Fix Your Wig!

One of the most comical things in the human experience is to observe us when we are completely oblivious to something that is utterly obvious to everyone else. A circumstance, in which someone is so blind to his own awkwardness, dissonance, or contradictions, (especially when they are evident to everyone) can find me laughing in a nanosecond. Except when it’s me.

Tricia and I happened to be at dinner one evening many years ago when we noticed a couple entering the restaurant looking very disheveled and thrown together. The man’s shirt was only partially tucked in and the lapel of his jacket had blown upwards around his neck. His wife had a similar look as her raincoat was only partially over her shoulders and her umbrella nearly blown inside out.

As it turns out, it had begun to storm on their way in leaving the couple to run for their lives escaping gale force winds and a torrential downpour. It didn’t take long to notice that the gentleman’s hair also had a certain asymmetry to it. What at first merely resembled a wet, wind-blown coif upon closer observation had the appearance of a woolly accessory situated almost diagonally on top of his head. My OCD wanted to rush over and give it a firm tug to the left but of course, one can only observe these things from afar unless one wants the police showing up for dessert.

Maybe a good friend could have leaned in to the poor man and said, “Buford, bro, you need to fix your wig!” But, alas we weren’t those people so we just observed Buford enjoying his dinner and the oblivion of what appeared to be a small ferret-like critter parked on his lopsided noggin.

After howling together once we got in the car and then talking more soberly later we realized that there were many times that we were just like Buford. For instance, when one of us would go on a tirade we could be oblivious to the way we were coming off to others. Whether it was something we were throwing out in an argument, a rant with friends at dinner, or taking on a store clerk over a refund we were perfectly capable of being as oblivious to the way we were presenting ourselves as Buford was in his ill fitting wig.

Hence we coined our phrase, “Fix your wig!”

When one of us would hear the other going down a road that could prove embarrassing or maybe even irretrievable one of us would lean in and mumble, “You need to fix your wig!”

If the other didn’t respond to that, we might take on a more assertive tone with, “Seriously! You really need to FIX your wig.”

If one still chose to go full steam ahead the other might hear, “I’m not kidding. Your wig is freaking wrong side out right now. You need to stop!”

When everyone but me sees me as I am it is a sad commentary as I reveal my humanity in Technicolor. Despite the loving admonitions of those around me, I am perfectly capable of driving through all the warning signs until I come to consciousness having experienced the emotional equivalent of having dinner in public with a stray cat on my head.

My hope is that I will get better at heeding the warnings of those I’ve given permission to speak into my life and that I will surround myself with people who love me enough to tell me when my wig is a bit askew before I become the object of pathetic glances and curious bystanders.

Lastly, a trip to the mirror after running through a thunderstorm in fake hair is never a bad idea.

Done With Christmas!

Okay, I’m just going to say it – I am REALLY done with Christmas this year.

I don’t mean to sound like Scrooge’s successor but for a myriad of my own reasons I was done with Christmas before Christmas this year. I suspect I’m not alone.

I had nightmares of being led out of Best Buy in handcuffs and having to decide whether to include my mugshot in my Christmas letter or not.

I was fairly certain that I was going to have a meltdown that would make the glassy-eyed woman in the Target commercials look emotionally well adjusted.

Probably somewhere between pulling off three Christmas Eve services (leading two of them myself) and an additional Christmas Day service, musicians and singers dropping on me like flies from any number of flu strands and family conflicts, my beginning a Christmas piano project to release next year as well as trying to pull together what Christmas for my own family would look like, I just decided that I was done with Christmas before it ever got here this year.

Factor in a couple of unforeseen medical specialists in December for my wife and one unanticipated ER visit for her the week before Christmas Eve and my toaster was moving toward the scorch setting.

So, in the spirit of the season (and in a feeble attempt at maintaining my sanity and sense of humor) I decided to list a few of the ways that, if you’re like me might indicate that you could be getting close to “done” with Christmas this year.

You might be done with Christmas if …

… you procrastinated your shopping to the point that the valet parking rate at the mall sounded reasonable.

… when choosing a gift for your wife you seriously consider fashion advice from a sales woman in a pantsuit that looks like it came from the Kim Jong iL collection.

… you are tempted to finally send the “honest” Christmas letter this year because you know that everyone has seen your teenager’s Facebook page anyway.

… you realize that you have raised children who expect Santa to show up at the Christmas Eve service.

… you see the elf from Macy’s taking a smoke break outside and you ask him if you can bum one off of him.

… your boss has left candy canes in everyone’s boxes with a note that says, “Thanks for a great year!”, and you realize it is your Christmas bonus.

… when the entire mall starts to look like one big tacky Christmas sweater party to you.

… you find yourself carrying pepper spray, not for the potential muggers in the parking lot, but to protect yourself from the salespeople with the cologne spritzers in the department stores.

… the Carol of the Bells playing overhead in the stores starts to resemble a Mayan war chant in your head!

… walking through the Galleria feels like you’re participating in the Running of the Bulls.

… you have enough fudge and leftovers to last until the Spring thaw provided you don’t eat yourself into hibernation (otherwise known as a diabetic coma).

… you have to resort to installing an electronic invisible fence around your refrigerator to keep from helping yourself to a cheesecake or your third breakfast of the day!

… you have fantasies about ripping off those crazy antlers and reindeer noses from the Escalades that take up two parking spaces at Target!

… when someone gives you a sticker that says, “Jesus Is the Reason for the Season” you decide to blow off shopping and just take Jesus to Starbucks for a Venti Soy Chi.

So, by next week I’m sure I’ll be back to my old self. I’ll be ready to blog again about the compelling things I’m reading, the perspectives on faith, culture and hope that resonate with me, and maybe even share a few thoughts I have for the New Year.

For now, … well, for now I’m just done with Christmas.