Conversations with my little sister Kentucky start off simple enough:
Phone rings. I notice her number. I pick up.
"Hey Lisa," she says in her light voice with the hard Southern drawl.
She's an elementary school teacher, and she has been preparing for the upcoming school year. And with that comes the influx of new students... and the plethora of interesting names.
"I got some names for you," she said.
"Oh no," I groaned.
She usually spells out the name, and I have to attempt to announce it. (Note: I placed periods in the names so they won't come up on a search since they are so... original).
"This name is going to really trip you out," she says. "N.vee Miss Bertha Betsy Mae Wa.lker"
"You lying!" I holler.
"Nope. Saw that one the other day. And 'Miss' is actually a part of her name."
I pondered this. Why on earth would a parent name their child that?
"That's some family name mess. Those are names of grandmamas, of great aunts or something like that. Still odd."
Then Kentucky bust out with some other names. "There are some twin girls also. Their names are Shi.crayon and Shi.marker."
Wow. Some parent out there really likes their writing utensils.
Last year, the most interesting name she told me of was a little girl named Beefa.roni.
Mama and Daddy must love some Chef Boyardee. That is all.
Those babies have strange names. Those babies will go on to do great things despite that.
Anyway our conversation moved along from that tomfoolery.
"Hey," I said. "I need you to paint my toenails. I figure I can either pay you to do it or I can pay them Asians to do it. And I don't need a pedicure, just need you to remove the old chipped stuff and paint them."
"I'll do it," she said. "I just have to see if I have some fingernail polish remover."
"You think they got sell fingernail polish remover at the QuikTrip gas station next to your place?"
"No," she said through a chuckle.
"What's so funny?" I asked.
She giggled.. "The gas station selling fingernail polish remover."
"Shoot, they sale everything else up in that joint."
I heard her rummaging around. "That's alright, I found some!"
"Alright, because you know I'd run up in the gas station and ask if they sold it."
I told her I would come over. She said she had cooked dinner. Pork chops, fried corn and squash and baked whole sweet potatoes.
"I don't care about no pork. I want some squash and fried corn and sweet potatoes, though. And I have some greens and a piece of cornbread. We can share that!"
"Okay," she said.
It was noon at the time. I told her I would be over by four.
Then our conversation turned to more serious matters. I asked her about school. She was still getting the room together, and had been spending a week doing that. But she had received some news that she would be co-teaching with another teacher. Nothing much wrong with that concept, but the teacher was one of the most negative people she had ever been around, to the point of just dealing with her for any amount of time just completely drained her, physically and emotionally. And on top of that, my sister's teacher's aide doesn't get along with the woman, and they play off of each other (that means double the drama).
When her principle told her of the arrangement, she made a comment. She said she doesn't even remember what she said, but it was enough to make the principal look at her crazy and for the other teachers around at the time to snicker.
Oh how I hate for my sister to deal with that. If you have ever met my sister Kentucky, you'll quickly find out that she is the one of the kindest, nicest, most giving people ever. Very nice, wouldn't hurt a fly. Always looking for a way to be helpful to you in any way. Always. I think she is a really great individual. She is also someone who has the perfect game face, and she could be thinking something and you would never know it. She has that much control.
But for her to groan and make a comment or whatever she did... It must mean this other teacher must be a REAL piece of work
She said she went home and prayed about it. She really didn't need to deal with that teacher for the rest of the year. I could tell it REALLY bothered her. Knowing her, I am sure she shed a few tears.
She went to school the next morning and the principal pulled her to the side and said that she'd changed her mind and wouldn't have them working together.
"Lisa," my sister said. "I just exhaled. I was so relieved."
"I know you were, honey," I said. "I know."
"God sure did answer that prayer quick."
"Yes he did," I said. "And that's a good thing."
We talk about our prayer lives a lot. I think we both want to make sure that we are praying over our situations. If there are answers, we talk about that. We get in agreement on prayer over different things. It is an important part of our lives and our faith.
She has a very keen way of dealing with a variety of personalities, whether good or bad. I, unfortunately, don't deal well with certain personalities, especially those that impose on me and wreck my spirit. As a matter of fact, I am one of the most passive aggressive people you will ever meet, and if you rub me the wrong way, I simply don't deal with you anymore. That's just me. It's not the most politically correct way to deal with things, but man... I refuse to be in mental and emotional bondage to you. Sorry in advance. But it's not going to happen, honey.
We talked about that. And I told her I'd been praying about some help in changing my attitude in the way of dealing with and understanding difficult personalities.
And I got a really interesting answer to that prayer that changed my whole outlook. It seem to help my sister alot.
"I never thought about it that way, Lisa," she said.
"Me neither," I replied. "But it has helped me understand people a little more."
And I want to post about that answer... in detail.
It might help you, too.
To be continued tomorrow as a Friday Food-for-thought.
(Hey! The contest still on... don't forget to enter the 7th bloggaversery sweepstakes: comment for your chance to win a $77 gift card and other fabulous prizes. See bloggaversary post for details).
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