"You know, Shelby. You should really try to be more like me."
Ha! I remember exactly where I was when I said that. And I remember it being added to The List almost immediately as it really was said in jest. Who can remember the original context? Not I. And that's not what's important here. What's important is that, lately, this has really come back to haunt me. The difference? Now I'm dead serious.
I said it to Tim the other day. "You know, my life would be SO MUCH EASIER if people would just think the way that I do and then BEHAVE PROPERLY." Being the loving, obliging husband that he is, he agreed with me and we moved on. (I married a very smart man.) I'll admit that I did feel a bit snobbish after uttering (okay SPEWING IN FRUSTRATION) these words and figured that perhaps I should examine my own self before declaring myself Miss Manners And Good Behavior. So, after a good deal of self-reflection, I've figured it out. It's not that I wish people would think more like me (well. okay. I do, really. But read on.) but rather that I feel as though the ways that I think and the manner in which I behave are deeply rooted in common sense. And common courtesy.
Two things that, frankly (and I don't care if you're name's not Frank.) aren't that common anymore.
CASE IN POINT:
Today I filled my car up with three sick, almost sick, and very sick little boys for an impromptu visit to the pediatrician. Christopher has been alternately hacking up his left and then his right lung for a week now, Jake started in with the cough yesterday, and little Nate is on day three of the saddest sounding little cough you've ever heard. It was one of those mornings that I was watching the clock hit 9:00 so that I could call to get the in as early as possible; and yet, I was dreading this call as well. DREADING talking to the receptionist who has never gotten a single appointment scheduled correctly for me. Never. (Honestly, I'd rather pull out my own teeth than deal with this woman.) (I'm sure she's a lovely person, but she can't schedule an appointment to save her life.) (Really.) Lucky me, I called the advice line and when the nurse did end up recommending that we come in, she scheduled me herself.
I will be doing all of my scheduling through the advice line from now on. One way or another I'll find an excuse to do it.
When we arrived for our 10:30 appointment at 10:28 (!!!!ontimewiththreekids!!!!) I had the boys wait outside the door while I popped my head in to say that we were there. They have a sign on the door requesting that any families with flu-like symptoms come in through the back door, and while I was confident the boys don't have the flu, I also didn't want to get any of the other babies in the waiting room sick. (See? Common Sense! Common Courtesy!) Unfortunately for me, of the two receptionists, the only one at the desk was She Who Cannot Schedule. And, no surprise, she was dealing with another mom and clearly was in the middle of Something Confusing. (I will refrain from commenting on the "confusing" in the interest of being charitable. Mmmkay?)
Clearly she was busy. So, I made eye-contact and then closed the door and stood outside the window in the cold with my three snot-faced babies. Certainly they could hear the coughing from inside. Moms with kids went in. Dads with babies came out. Everyone exchanging pleasantries. "Oh what a cute baby! He's just a week older than ours!" "Oh thank you for waiting for the other door. We really appreciate it." "Oh there's another door? I didn't even know!" (First timer.)
Did I mention that it was cold outside? Did I mention that my kids were sick? Did I mention that Receptionist SAW US STANDING OUT THERE as I repeatedly stuck my head in the door?
I was getting angrier and angrier with each passing minute. I really felt that it would be wrong to take my germ-laden kids into the waiting room where they could get the other kids sick. But you know what? MY KIDS ARE SICK AND THEY'RE STANDING OUT IN THE COLD. What a conundrum. Finally, Receptionist Who Gets Things Done, returned to the desk. It was 10:35. All I had to do was say hello before she knew who we were and was hopping back out of her chair to run over to the back door to let us in out of the cold. You see, friends? Common Sense. Common Courtesy. Sick kids inside a warm doctor's office.
WHY ARE THESE THINGS SO HARD FOR SOME PEOPLE TO FIGURE OUT?
This whole common sense thing has been nagging at my brain for the past couple of weeks. It didn't just start today with my poor little children standing out in the cold with snot icicles dangling from their noses. The pressure is starting to build within me, though, and I'm afraid that my Common Sense volcano is going to erupt one of these days just because someone leaves an empty glass on the counter rather than putting it in the empty sink.
Ah, pet peeves. Aren't they delightful? What are yours?
By the way, we came out of that visit $90.00 poorer, but three kids healthier. Chris has a cold along with his first ear infection and a prescription for Bubble Gum Medicine (amoxycillin), Jake's already downed his second dose of cough medicine, and little Nate was sent home with a nebulizer with saline solution that steams up in his face and makes it look like he's taking a little smokey tokey. Hey, you have to find the humor in this somewhere, right?