Okay, so my friend Missy just gave me a blogging award. I would link to her blog but I don't know how which tells you just how undeserved this actually is but I love her to death and I haven't written in forever so I thought I should at least make a gesture...
Last night Guapo informed me that I was going to have to make a trip to the local IRS office on some business. To say I was less than thrilled would be a gross understatement.
Not because I resent paying taxes. I happen to believe that taxes are the price we pay for living in such a lovely country. Not because the IRS strikes fear in my heart. I have, in fact, met some very pleasant people there. (True, most of them were waiting with me, but... ) And not because I hate to wait in line (which I do). But I live conveniently close to the office and can manage to get there early enough that I don't usually have to wait at all.
No, I don't like going there because it forces me to come face to face with the fact that sometimes I am not very Christian in my attitudes. More specifically, about my attitude toward one particular man who works there.
He drives me batty.
He's not mean. Although he's been cranky quite a few times. In fact, he was even exceedingly pleasant. (Once.) And even moderately...moderate. (Three times.)
But really most of the time he just seems irritable. And frankly, like a little bit of a nitwit.(Thank you, Maren.)
Our history goes back years. Since Guapo owns a small business we have to pay quarterly taxes so I see more of him than you might think and he's been this way for as long as I can remember.
Let me give you an example. The last time I had to go there I was the first one in the office. The only other person there was the UPS man, whom I knew, and he was just finishing his delivery. We said hello to one another and I approached the window.
"You'll need to take a number and a seat, Ma'am."
Remember, there's no one there.
But, I did.
And then I watched him as he painstakingly unwrapped his package, divided it into sections, delivered each section to a different area of the office, returned to his desk, ORGANIZED it, and then pushed the button and called out, "Number one, please," in a chipper voice, and smiled as if he'd never seen me in his life.
And we were still alone.
(Have you seen Meet The Parents? The lady at the airline desk? Yeah, like her.)
Today when I went I took Buo. We were the first ones there and reached for a number. The security guard informed us that the two people in the office were training and they wouldn't be ready to help anyone for about forty minutes or so. Then he suggested we could step across the street for a donut while we waited.
We took the number, ran home, and made it back in fifteen minutes where we waited for another half hour with the nine other people who had since assembled. I'm glad.
Now I have witnesses.
We got to listen to my buddy who trained his co-worker while she explained to him just how faulty this new system was. How prone to errors it would be. How many SERIOUS errors were sure to happen.
All he could do was confirm that those kinds of errors HAD ALREADY HAPPENED. (No one in the waiting area can WAIT to get to the window NOW so we can be seriously fouled up by their new system. I can tell by the way the guy next to me is alternately shaking and sweating...)
Yes. It's true. That's what he said. At which point Buo turned to me and said softly, "Is he really that dumb?" (It occurs to me now that I may have passed on some of my LessThan Charitable world views to my offspring...)
FYI, friends at the IRS, your reputations are a little...well...cloudy, shall we say, anyway. You might not wanna put it all out there like this. Just sayin'.
Then, forty five minutes after they opened, he loudly and happily proclaimed, "Now we're ready to start the day. And all before 9:15."
Only forty five minutes after they opened.
(P.S. I'm pretty sure they post that security guard there to protect that man from himself.)
(Missy's blogs can be found at glasseyedgradys.blogspot.com and bankburglarsdaughter.blogspot.com.)
In general, I avoid political discussion. Not because I don't have opinions because, oh, I do. But because I know enough about myself to know that I don't like who I become when I am involved in heated debate. I have learned this in the School of Hard Knocks so to speak and I don't need any refresher courses, thankyouverymuch.
In January, in a small town in Arizona, a gunman opened fire in the parking lot of a shopping center. Multiple people were shot, injured and several were killed. The victims included a Congresswoman and a nine year old girl.
This morning it was reported that while formal charges on all counts had now been brought to bear on the man arrested, it would likely be years before he would be brought to trial. It seems he needs to be declared competent to face charges.
Competent to face charges. Competent.
And I thought, how much time would have been saved had he had to have been declared competent to purchase a weapon?
I know, I know, "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." "It's our right to bear arms. It's guaranteed in the Constitution." I've heard it all. But please, folks, a little common sense? I know common sense isn't written in there in the Constitution, (a fact I mean to bring up with the Founding Fathers in the next life if given the chance...)but I think it's implied, no? And if it's not actually implied isn't it implicit upon us as citizens to make sure issues are addressed that the Founding Fathers didn't foresee?
I just keep thinking, maybe if we fix this then that little girl's face won't haunt us all so much every time her picture is flashed across the screen. I doubt her parents will be so lucky.
I have absolutely wonderful kids...at least I think so. Ninety nine percent of the time I couldn't ask for one darn thing more but I have really failed them in the "teaching them to clean" category. Probably because I hate to do it myself. So imagine my surprise as I walked into the girls' room this afternoon and found this:
It nearly brought tears to my eyes I'm telling you. Really.
Here's a little tidbit about me. I hate camping. Hate. It.
When I was eleven I was in Girl Scouts. The cookies were the main attraction. And even they were not enough to keep me there once I had been to camp. I was done after one trip and I never went back. Except once to pick up my sister. And I was stung by a wasp on my rear end within five minutes of setting foot on the property.
I knew then that camping and I were not meant to be. The only way I could possibly be more out of place when I am there is if I threw on a tiara and a feather boa.
Moving to Utah, land of pioneers and self-sufficiency, did nothing to change my mind. Instead, it only made it worse because now camping was combined with another of my major fears...heights. The only thing worse than camping is having to drive up the side of a mountain to do it.
When El Guapo was made first counselor the first thing that he was put in charge of was the activities committee. He came home and informed me that we were going to the ward campout. I informed him that I wasn't sure, but I didn't think our prenup had covered that possibility.
It didn't matter, we went anyway.
He came home, loaded the van and off we went, father-in-law in tow. When we arrived, the only place left to set up a tent was the parking lot. While Guapo did that, the kids and I ate buns (the meat was already gone by the time we arrived) and marshmallows. The ward sang a song, said a prayer, and it was bedtime. (We got there really late apparently.) We trooped back to our new tent, unzipped the "door" and stepped inside. There my sweetheart had carefully laid...a quilt.
No bedrolls. No pillows. No sleeping bags.
Just a quilt.
Papi took one look at the scene and muttered something in Spanish about sleeping in the car. Wise man.
The rest of us looked at our fearless leader. I had nothing left. The drive up had taken it out of me completely. We arranged the kids between us for warmth, pulled the quilt up to our chins and...laid there. The kids slept, they can sleep through anything, but no such luck for Guapo and me. About two in the morning I asked Guapo if he was awake. He was. I asked if he had had enough yet. He had. We disappeared into the night. The ward had no idea what had happened.
When Guapo was called as bishop in the Spanish ward my favorite thing about the ward, initially anyway, was that they didn't camp. I thought I was off the hook.
And then they made me Young Women's president.
I had to go to camp. Again. And I did. And there were parts that I loved...the parts that had nothing to do with camping.
But the part where I have to be dirty. Unh unh. The part where I can't wash my hair. Nope. Or the part where I have to go up the mountain. Or the part where I smell like smoke for days on end. The endless sun. Or rain. Or cold. Or hot. No, I still don't like it.
This year I was informed by the YCLs that we weren't supposed to wear make up either. (Stop laughing.) After five days in the wilderness the only thing that separates me from the potguts and other wildlife is my eyeliner and I am not going down happily.