Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays

"I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights." - MAYA ANGELOU

In the past sixty-seven days it has rained nineteen in Phoenix, Arizona. For those living in Seattle that is only one third of the rain that falls there, but that is a lot of rain for Phoenix. Phoenicians are not used to rain. They can't drive in it because they usually never have to drive in it. The sun aids in the production of vitamin D. I believe that Phoenicians have overdosed on vitamin D, so when it is cloudy and rainy Phoenicians get very grumpy because they can feel their bones crumbling on the spot.

If you want to see grumpy, enter a teachers' lounge in Phoenix on a rainy day schedule. Schools that have oodles of rain and snow have huge gyms where students can have recess, but not in Phoenix. Teachers have to cram their lunch down even faster than usual on rainy days. Teachers don't really "do lunch". They can't "do lunch" because they don't have time. Teachers are major multi-taskers. They are counting field trip money, grading papers, running copies, having team meetings, and cramming a peanut butter and jelly sandwich down their throat during their thirty minute lunch break. On rainy days their lunch is cut to fifteen minutes, so they have a tendency to get stressed. We all know stress makes the grump-o-meter needle significantly rise.

I must confess that I like rainy day schedule, but I also like Mondays. I love my job, and I especially love spending time with students. I even enjoy spending my lunch time with them. I would rather hang out with them than confine myself in a small space with whiners. People have a right to do whatever they wish during there lunch time, and if whining is their activity of choice that is okay with me. I have a tendency to let others' negativity drag me down, so I can't be around it. I can't be around complainers because then I will become one. Rainy days and Mondays never get me down.

I have never experienced lost luggage. I have been treated like luggage. If you want an interesting experience, trying flying disabled. I have only flown two times and I have found it to be challenging. First, I am unable to take my electric chair with me unless I buy a separate container to transport the batteries from my chair. Second, a regular size chair doesn't fit down the aisles, so I have to be transferred from my chair to a skinny aisle chair. Then I have to be transferred from the skinny aisle chair to a airline seat. The transferring is done by men that have never transferred a disabled person, but think they know how to do it. They do not want any help from my companions or any advice from me (the person who has been handicapped all my life and knows the best way to transfer ME). Before even getting on the plane I am informed that if anything happens (crash), I will be the last person assisted off the airplane.

One of the two times that I flew was not a direct flight, so I had to transfer planes. My plane was late getting in, and the people that were transferring me from airplane seat to aisle chair to wheelchair to aisle chair to airplane seat were stoned out of their minds, and decided that we needed to hurry so there was no transferring to a regular wheelchair. An aisle chair has no front wheels so I had to travel across the airport tipped backwards in a skinny chair that was way too tiny for my big butt. It was like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride: tipped backwards, on a teeny tiny seat with a stoned wild-eyed driver dodging passengers making their way to their planes. After that ride I could have cared less that I would be the last one removed from the plane in case of an emergency. I haven't had to handle lost luggage. I have only been luggage.

As a child growing up my family had one of those silver aluminium trees that had a light that shined on it that had a rotating plastic disk in front of the light which made the silver tree change colors. My brother, sisters and I thought that was the most wonderful tree in the world. I didn't experience the Christmas tree lights fiasco, until I went to friend's house to help her and her husband decorate their tree. I never heard so much arguing in all my life, and that was just putting the tree in the stand. When the lights came out it was like World War III. I didn't know that lights had to be put on a certain way, and I didn't know two people could have such differing views of how the lights should be placed on the tree. I think many of families have fallen apart due to tangle Christmas tree lights. I believe before anyone two people get married they should have to put up a Christmas tree together. I think my parents were very smart to have the silver tree with the rotating lights. Maybe they had that tree because prechildren they had one of those "Christmas tree lights" fights.

So I am unable to prove my mettle because I have only had to handle one out Maya Angelou's three challenges. I would hope that I would handle lost luggage and tangled lights the same way I handle everything else. I would accept the challenges with a positive attitude and high expectations that the luggage would be found and the lights would become untangled. If the luggage couldn't be found, that means shopping! If the lights can't be untangled, there are prelit trees that can be bought. There is no problem that can't be solved with a positive attitude and shopping!

Paco's Perspective

I have learned that you can tell a lot about a dog by the way he/she handles these three things: a new dog in town, sharing toys, and sharing the love.

The Flip Side

I have learned that you can learn a lot about a dog by the way he/she handles these three things: um . . . . um . . . . . . um . . . . can I go outside now?

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