Needs, Wants And Learning When To Hush

This morning, in dire need of proper coffee, I made way to s local shop and stood somewhat patiently in waiting to place my order.  Nothing fancy, just a nice dark roast coffee.  As large as possible.  So when it was my turn, I told the girl at the counter I “need a large dark roast coffee”.  You know, the way you order things.

Except the girl took exception to the word need.   She decided to inform me I did not need a coffee, I wanted one.  For all I know, she’s a philosophy major.  At any rate, what she failed to understand was that I needed the coffee to prevent myself from basically getting very angry with a lot of people.  So really I may have needed it to soothe the savage beastie that is myself without coffee, but the general public needed me to have the coffee for safety even more.

The more she decided to her point, the closer we got to her learning that the need was in her best interest.  Finally though, as she was carrying on and I was trying to pay, the lady behind me loudly informed the cashier that “the customer is always right”.  And if things could be sped up life would be better for all involved.

As I grabbed my needed coffe, and was placing a lid on it, I listened to next person order.  It started  with “I need”.  I had a feeling it was going to be a long day for the girl at the counter if she was fixated on needs versus wants.  But with coffee, just about anything can be tolerated or overcome. Just about.  Because it is a bit hard to wrap my head around someone didn’t to lecture me on a need or a want while I am in their coffee shop, buying emir coffe, which they sell as their product for the niche.

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The Dirty Bits

Beloved, not being from North America struggles sometimes to understand why certain things are held onto as near and dear to the heart and other things are ignored. Such as the need to own one’s own piece of property and while ignoring how one can work oneself to death just to have the money to acquire land. He finds it amusing that people will put work before everything else to get the money for a down payment on land and then continue to work like crazy to make all the payments.

He grew up knowing that he wouldn’t ever really afford land. A small flat perhaps, but not a single-family dwelling unit that stands alone. Not one with a white picket fence and 2.5 cars in garage. So he didn’t spend his early adult years working three jobs for a down payment on something he would forever more be a slave to.

Then he came here and realized it was the thing to do. Own a house, own a piece of land. And he watched people he knew work insane numbers of hours at the cost of time spent with loved ones just so they could afford a piece of dirt. Dirt that ultimately does not belong to you because when you die, move or what have you the dirt can be sold to someone else. When he was first here he said that land doesn’t enrich anyone’s life.

And then we bought a small house. Very small. Too small really. Because it was cute and we liked bumping into each other in the hallway. (That got old, but we love the house so there is that issue still there.) And suddenly this man who claimed land does not enrich people’s lives is spouting all sorts of stuff about the need to feel the earth on one’s hands to be truly fulfilled. The man who claimed he did not need property now not only needs property, but feels a need to put his stamp all over it.

Wait until we have to move and say goodbye to our wee bit of land. What will he do then? Will he revert back to the comments about how land has caused nothing but damage, wars and strife or will he still feel the same? I wonder if he will settle for a flower box of dirt to put his hands in!

A Shade Of Green I Haven’t Seen

Apparently the four-footed one is a jealous companion.  I did not know this before and if someone had asked me I would have never said yes and hesitated a great deal before saying maybe.  It just never crossed my mind.

I know’ some of you are wanting to slap my head for me.  How could I not see her being jealous since she’s spoiled rotten  and is doted upon.  Yes I know, what was I thinking!

The only reason I made this discovery is that while a visitor tried to get near where I was sitting to show me something, she insisted on placing herself between the other person and my body.  Which could be seen as protective.  Except than she also opted to paw at me for attention and demand a nice scratch behind her ears.  Nothing protective about that.

Now as amusing as it is on some level, this behavior can’t continue for a number of reasons.  I’ve tried ignoring her when she demands attention, but short of wearing chain mail I’m not sure ignoring her is ideal.  No she hasn’t punctured my skin when she puts her teeth on me, but you never know.

Distract her with another toy?  I tried that, so far she is not being distracted.  Reward her when she’s doing what I want?  Tried that too.  The thing is the four-footed one is a stubborn as mule and bull-headed as well.  (Although she’s all dog!)   Clearly we have work to do!

Out There And Back Here

I was thinking I probably didn’t stand a change, not even a faint one when I see him leaning against a podium.  But nothing ventured is nothing gained as they say and so with a deep breath and a fluttering heart I made my way to where he was.  I prayed the words would somehow come to me during that painful walk to where he stood.

Instead he turned and smiled my way and asked me where I was going and by that point, I had no way of knowing where it was going or where I was going other than hopefully to some more time with him.  Years kind of slip by when you are lost in just trying to hold on while a man who isn’t used to driving starts driving.  I still don’t know where I am, not really, but I’m somewhere with him some of the time.

And while I may not think that he belongs in the wild blue yonder, I know he need to be there.  In order to get back to me, from where he has been,  Until he needs to leave again.  And if you had told me this would be my life years earlier, I would have laughed at you.  I may not have even bothered with making my way to him.  But you never can tell where any one thing or person will take you and if you are open to the adventure, there are many that are sure to be found.  Even those that include the wild blue yonder.

Children, Logic and Ropes

While waiting in line behind a mother and a young child, I was privy to an interesting conversation.  The young child, about five at the most, wanted to know she couldn’t just have chocolate now.  Why did chocolate have to come at the end, after you ate everything else.  The child had a point.  (I mean if you eat your whole meal you can’t eat as much chocolate as if you were hungry!) 

