angry.jpg Just moments ago my wife said something that really bothered me. On a scale of 1 to Cheezed, I was very, very cheezed. I was just walking out the door to pick up our car from the local dealership that had just finished our scheduled maintenance visit (cha-ching!) when she said, “Are you coming right back here after you get the car?” “What else would I be doing?” was my slightly irritated reply. All the way to the dealership I muttered to myself. What in the world did she think I would be doing? Where did she suspect I’d be off to? The obvious implication was that I’d get the car back and then go on some solo road trip getting me home who knows when. About three blocks worth of walking and grumbling and I was at the dealership. In mid-mutter I spotted my car, fresh from it’s oil change, fluid check and tire pressure adjustments and I thought, “That’s a dirty car, I should run it over to the car wash before I go home…”

And God caught me.

It wasn’t my conscience. My conscience was quite fine with the idea. I was being poked by thoughts that weren’t my own. It was one of those moments when the Spirit, that part of God that’s set up an office inside of me, pulls out the divine hilighter and goes over a moment in bright, neon yellow and whispers, “Remember.” The Elusive is more aware of my quirks (she might use the words “bad habits”) than I am. She knows full well that I’m so easily distracted that between home and the dealership I could have had anywhere from 1 to 100 things go through my mind that sounded like things I absolutely should take care of, check on, go see or go do before I head back home. She wasn’t even trying to keep me from doing those things, just aware of my tendency to get sidetracked, and she was wondering when I thought I’d be back home so she could plan out her day.

I knew I’d just been busted.

About 20 years ago I was standing in a tub in our bathroom trying to fix a drip in our shower. A drip. I had all my tools out, the knobs taken apart, the bits and pieces inside one of the knobs pulled out and I was determined to erdicate the drip. We were in our first apartment in Chatham where we’d moved to start my first full-time job in a church. The Elusive Donna was close to popping with our firstborn. I got in the shower that morning to get cleaned up before I left for work and the closing program I was leading that morning for our Vacation Bible School. Shower done I decided to take a second to get that drip stopped before I left. I was up to my elbows in fixing the leak when the phone rang. I yelled for Donna to get it, I was fixing. In the back of my mind I could hear her taking the call but I stayed resolutely focused on my drip. Then Donna called up to me, “It’s someone from church. Everyone is there and waiting for you to get there to start the program. They’ve been waiting for 20 minutes…”

“Whu?” I looked at my watch. My 10 minute job had taken an hour and it wasn’t even close to done.

I am the king of underestimation. Or, when it comes to my handyman skills, the king of overestimation. When we buy something that requires assembly I’m so good at putting things together I always end up with extra parts. I try to convince Donna that this is intentionally done by the manufacturer so that you’ve got some replacement parts on hand. Sometimes I’m just so good I’m able to find ways to build things using fewer parts than the original designer could. Around the house one of my wifes least favourite noises is the sound of me saying, “You know, I can do that myself and save us some money…” You’d think that I’d want to hear the truth, know the truth, face the truth. And I’d tell you I do but if I’m honest, I still work very hard at protecting how I see myself from how I really am.

I was telling some friends the other day that I never get lost when I’m driving, I just find new ways to get somewhere. Denial is a great place to live, at least until reality starts to intrude.

Here are some less than inspiring words from the Prophet Joel:

Somewhere Along the Line
by Billy Joel

Well it’s a rainy night in Paris
And I’m sitting by the Seine
It’s a pleasure to be soaking
In the European rain
Now my belly’s full of fancy food and wine
But in the morning there’ll be hell to pay
Somewhere along the line

Sweet Virginia Cigarette
Burning in my hand
Well you used to be a friend of mine
But now I understand
You’ve been eating up inside me for some time
But I know your gonna get me
Somewhere along the line

Somewhere along the line
Well I know it’s just a matter of time
When the fun falls through and the rent comes due
Somewhere along the line

Well, you know I love my woman
And I would not let her down
And I did my share of lovin’
When I used to get around
Now I’m satisfied that she is lookin’ fine
But you pay for your satisfaction
Somewhere along the line

Hey, it’s good to be a young man
And to live the way you please
Yes, a young man is the king
Of every kingdom that he sees
There’s an old and feeble man not far behind
But it surely will catch up to him
Somewhere along the line


About brianmpei

Stumbling towards what comes next.
This entry was posted in Confession, denial, Life, reality, Reflective. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Grrrrrrr

  1. Daphne says:

    I wish I could say “yes, I know just how she feels” but this morning I returned something at Zellers and then went cruising around, and 3/4 of an hour later husband came up to me and said,” we were about to call out the troops…”

  2. brianmpei says:

    It catches up to us Daphne!

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