Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'm Not Insane; I'm Just Paranoid Part 1

Confession time. I yelled at a perfect person once.

Not only does that mean that I therefore am not perfect, but it also increases the saintliness of the person I yelled at. She increased in value in God’s eyes, while I certainly caught the attention of Satan. “Hmmm, I think we can use her,” he probably said to his wife. “Clean out the guest room.”

If anyone else had yelled at my mother, there would have been blood. I had as much patience for people who were rude to my mother as I did for people who thought tormenting baby bunnies was a treat.

I didn’t mean to. It’s just that I had one of those weird fathers who insisted that children learn responsibility and a good work ethic. The day we kids turned fifteen we had to start looking for possible jobs that we could walk right into the day we turned sixteen. Heaven forbid that we should be sixteen years and one day old and not be supporting ourselves already. (I stretch the truth. I actually started working 2 days before my sixteenth birthday. Don’t call the Department of Labor, please.)

Having a job meant that I was in charge of buying my own personal items—hairspray, makeup, clothes, record albums (Google it,) recreational food, high school tuition, eyeglasses and braces. With my hard-earned money, I walked into one of the ritziest stores in all the Sioux City metro area---Williges.

A beautiful sweater was hanging on display in a corner. It was woven with several colors of soft wool—--beige, cream and chocolate. It invited me to rest my head upon it and take a nap. The price tag shocked me. $40. As I handed over the cash, I was hoping the cashier was thinking, spoiled rich girl. Yeah, me and my $60 per week paycheck.

I wore the sweater once.

“How could you have used HOT water to wash a WOOL sweater?” I screamed at the saint. “I spent forty dollars on that sweater! You might as well throw it out now!”

It would have fit a small six year old.

As I ramped up my verbal abuse (I get better and better the longer I go) she just stood there and took it. And apologized. Over and over.

Every time I caught a glimpse of how creepy my behavior was, I would justify myself all over again. She should have looked at the tag. She should have known you don’t wash colors ( or wool! ) in hot water. I paid lots of money for that sweater.

I don’t remember if I ever apologized to her. I hope I did. One thing is for sure—--she forgave me.

She forgave everyone. Her soul was pure. The capacity she had for endurance was maddening sometimes. I wanted her to fight back at injustices, to yell at abusers, to stand up for herself.

She exemplified the following:

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another…”

(New Testament | Colossians 3:12 - 13)

So what does any of this have to do with being paranoid? Tune in tomorrow for Part Two.


  1. Oh that's hilarious! I've yelled at perfect saints too.. (and not so perfect ones).

    To be honest, I've reminded (not yelled) my hubby about the clothes in the washer/dryer thing as I've pulled out items that were there that should not have been. I try not to yell about those machines since I've made mistakes too!


  2. My husband's only washer/dryer imperfection is that every once in awhile he forgets to check pockets and I end up with a dryer full of shredded Kleenex. But the fact that he helps with laundry far outweighs those minor inconveniences. Sounds like you have a nice husband who helps with laundry too!

  3. You yelled at my sister? Tsk, tsk. Okay; I forgive you.

    Right eye winkin'

  4. Auntie M,

    Yeah, I yelled at your sister. Vile, huh?

    I will plead for mercy based on the fact that I was seventeen and therefore my brain was not fully developed.

    Right eye winkin' back at ya!


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