The mother tried to explain to the child that too much chocolate wasn’t a good thing.  (Since when?)  And when the child pointed out the size of chocolate offerings at her level, the mother changed tactic to say that if the child ate too many chocolates the fruits, veggies and meat would feel left out.  (Kudos for creative thinking.)

The child, not to be easily dissuaded from her goal, pointed out that ice cream is often left out along with cotton candy.  She seemed genuinely concerned about ice cream being left since she only gets that for special reasons.  And cotton candy was apparently a one-time deal at the “thing with the large wheel” (probably at a fair or such).

While I was waiting for the mom to respond to the volley, they moved up to being helped at the counter and I missed her answer.  I was impressed by the logic the child brought to her arguments, especially showing she had considered what her mom had said and was able to apply that same train of thought back around to what she wanted.  I wondered if, or when, the mom would do what my parents used to do when I had asked my limit of questions in a short period of time.  In those cases when I had questioned them to the breaking point, mostly with the same question of why or why not if I wanted something, they would get this look on their faces and say “because I said so”. 

As if that was a valid answer.  Basically what that answer told me was that they had run out of options, or energy to deal with me, but at the same time they were at the end of their ropes.  As a young child I tended to respect them being at the end of their ropes and left things alone (hey I needed a nap too).  As a teenager I waited for them to reach that final knot in their respective ropes and then I ever so gently started to shake their ropes, just to see if they could hang on. 

The way I managed to shake their ropes was to change-up what I was asking or how I went about approaching them.  My theory was if you could catch them off guard while they were still just trying to hang on, you’d get a distracted “fine” or “go ahead” or my favorite “do what it, but don’t complain to me” while they scrambled to maintain some sort of control.  (I was not a nice teenager I confess.) 

I wondered what I would do if I were the mother and it was my young daughter or son asking me for chocolate.  Would I try and reason with the child or pull out the authority stance that all parents have to some degree.  If how I deal with the four-footed one is any indication, I’d try a slight bit of reasoning followed by some sort of authority (I tell the four-footed one that it’s awful for her to be so small because I can just pick her up and take her away from whatever it is she is trying to crawl into that I don’t want to her find) based on size/age/wisdom or something.

To Live

There are certain things required to live: air, water, food, shelter of some sort and so on. That’s at the very base level, but let’s be honest, we each have other requirements we need in our lives in order to live. For me it’s coffee, access to news, the ‘net and books. Oh and education, access to education.

For Beloved his list includes tea, comfy cardigan (don’t ask), buttercream, books, poetry and music. He swears he will shrivel up and die if he doesn’t have these things. How do I know? Because recently he misplaced his believed cardigan. And I was tasked with finding it upon pain of death or something of that sort.

At some point in life I have become the keeper of all things he has misplaced, including his ragged and well-worn cardigan. Because of course someone must keep track of these things. But asking me, the girl who continually loses one sock between the washer and the dryer may not be the smartest thing to do.

Now in all fairness he did spend half of today looking for said cardigan before demanding I assist in operation “cardy location”. I looked in all the typical places one might expect to find it with no luck. I looked under chairs and behind furniture. I pulled out cushions and drawers all to no avail. It was nowhere to be found.

And as is always the case in a good story, when all hope is lost, or so it looks, a hero comes along with exactly what is needed. In this case the hero has four legs, a waggy tail and some serious doggy breath. While I was sitting on the floor putting drawers back in the bureau, she came over to see what was going on, dragging the missing item with her. From the looks of it, she had probably carried it off to one of her dog beds and used it for cushion, but that’s just speculation on my part.

At any rate she saved the day, or rather Beloved’s life because life without his comfortable cardigan is not a life worth living apparently.

Of Frogs, Prizes And A Little Boy…or Wonderful Anythings

The most wondrous prize I ever wanted to have when I was young was a small frog in plastic bag. Each year when the fair would come to town I would set my heart upon getting one of these frogs. It didn’t matter that my mother was dead set against the frog coming in-house or that the amount of money that would have to be spent for me to acquire said animal was ridiculous. I just I wanted that frog. I mean I dreamt about getting a frog. I picked out a name and decided how to I would fix up an old fishbowl as a frog home and all the rest.

Alas I never got the frog and not just because my mother was dead set against it either. Nor was it entirely because my father was too fiscally responsible (read that as frugal) to spend money on a frog that probably wouldn’t last long. I outgrew the frog or rather I shifted my obsession to other things. Some of those things I got such as books and toys and some I did not, such as the snow cone maker I was wanted for a couple of years.

While at the clinic today, I overheard a mother promise her son anything he wanted if he would just go and do whatever the doctor was asking him to do and I was left to wonder what his anything dream would be. Judging from his size he was roughly the age I was when the frog was the most wonderful thing to win and have. I wondered if he would choose a frog, a pet, an ice cream or something more like a tablet (probably already has one) or such.

But this little boy surprised me because I bumped into him and his mom while I was on my way out. It seems he had been a good boy and so now it was time for him to get that anything that he wanted. It turns out the most wondrous prize for this child was a hug from his mom and a promise of a story when they got home. And you know what? If someone offered me those things when I was his age I’d take it every time too because it is really the most wondrous thing. The love and comfort never goes away and the adventure of the story, shared with someone special stays with you too, long after the frog has hopped away to find his own princess.