Saturday, May 9, 2009

the secret of contentment

so today . . . i helped my mother in law buy a new camera.

rollie's parents are here visiting us, and while i wish i could say it has been unending fun, it has not. they arrived on thursday afternoon at the end of my two day liquid diet, finding me looking a bit wilted (as i hadn't eaten in two days,) rollie gone (out doing last minute errands,) and our two unruly beasts patrolling the castle. thank goodness for cell phones, as i was able to call rollie and have him come home and get things under control. he took his dad out to lunch, while his mom was able to rest, brought her home some food, and then we all just sort of hung out for the rest of the day. they stayed to offer me encouragement as i finished up the last of the dreaded, vile "drink of death," and then headed off to their clean, quiet, dogless motel room.

end of day one.

day two began with rollie taking me to the doctor's office and his parents finding a closer motel. i really thought i would be up and around by noon, so the plan was for rollie to take his dad to an angels game and for his mom and i to have dinner at the rain forest cafe--which i had been looking forward to, because rollie kind of hates to eat there and i just think it is so much fun! instead, they were all treated to a day of me mostly sleeping, getting up for a bit, and then heading back to bed . . . so while rollie and his dad got to go to the game, his mom ended up back at their cleaner, quiet, dogless motel room at 5:00 in the evening! and i slept, blogged, and slept some more. (does this sound like they are having fun yet?!?)

day three. today, i thought would be the fun day! no medical stuff to slow me down, beautiful weather, a whole day without work or an agenda--it was going to be perfect! except that i woke up with allergy symptoms in full swing again. "i absolutely cannot spend today in bed! i don't care how i feel, i cannot! this is the last full day i will have to spend with them while they are here, and i cannot spend it sleeping! i must get up and get going!!" so i swallowed some more allergy medicine, got dressed and prepared to have fun. we checked out the rummage sale the teens were having to raise money for summer camp, ate lunch at hometown buffet, and then started the search for a camera for carroll (rollie's mom.)

carroll seems to think that i know a lot about cameras--i don't really, but apparently i know more than she does, which fools her into thinking i am smart about such things. so i started asking her questions about features she wanted or did not want on her new camera. and she kept saying, "it doesn't matter," or "i don't know," or "i don't care . . . " so i quickly decided she was not the picky sort when it came to her electronics. we looked around online a bit, but she didn't want to order a camera--she wanted one she could use while they were here. we decided to just go to target and see what they had. after spending 15-20 minutes comparing all the different features on all the cameras, she reached a decision. we told the sales clerk we were ready, and waited for him to help us. we watched as he helped another person who asked for a camera that was on display only to be told they didn't have any. so she asked for a different camera and was told they were out of that one as well. she finally chose a camera that they did have in stock, purchased it, and left. our turn was next. we told him what we wanted, and guess what? it was out of stock too.

now here is my question. why are they putting cameras on display if they don't have any of them for you to buy?!?!? i mean really--you stand there comparing features and brands and prices and COLORS and finally make a decision, only to be told that they don't have any?!?!? i could understand it if they had just run out, or if the camera was a special price that week, but this camera that carroll chose was neither of those things. it was NOT on sale and the sales clerk said they had been out of that model for quite some time. THEN TAKE IT OFF THE DISPLAY! SHEESH!! we spent a long time making a decision, and had we known that the camera was not available, we might have decided on a camera that WAS in stock and a sale would have been completed. instead he sent us off to another target store about 5 miles away, with the promise that they had one--he had checked the computer. ok, it is the camera we have chosen, and it is a good one at a good price, so it is worth the drive.

we hit the freeway. and there was traffic--a lot of traffic. and while i am a pretty careful driver, i thought i was going to lose carroll a few times . . . let's just say merging on and off our busy freeways was not her idea of fun . . . it was her idea of having a heart attack!!

we got to the second target. we found the electronics department. we saw her chosen camera on display. we did not see a sales clerk. i looked far and wide, but no sales clerks were to be found. i finally captured one in the sports department and dragged him back with me, only to be told, guess what? they didn't have her camera in stock!! i tried explaining to him that the other store said they had it, and the computer said they had it, so where was it?!?!?! he had no answer for me except that they didn't have it. "ok," i said to carroll, "let's try best buy. they have lots of cameras there." but she decided we would just find one that was in stock here that met her criteria. (i think she wanted to minimize our freeway time, but maybe i'm just being paranoid . . . ) we found a camera, paid for it, and headed home.

all the way home, i am telling carroll that if she doesn't like the camera we can take it back. we can go to best buy. they had the newer version of the camera she liked. and really, it is no problem. we can take it back.

you see, this is why rollie has to buy my electronics. i always think there might be something better, sleeker, faster, cooler out there if i just keep looking.

i am still comparing, even as we are plugging in the battery to charge and attaching the wrist strap and taking the plastic off the lcd screen. i keep saying, "how does it feel in your hand? it is comfortable to hold and use?" and she keeps saying, "well, yes, i guess so . . . "

we finally come to the conclusion that since she doesn't have anything to compare it with (she has been without a camera for quite some time,) what's not to like? she will just get used to this one as she uses it, and it will become comfortable and familiar for her, regardless if there is something better or sleeker or faster or cooler out there. she chooses to like the one she has.

i have a picture on the wall in my family room that says, "contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have." today i realized that i am not naturally a content person. i am never satisfied with the way things are. i am constantly thinking about reorganizing, upgrading, doing things better . . . and that isn't all bad, but maybe if i would just start choosing to like things the way they are, i would be happier and more content . . . then again, maybe i would just never get anything done!!

No comments: