Wha…? Pt 3 of 3

As I sat in my living room with one of my room leaders, we laughed, shared stories, and planned ministry direction. I always love my time with this room leader for a couple of reasons: she loves God and it shows, she loves her roommates and it shows, and she loves me and it shows!

She had been telling me a funny story (she always has the best stories!) when my landline rang.

“Excuse me for a minute-can I grab this call?” I interrupted, “The only calls I get on this phone are from the dean’s office or welcome center!”  and I hurriedly answered the phone half expecting an emergency situation. My room leader sat awkwardly trying to determine whether to leave or wait out the call and finish our meeting.

“Hi, is this Stephanie?” a man’s cheerful voice asked. He sounded too cheerful. Like a…salesman…wait!

“This is. How can I help you?” I asked in a businesslike voice. After double-checking my identity, the chirpy voice went on, “This is Steve…from church. Do you remember me? We met a few weeks ago during an evening service.”
Oh junk, he found me after at least another month. Why are the wrong ones always incredibly tenacious? This might get ugly. When my room leader heard the conversation take on a more personal tone she began to excuse herself and mouth her goodbye. I clenched her knee with a death grip and mouthed a “DON’T LEAVE ME!!” to which she fell back into her seat with a startled look. All she heard next was a terse:

“You know, thank you, but I’m not interested in going out with you. Ever.” Her eyebrows nearly shot off of her forehead in shock. Our conversation concluded with some congenial but stilted parting statements and when I hung up the phone, I had a minor meltdown.

This is when you really know who your best friends are. One of my dearest friends scurried over to my apartment with dark chocolate, coffee, and a few minutes to listen to me try to sort out why. Why I’m not dating. Why I’m being asked out by someone older than my father. Why only the weirdies. Why I’m freaking out about it instead of being grateful for an opportunity. You know, the questions best friends field during bff freak-outs and still tell you that you are wonderful, and God is still good. I love those friends. They just know!

And I haven’t seen or heard from Steve since then.

Wha…? pt 2 of 3

After a fairly uncomfortable introduction to my two middle-aged friends, I thought that excitement was over.

Wrong.

About ten days after meeting these two gentlemen, I was walking briskly to my mailbox before a meeting and passed my former student teaching supervisor. I appreciate this man’s influence on my teaching and usually take the time to tell him so. Today, however, I threw a quick “Hello!” over my shoulder and kept trucking.

“Oh, Stephanie!” He gasped and put a hand to his head. I could almost see a lightbulb clicking on.

“Are you seeing someone?” he asked with an amused smirk on his face.

“Nope,” I responded. Where is this headed? I wondered.

“Well, I think a gentleman called requesting a lunch date with…YOU!” I’m pretty sure my face turned pink as I stared at him blankly. I had no clue who he was talking about and asked him to explain himself.

“The other day, our secretary, Bethany, took a call from a man who asked her if she remembered him from church. She kept telling him that she simply couldn’t recall him until he said the name of the church. ‘I’m so sorry,’ she told him, ‘you must have the wrong person. I don’t attend that church.’ ”

Recognition was setting in, but not completely.

“After she said that, the gentleman repeated your name and asked if that was her name. She denied it, but he kept going to ask ‘well anyway, I wanted to drive over to Watertown and take you out to lunch. Whaddya think?’ ‘Sir, you definitely have the wrong woman. My name is Bethany, not Daisy, I do NOT go to that church, and I’m married.”

Lightbulb clickage.

“Mr. H, do you know this man’s name?” I waited with baited breath.

“You know, I don’t, but my wife has a better memory. Let’s go ask her.”

We walked up to their office, and my earlier confusion and blushing highly amused this professor and he began to ask a myriad of questions about the possibilities of who this gentleman could be. Once in the office, I reiterated my question to his wife and waited with this growing sense of horror in my gut.

“Well, Daisy, I really can’t be positive and Bethany is gone, but if I heard his name, I’m positive I’d recognize it.” Well, I thought, let’s go for the better of the two options.

