falling temperatures, OMG, the seasons might prove more polite than we are.