OPE YOUR TEAM WINS, LADY
By Terri White
Years ago, I read a memorable Readers’ Digest anecdote. Prior to electronic readings, northern utility workers entered basements to read the meters. On this particular day, while a mom sorted laundry, she decided her clothes needed washing. So she stripped and threw them in. Then she noticed her son’s football helmet. She plopped it on her head, dumped in the laundry detergent, and turned on the washer.
Meanwhile, the meter reader had tiptoed down the stairs, attempting to avoid the naked housewife wearing a football helmet. After attending to his duties, he announced, “I hope your team wins, lady.” Then he dashed upstairs.
Later, I related this to my husband. It’s the kind of story you don’t forget. One day, as I loaded clothes into the washing machine, I realized that I should throw in my own clothes. So, of course, I stripped and added them. Minus the football helmet. Enter my husband. Grinning, he joked, “I hope your team wins, lady.”
Those inside jokes brighten your day - little joys that add pizzazz to life.
Back in the day in my youthful ignorance, I thought everyone should think like me. After all, I headed from point A straight to point B without a hitch. Get ‘er done. But lacking pizzazz.
My husband Steve, however, meanders throughout the neighborhood for hours before reaching point B. He’s got a lot to consider: figuring out how to fix any number of household projects but mostly listening to all the music in his head. Who cares about making a beeline to point B!
Steve is an all-around great guy, but efficiency will never grace his tombstone. If you want a long, complicated way of fulfilling a task, he’s your man. In the past, he expertly updated our computer hardware. Software, not so much. That’s my department. Navigating the Internet? He’s from the Dark Ages. His team will never win – even with a helmet.
When I mentioned this to a friend, she gleefully pronounced, “That’s me!” It takes all kinds to make the world spin.
But I’m a goal-oriented person who hates to waste time. Sure, I smell the flowers and lollygag. In fact, I’m an expert lollygagger – as long as I’ve completed my to-do list. Steve? Not so much. He focuses on a task. Then breaks for a lengthy lollygag. Then returns to said task. More lollygagging. Frankly, it drives me batty, but what do I know? I’m me and he’s he – or him. Whatever.
So point A to point B and computers. Steve Jobs determined that it should only take three clicks to arrive at one’s online destination. My Steve never met Steve Jobs. Why take three clicks when fifteen gets you there, too?
We never purchase anything online with his laptop, just on our PC. If our search requires his expertise, then off he goes to his laptop instead of our PC. Eventually, he meanders on the needed item. Does he save it? Gosh no! That would be too easy. Then he lumbers to our PC and searches all over again.
Recently, our oven died. It was a natural death that required no resuscitation. Hence, a search for a new one. Online, of course. Steve settled in for the search. On his laptop. Hours later, he narrowed down our choices, but really, he only wanted one of them. Now he required my presence. It’s a joint decision, after all.
Were those choices up? Why no! That would have been far too easy. He had closed out of the Internet to find me. But wait, good news: he created folders in his bookmarks. Whew! Not so fast, partner. He never thought to click on the individual ovens to save each one separately. Now we must scroll through dozens of ovens to find his choices on said page. On different websites. Does he show me his preferred oven first? Gosh no. We must slog through all the others before arriving at his favorite. By this time, my eyes have glazed over. This meandering business is exhausting.
On other evenings, when I’m reading in the living room after supper, Steve disappears. Eventually, he saunters into the living room, swivels the TV, but then wanders off. Me? I’m thinking that he wants to watch his current fave show. After setting down my book, I mosey down the hall and find him wearing headphones in front of his laptop. “I thought you wanted to watch TV,” I announce.
“After I finish listening to this concert,” he responds. Meandering. I’ve gained 15 pounds pondering this. I can complain, but it never helps. He won’t magically become Mr. Efficient. He’s not wired for it. He’s wired for meandering.
Within our family folklore, this account and numerous others will be shared like the game of telephone. It might even make the Readers Digest. Then some writer from Timbuktu will use it to introduce his story – adding pizzazz to the lives of a whole host of strangers. Wouldn’t that be grand!
P.S. Mr. Steve approves of this essay. For real.