“Was his name “Joshua?” I asked kind of hopefully only to see a blank expression. Nope. “How about…..steve.” I asked reluctantly.

“YES! STEVE! I’m 95% sure that was his name. Ooooh, was he calling for you?!” She cooed with interest.

My stomach wrenched and I tried not to lose my lunch. “Yes. He was.”

And call, he did.

Wha…? pt 1 of 3

grandpa and granddaughter in field 2

‘I wish they’d hurry up.’ I thought and rocked my foot back and forth in the chair I was sitting in. I stared at my friends with a tired gaze. They’d been talking with these people for a long time and my stomach was eating itself. ‘I wonder where we’re going to eat. I’m thinking Moe’s. I could totally go for chips and queso.’

“Hi there!” I looked up to see the wife of our senior ministries pastor standing next to me holding Samantha. She was standing unusually close-I had to crank my neck uncomfortably to look at her. She smiled congenially.

“Do you know Samantha?”

“Yeah, of course I do! Hi Samantha, I think your dress is pretty. How many ladybugs are on it?”

Samantha responded and then the conversation died. ‘Hmm…I don’t get it. This is really uncomfortable!’ I’d never actually met this pastor’s wife, and she stood next to me-very close to me. Not facing me, which would invite conversation. Then she just slowly walked away.

“Hi there, do you go to church here?” I turned around to see two grinning middle-aged men closing in. They were wearing polo shirts-unbuttoned, with a handful of white chest hair tufting over the top and tucked into ironed jeans. Loafers and leather jackets completed the look of a retired country clubber. The one man had the grin of a car salesman complete with white hair he’d died brown about six months earlier. He was the one who initiated most of the conversation.

Someone walked up, trying to initiate conversation with both men, but the car salesman would not be distracted. He physically moved people who were in his way, so that he could come sit by me and continue our fascinating conversation about my workplace and ministry. He asked some pretty direct questions about the college, and I thought ‘surely he’s asking on behalf of a granddaughter.’

“Wow, this college sounds amazing-especially if people like you come from there. Do you have a business card?”

Red flag. “No, I do not.” I said decisively. I’d long ago stopped smiling during the conversation, and had positioned my body away from him so he didn’t think I was interested. He was giving me a weird vibe.

“Okay, so what did I miss?” the other car salesman inquired. He clapped and rubbed his hands together in anticipation, crouched to hear, and then looked at me. “Wow, you sure are a beautiful lady!”

Red Flag.

“Well, Steve, why don’t you say it right out loud?” the car salesman blushed on Steve’s behalf.

“Well she is, isn’t she? I can say it. You may be too shy to say it, but I’ll just say it. She’s pretty.”

They bantered back and forth on this for a minute and I didn’t know what to do. Finally they resumed conversation with me, and, as they peppered me with questions, Nate and company sauntered past, still gabbing, and completely oblivious to me.

“Nate. NATE!” I hissed and waved at him. No use. I was trapped with the weird old men asking me personal questions. Finally they closed the interrogation and the car salesman patted me on the shoulder.

Red Flag.

“Well, Daisy, we’re going out for ice cream if you’d like to join us.”

RED FLAG!

“I’ll see what my group is doing.” I curtly responded and turned around in my seat. Immediately upon their departure, a young couple surrounded me and clearly stated that they were there to rescue me. The men were circling in the aisle behind me, so we put our heads together, found a singly guy friend, and made him walk me to my car. He was such a great sport!

More to come…

Nice to meet you…or is it?

About two weeks ago, I traveled north to my girls’ basketball game…and committed a banalities blunder. While there, one of my friends introduced me to several of her friends at this college. Most of them I knew by name, but there was one friend that I’d already met before. When my friend introduced us, however, I did something really stupid. I assumed that he wouldn’t remember me, and I played along with the introduction like I didn’t know him. 

“Daisy this is Mr. X. Mr. X, this is Daisy.” He held out his hand, and I shook it and gave a banal “it’s nice to meet you! I hear about you all the time!” 

