Monday, May 5, 2008

Once a Chicken, Always a Chicken?

I believe there are two types of people in the world. There are the “planners” and then there are the rest of us.

I’ve been noticing a lot of beautiful, multi-colored tulips decorating the lawns I’ve passed to and from town. You know the very first thought I have when I see them? “ Someone obviously planned ahead…they’re probably those people who have something blooming from spring all the way through autumn…I hate those people.”

I am obviously NOT a planner. It’s not that I wouldn't like to be a planner…but I don’t know that a person should try too hard to be something they’re so obviously…not. I would love to be one of those people who can set the table the evening before company arrives (that’s Laura) but I’m not holding my breath.

If you ask her, Laura will tell you that the only reason she’s so efficient is because she’s got no choice…and even less time. The thing is, I have way more time than she does and I’m not even coming close to pulling it off…so, what gives? I’m beginning to think that it’s less about time and more about personality.

So today…in a concerted effort not to wait till the last minute, I decided to drive down to our not-so-local WalMart in an attempt to take advantage of their handy-dandy $4.00 for an entire month’s worth of prescription. Then I figured that if I’m there already, maybe they have some jeans/shorts/tees for Taylor to see him through the summer. Clinton Kelly: Do not judge me. Tay is extremely hard on articles of clothing and alas, they do not survive a season with him. (I’m not so sure that I will survive him, either…but that’s for another post.)

What ensued was a debate over whether it was worth my while to wait for Taylor to exit his school to see if he was willing to grant me the honor of his presence with a trip to said WalMart. So in an effort to save precious time, I decided to TEXT him a message. This way, he’d receive it as soon as his left foot hit the sidewalk outside the high school. For those of you that don’t know, school officials have installed a high-tech cell phone scrambling device to discourage students from spending their bathroom time engaged in frivolous gossip with their peers or from calling in anonymous pizza delivery orders to be delivered to “Ima Cray Zeewun” in room 12517.

What follows is my actual text message:

Tay, do uwanna go 2 wajmar w/meu can getpants ? let me noa sap mom

As you can clearly see, I’ve got a ways to go in figuring out this whole text-messaging-thing…especially the caps part…and the punctuation part…and maybe the spacing part. It also took me about 10 minutes to type it…so much for saving time.

I hit “send” and sat down on the step to wait for my speedy response. (I’ve seen how fast Tay can text and I figured I wouldn’t have to wait long.) Thirty minutes later, Taylor’s bus drops him off and he walks in asking me what a “wajmar” is. Evidently, he didn’t bother with a response because he had no clue what I was talking about.

Ten minutes later, we’re in the car…Taylor with the prerequisite can of Sunkist and me with my seltzer, armed and ready for our 25 minute ride to WalMart. When we arrived, I said “Let’s keep this at warp speed, Taylor. It’s IN, OUT, DONE. No dilly-dallying…agreed?” This last said to his retreating back as he makes a beeline for the candy aisle.

I no sooner get my ‘script filled than my cell rings. I see my editor’s number on the ID and I answer with “I’m not at home…” (half-clipped, half-whine) and I’m met with silence. “Hello?” I ask. “Oh! I thought that was the start of a message,” she answers and I can tell she’s not happy. She then informs me that she still has not received the photo to go with the last article I’d written and it’s ten to five and where is it? I tell her I’m “away from my desk” but will call her right back. Now I call Connor at the house. He never picks up the phone, so I have to do the “ConnorConnorConnorPickUpThePhoneConnorConnorAreYouThereCmonConnorPickUp
TheMachine’sGonnaCutMeOffConnor???” before he eventually answers and he finds my folder from the interview…giving me the phone number I need.

Then I call Debra, the lady who’s supposed to have sent in the photo to my editor. She picks up on the second ring. I say in my most-professional-interview-voice, “Hi, Debra…it’s Kathryn from the News! I’m away from my desk right now but my editor is looking for the photograph….”

At that precise moment, I hear the cackle of the loudspeaker…conveniently located directly over my head at the time… say, “ATTENTION, WALMART SHOPPERS….”

Oh, crap.

So, in the grand scheme of things I figure I’m still ahead of the game. In my mind, good planning is like trying to decide which came first…the chicken or the egg. As we all know, chickens can continue to run around way after losing their heads, so we KNOW I’m definitely NOT the egg.

That leaves the chicken. I'm good with chicken….

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