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May 29th, 2008

Sprint Store Adventure

My husband uttered the dreaded words.  “Let’s go to the Sprint Store.”

I answered honestly, “I would rather have my fingernails pulled out.”

“C’mon.  It won’t be bad.  I just have to see if they are going to fix my phone or replace it.  Afterwards, I’ll take you to lunch.”

Yeah, right.  Enticing me with lunch wasn’t fair but I let myself fall for it anyway.  A little time out with my husband, without kids, is time to be savored even if we did spend part of it in the Sprint Store, a place to visit that rates right up there in my personal tourist guide book with, saaay, a visit to the nearest sewage plant.  It’s not that the Sprint people are rude, it’s just that going there involves picking a number or standing in line, finally talking with a person then waiting around while they do mysterious computer stuff or take your cell phone to the black hole labeled as technical support where it disappears for an indeterminate period of time (hours, days, weeks).  If you are very, very lucky some unhealthy looking guy (because he spends all day, every day in a closet sized back room with fake lighting) brings it back out eventually whereupon we wait in line again until the Sprint person can do more poking around on the computer.  My objection to the Sprint Store is that it can take hours to accomplish one little thing.  On any given day, I have way too many choices on how to spend my time and rarely enough hours to accomplish even half of what I’d like to do.  Sprint isn’t my idea of good use of my time.

Surprisingly, this trip was different.  Maybe my mood was just in the right spot but lots of little things entertained me.  Plus, I brought a good book.


In the parking lot, a lady was headed into the store on the sidewalk ahead of us.  I’d guess her age to be early to mid 50’s with the body of a Victoria’s Secret model and an enhanced cup size.  Tight jeans with high heels, tight sweater, big hair and hips swaying, her husband walked a little behind her and I am sure it was to enjoy the view.  She looked good, she knew it and I enjoyed watching her enjoy herself.  It gives me hope for my 50’s which I have almost reached.  Though I don’t think I would want to enter a room that far behind my breasts, it obviously worked for her.  Too bad for her most of the Sprint personnel that day were women and not into appreciating her assets.  


Upon entering the Sprint greeter guy handed us our number and the wait began.  Luckily, one of the workers returned from lunch so our wait was short (for Sprint that is).  His number called, my husband stepped up to the counter and began telling the Sprint lady about his phone problems.  Apparently, he was just what the doctor ordered and she blatantly flirted with him, leaning towards him to make sure that he could see down the V in her sweater and putting her hand on his arm more than once to emphasize a point.  Watching my husband work his usual charm, I wanted to laugh.  This lady was totally sending him “I like you lots” signals and he had no clue.  She headed to the back (the black hole in cell phone land) and my husband came to stand by me.  I leaned over and said, “She likes you, maybe she’ll hurry things along.” 


“She was nice,” he agreed.


“No, I mean she really likes you.  You got a cleavage flash and everything.”


“No I didn’t!”


I laughed again.  “When the phone comes back out, I’ll go to the counter with you.  I bet she’ll become a lot more businesslike.”  An eon later, when his number was called again, I was almost sorry to go to the counter and dash her hopes for my husband.  She quickly became busy and passed us on to the next lady for checkout and she didn’t flash any cleavage at me or touch my arm.    Go figure.


While the phone was in the black hole, I watched the Victoria Secret lady walk around with lots of swishing and loud question asking but I am happy to say that her Sprint Store visit didn’t process any faster than ours did.  Sprint personnel can take pride in the fact that cup size does not guarantee faster service. 


I watched John the Bouncer walk around the store and announce to at least two employees that he had to stay free so he could be available to handle any problems that arose.  Truly, I thought from his body language and words that he was a store bouncer and it made me laugh that Sprint would see the need to hire such a person but not figure out how to handle customer flow to prevent the need for one.  I asked the checkout lady how long Sprint had been hiring bouncers for the store and she looked startled.  I nodded towards John the Bouncer and she laughed.  He’s the assistant manager but she agreed that bouncer was a better title for him because he was waiting, practically cracking his knuckles, for one customer to get out of line and need to be “handled”.  I leaned close to my husband and said, “I think I can take him.”  Our checkout lady cracked up.


