I have a real job. By that I mean working during the day, usually 8 hours…in a row, show up to the same place every day. A job. It’s a cool job, as far as real jobs go, because that’s how I roll. No fun? Not for me! So, I am the Queen of a design center that is decked out like Barbie’s dream house. I help people select all their interiors for their new homes-cabinets, tile, carpet, countertops, light fixtures…all the stuff that’s ‘connected’ to the house. When the right people are here, I get to joke around and have my fun and still have a “real” job. I make it work for me as well as for them.
It can be a very intense process and I meet all kinds of people in all kinds of situations. I understand that this is a really big deal to most of them, and I appreciate being a part of their experience. I really do. I also understand that because I do this every day, I’m like the doctor performing open heart surgery. For the doc, it’s a day at the office. For the patient, it’s life or death. I get that. So it is with great consideration that I declare that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A DESIGN CENTER EMERGENCY!
I do admit that my perspective is definitely skewed after the years of minor and major emergencies that crop up during cancer treatment. I like to joke about the nights when I held a mirror under Steven’s nose to make sure he was still breathing. That is a joke! I didn’t really do that! I did hold my hand on his chest to make sure I could feel him breathing, but hat doesn’t sound as funny…because it wasn’t. However, I think it does give me a very different perspective (and a free pass on being judgmental) on what exactly constitutes an ‘emergency.’
Years ago, when I was trying to adapt from the comedy club lifestyle to 9-5 job, I worked as a receptionist for a top notch dentist. (If you need a great dentist in Brevard County, FL – let me know!) He did, and still does, beautiful cosmetic work. However, he was a doctor first, and artist second. That’s where I learned what a real emergency is. Well, from the dentist and receptionist school…can you believe there’s such thing as a receptionist school? Seriously they teach you to say “Hello, this is the dentist.” Whatever… the dentist paid for receptionist school and I also got a free lunch, so I went!
Here’s the thing I learned: when someone calls, in so much pain that you can hear it in his voice, that’s an emergency. When someone stops in with parts of their smile in the palm of their hand and then dumps it on your desk, drool and all, that’s an emergency. When someone drags a kid in because her face is swollen like either Chip or Dale or the Goodyear blimp, THAT is an emergency. Design Center emergency…not so much.
So, with the cancer thing as firsthand knowledge and the dental thing as firsthand training, I submit the following for your consideration:
Humans, as an entire race, should get a little more conservative about playing the “emergency” card. It’s like crying “WOLF.” Eventually the Calvary will stop coming to the rescue. Let’s keep the emergency status where it should be.
- If there is blood or any other bodily fluid erupting like a volcano from any body part, that’s an emergency.
- If there are uncontrollable flames engulfing your body or your hair, your silicon implants, or your Pepsi commercial set, that’s an emergency.
- If rushing water is higher than you are tall, and you feel the tide coming into any orifice, especially your mouth, that’s an emergency.
- If a pack of wild animals are looking at you like you are a Quarter Pounder with Cheese and there is no to-go box in sight, that’s an emergency.
- If there is a baby’s head or any other body part is popping out of your hoo-haa, that’s an emergency. The list could go on, but I think you get the idea.
That being said, you can imagine how my panties crept into wad when I found myself giving up a few hours of each day off during my long-awaited extended weekend, for a design center emergency. I was fired up and Steven kept trying to put a positive spin on it. I hate that. I’m the one who’s supposed to put a happy face on his funk! He’s supposed to let me fume! Where is his copy of the marriage manual? I’m sure it’s in there somewhere. Quit trying to cheer me up! These people are boobs for disturbing my weekend.
What boobs? The customers, for being big bossy babies, the sales staff for being wimpy door mats, the phone company for putting the call through and for hosing us on iPhone service (*when you’re getting mad, it’s good to add in extra stupid stuff for additional fuel), Steven for trying to cheer me up and our neighbor whose cigar smoke drifts onto our porch (see extra fuel*). I was on a tear.
But, it was too exhausting to keep up. There was no adrenaline rush to carry the rage…because there is no such thing as a design center emergency. That’s when I remembered that this stupid emergency is isn’t threatening anyone’s life. No one is going to lose his hair, puke out her guts or start walking towards the light during nap time. This is a faux-emergency, just like the faux emergencies we all have. (I call it faux because I’m a big-shot designer. Steven refers to his as “the screw aisle in Lowe’s” marking a meltdown he had over nothing.) You can call yours whatever you like, as long as you remember that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A ___________EMERGENCY. Instead, take a breath and loosen the panty wad, because as Craig Morgan says, “This ain’t nothin’!”