A month ago, Cindy, our church’s Welcome Coordinator, emailed me asking for help with the upcoming church photo directory.
I never know where my various health maladies are going to take me, so I rarely volunteer to help out.
The directory, though, is something that she and I have worked on in the past and I figured, “What the heck? No big deal. We’ve done this before, so it’ll be a slam dunk.”
You’d think by this age, I’d know that nothing is a slam-dunk in my life.
I don’t have enough nonsense in my day to day existence living with the Princess and two wacked cats. I need a little more drama in my life to keep my blood pressure up.
We meet with the photo company’s representative and learn that everything now-a-days for church directories is computerized – from setting up the initial appointments for the photographs, to designing the actual church directory.
No big deal.
Technology comes as easily to me, as swimming to a duck with a 100lb anvil wrapped around his neck.
Cindy’s a couple of steps more tech savvy than me, but between the two of us, we’re not exactly Silicon Valley’s version of Bill Gates and the late, Steve Jobs.
So, we decide that we need to get ourselves organized and agree to meet with each other a couple of times to set up a to-do list and get a handle on the situation.
After meeting a couple of times, I was feeling quite competent with what we needed to do and figured the cheat sheet that I meticulously wrote out and placement of the photo company’s web-site as one of my “favorite’s” on my computer would have me totally covered to do a competent job of signing up people after Sunday’s service in no time flat.
You’d think as a retired teacher, with multiple years of teaching experience under my belt, that I’d know better by now.
Unfortunately, wisdom and intelligence does not come with the graying of one’s hair. If it did, I’d be a genius many times over.
I got to the church early Sunday morning, so that I would have plenty of time to set-up, get myself settled-in and meet with Henrietta, the other sign-up volunteer, and I discovered that my oh-so-reliable computer (that the Princess lovingly purchased for me for my 60th) did not want to connect with the church’s Wi-Fi.
After an hour of repeated failed attempts by a number of the church’s tech gurus to connect me to our Wi-Fi, I decided that I needed to call the Princess and have her bring her Mac to the church.
Surely, the Mac would work and we would be good to go, as soon as the service had ended and people started heading into the social hall to sign up.
Well, the Princess decided after 6 months of endless nagging by me, that this particular Sunday would be a great day to organize the garage.
And of course, being the little multi-tasker that she is, she threw in a load of laundry, turned on some ear-splitting music to keep her spirits up and the fleas at bay; and started to organize the disaster of a hell-hole that we sometimes refer to as a garage.
All the while she was home innocently singing and cleaning the garage, I was at the church, calling and texting her endless messages and thinking, “When I get ahold of her, I’m gonna ring her scrawny little neck. She’s gotta be taking a shower, but how long can a shower take for a 4 foot, 10 inch smurf?”
Che palle! (keh Pal-leh, loosely translated, “What a pain in the ass!”)
As luck would have it, our church’s Board President takes a crack at my computer difficulties and gets me hooked up just as the church lets out and our table gets swamped with eager attendees.
I started signing up my first parishioner, pressed the bottom to confirm the date, and whoosh, the information went into some tech cloud never to be seen again and my computer screen went totally black.
I had a table swamped with eager parishioners, a computer that I wanted to permanently bury, and a sign-up partner that was calmly and efficiently taking as many of the requests as she could, all the while politely dealing with a couple of parishioners that apparently fell asleep during our Pastor’s sermon on grace, because they weren’t exactly what you’d call graceful while they waited, don’t ‘cha know?
In the meantime, the Princess had gotten my messages and attempted to get ahold of me, only couldn’t because I had my phone on vibrate and conscientiously crammed into my purse while I attempted to sign-up people.
Not knowing what to do and knowing how I freaked I get when I’m “outta my bubble and stressed”, she grabbed her computer and sped to the church, bra-less and in raggy sweat pants.
She then attempted, once again, to get ahold of me by phone from the confines of her automobile. (God forbid someone spotted her walking toward the church with her ta-tas flapping in a stained sweatshirt and shaggy sweat pants.)
Failing in her attempts to connect with me, she decided that nothing was worth our church friends seeing her bra-less and looking like a bag lady, so she headed back home and anxiously waited for me to return.
In the meantime, I was into my Vanna White act talking up the photo shoot, while Henrietta did a stellar job in single-handedly managing the computer sign-ups.
We finally got the last of the parishioners signed up and I looked at Henrietta and commented, “You’re totally amazing, Woman! No matter what anyone threw at you and how crazy it got, you remained totally cool-headed and calm.”
“You’re amazing. Simply amazing,” I continued while shaking my head back and forth in total disbelief.
“What do you do for a living that has you so level-headed and calm in the midst of pure chaos?” I innocently inquired.
Without missing a beat, she slowly turned her head, calmly looked at me and matter-of-factly stated, “I work as an intake counselor for the mental health clinic at Stanford Hospital.”
I’m thinking maybe she’s good at what she does, People. What do you think?
Have a great day and I’ll catch ya next adventure looking at life from my shoes!