We all met after the game for coffee and snacks and when I left, I parted my new friends with an “I’m really glad I got to meet you!” When I said this to Mr. X, he smiled a knowing smile and asked “you know we met at church last year, right?” Oh junk. He did remember meeting me! But then why…wait a minute…

“You do remember that? I figured you wouldn’t so I’ve been pretending we’ve never met before!” I exclaimed in embarrassed wonder.

“Yeah, well, me too. But now we know that we know each other.” He shrugged sheepishly and everyone stared at us for a minute then burst out laughing.

So, which is more uncomfortable? Two people pretending they don’t know each other when they do or one person reminding another of their first introduction and the other having no recollection of it?

Acting on Presumptions

Today my supervisor opened our weekly meeting with a brief challenge from Psalm 16 (which provided me with the title for this blog, as it were.) While she was talking, I listened attentively but did not take out my Bible. I assumed that by the time that I turned to this familiar passage, she’d be finished and I’d have just made a racket. As I listened, though, I noticed a few of my coworkers had turned to the passage, and I entertained the fleeting thought of “maybe I should have my Bible open…”

My supervisor continued with this thought: “Look at these words: path, presence, pleasures. And in verse nine we see ‘glad’ ‘rejoiceth’ and ‘hope.’ Where are these things found?”

As she asked this, she looked up from her Bible directly at me, and I responded promptly with a wide-eyed: “Psalm 16…?”

Whew. Points for me. I knew that passage like the back of my hand, so she couldn’t nail me for not having my Bible opened.

“WHAT?!” She whooped. Her face turned crimson as she alternatively wheezed and giggled at my foible and my traitorous coworkers joined in.

Wait a minute…

“Oh! I mean God. They are found in GOD!!” Oh rats.

If there is one thing you need to know about my comrades and I, it’s that we love to laugh. Once something makes us laugh, we toss it about, distorting it and expanding it until it disturbs helpless citizens. This time, I’d naively presented myself as a willing sacrifice for the needed laughter ritual.

Let’s just say that my intercessory “I have a sinus infection! Cut me a break!” did not calm anyone down, including myself.

Amnesia

As I was catching up with one of my returning students a couple of nights ago, she apologized for waking me up when she got in. ‘Waking me up?’ I thought, I don’t remember her coming in with all of the people returning so I probably just missed her…’

“No, I mean with having to call you twice and all. I am sorry that we woke you up!”

I had a genuine “Hahahaha…wait, what?!” moment. I hate that…

“What do you mean, calling me twice?” I asked in a fluster.

“Well, I tried to call you and you didn’t pick up. Then Genna called you and you picked up and sounded pretty groggy. We’re sorry, but thanks for letting us stay at her house last night!”

“Okay, wait, when did you call?”

“Around 1 am.”

Yep, I was asleep. I remember looking at the clock to see 12:01 then clicking off the light and thinking ‘yes! I’m going to bed early!’

“Soo…what exactly did I say?” I asked sheepishly

“Umm…well, you told Genna that you couldn’t hear her and she said she was sorry. You said that was okay. Then she told you that I’d stay at her house, you asked “Who?” and she told you again. Then you said that was okay and have a great time.” Lindsey shrugged and smiled, “You don’t remember any of that, do you?”

I shook my head in confusion and checked my phone-12:38 am, 28 second phone call.

“Nice…we could have fun with this…”

Oh Be Careful, Toothpaste.

42-16071340“If you are too busy to look as you reach for and apply your toothpaste, you are too busy.”

~Daisy, the Sage~

I mean, really. What if you are not looking and apply triple-antibiotic ointment or other topical creams to your toothbrush? I had a “brush” with this fate this morning, but looked down in time to avert disaster. Now I’m spreading the word-look before you brush! Here is a simple song I developed in order to help you remember this foundational truth:

Oh be careful little eyes what you see,

Oh be careful little eyes what you see,

Be sure to note the mush

You squeeze upon your brush

Oh be careful little eyes what you see!

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