Monday, October 3, 2011

The New Normal

I love words, love crafting them into sentences and thoughts, making people think or laugh.

However, some words or expressions simply annoy me. For example, this weekend, Kiki was babbling, which she does when she has something on her mind which she is processing or trying to suppress. We were in the store, and she was looking at snowpants. She kept talking about the snowpants, and I tuned her out, but the word snowpants kept drilling itself into my subconscious. It went like this, "Blah blah blah blah snowpants. Blah snowpants blah blah blah blah, and snowpants blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah, snowpants blah. Blah, snowpants, blah, blah, and blah." I said, "If you say snowpants one more time, I think I will cry." Of course, she didn't hear me.

Nita turned to her and said, "Say snowpants."

"Snowpants," Kiki said. "Blah blah blah blah blah."

I pretended to sob, much to Nita's amusement.

When it comes to annoying expressions, "we are praying for you" can have a double intent. Some people, graciously, have told me that in an effort to make me stronger by having God really paying attention to my situation. Please let me add that I have been demanding so much from God lately that perhaps praying for those whom I have shoved to the intervention sidelines might be better for those who are praying. What annoys me about the "we are praying for you" statement is when it is used in an effort to make a person see the errors of their ways. My neighbor, one evening, told me, "My entire family prays for you every night." Visions of cult-like behavior notwithstanding, I think I dumbfounded her by saying, "Thank you. We can use all the prayers we can get."

I then added, "We pray for you every night, too." She was offended. I think that she would have been more offended to know that we didn't pray FOR her, but instead prayed ABOUT her--more specifically, that she would move away. I figured while I will likely have double penance for double lying about prayer, it was totally worth it.

And, before I leave this subject, let me add that, in my opinion, the most gracious way to handle this is to simply pray for people and not advertise it.

Anyway, my latest detested expression is "the new normal." Around here, with adopted kids and their issues, my parent's sequential battles with Alzheimer's, and my brother-in-law's grace-filled fight with a terminal illness and subsequent death, there was never any "old normal." We have had an ever-evolving normal. And I am tired of adjusting, adjusting, adjusting. It would be really sad but also a relief if this "new normal" stayed consistent, but somehow I have the feeling that we're not done here.

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