My favorite entertainment came in right behind us.  She took her number and when she reached the counter, she began asking questions about her phone.  When we were finishing up, she was still at the counter, asking questions about her phone.  Meanwhile her two children had canvassed the store, played hide and seek, made up a game whereupon one hid under the counter and jumped out at the other one, stretched every sample phone to the end of its cord to see how far it would go and then let them snap back, made a couple different stacks of the brochures from around the store, and the lady just kept on asking question after question about buttons and programs.  By the time we left, about an hour and a half later, the kids were sitting on the floor, bored out of their minds, and their mom was still asking questions.  At first, I didn’t feel sympathy for the Sprint guy, it’s his job to answer questions and Sprint personnel certainly don’t mind using up the customer’s time, but after an hour and a half of questions, I was tempted to lean close to her as we passed by on our way out and tell her to go home and read her manual.  My husband wouldn’t let me.  He yanked my arm and threatened to call John the Bouncer on me.


All in all, it was an entertaining visit to the Sprint Store.  Kinda like watching people at the airport.  I wouldn’t make a special trip to do it, but if I have to sit there, I might as well enjoy what passes in front of me.


Love Bucket

How much love can you hold inside of you?  How much anger or negativity?  What happens when the bucket that holds the positive and negative overflow?  Listening to a podcast (a recent entertainment discovery while exercising) the lady being interviewed mentioned several ways that people tend to sabotage themselves.  Have you ever lost that 10 pounds you dream of losing only to gain it back?  Worked up the nerve to pursue a dream only to find ways to not like it later?  Enjoyed a spectacular weekend with your spouse and then picked a fight?  I’ve done each of those things.  It’s as though I have two buckets inside of me to hold my emotions, one for the positive and one for the negative.  If the positive gets too full, I have to dump some of those emotions out.  If the negative spills over, it’s like poison in my system leaking out onto those around me.  My entire life has been about managing and containing my emotions. 

What possible good can develop from limiting the amount of love I can give and receive?  How can anyone benefit from trying to contain and manage a bucket of negativity?  I am not saying it will happen overnight, lifetime habits are hard to change, but I am kicking my buckets - no more containment measures allowed.  I want to become amorphous, allowing love to flow through me like an unending, cleansing river and also allow negative emotions to flow through me, acknowledge them and then watch them flow out.  To be clear, I am not endorsing self indulgence like eating a container of ice cream and calling myself happy or lashing out in anger at another no matter how righteous it might feel.  The art of self discipline still applies but in a different way.  Instead of using self discipline to allow only as much happiness as my bucket will hold or to contain negative emotions, I want to use it to control how I address the emotions flowing through me.  Anger is anger; it doesn’t go away if it’s floating around in my negative bucket.  Talk about emotional sewage!  But if I acknowledge it, handle it to the best of my ability (hopefully in respectful way), and then let it flow out there is no containment necessary.  Wow, suddenly I am feeling lighter and freer. 

This concept has hit home for me regarding my grandchildren.  They live with me and take up most of my time and energy.  With two children still at home and four grandchildren, our house can be described as chaotic on most days.  I love them.  I also resent them.  Then I feel guilty for resenting them which must mean that I don’t love them enough.  And what’s wrong with me not to love my grandchildren the way I should?  And so my thoughts flow in a crippling circle.  My two emotional buckets were sitting side by side spilling the good and ugly back and forth all day long.  Without those buckets, I can honestly say (and feel good about it) I love my grandchildren.  I also resent them (another honest emotion).  To work through that I try each day to take time for me by exercise and meditation.  It doesn’t work perfectly every day but when I feel that crippling resentment building, I acknowledge its existence, let it flow through, and then go lock the bathroom door and meditate even if it’s only for 5 minutes.  

It’s an ongoing learning process.  Tipping over my buckets holding a lifetime of emotions means there is a lot of sludge in the bottom but I am working through it a little at a time mostly with Energy Medicine and EFT.  The habit of limiting my emotions or stuffing them away because I didn’t like them is darned hard to break.  Bills are still due, the children face the same challenges, and my house needs some serious cleaning.  However, sitting here typing, listening to Norah Jones, I can feel the peacefulness flowing through me.  I give thanks to God for the lessons I am learning…and podcasts.