October 14, 2014


Freshly burned from my trip this weekend to Florida, I thought today was a good a day as any to talk about a truly moving moment from the last time I was in South Florida visiting Derrick.

Sometime that weekend, I convinced him to stop by Target for a “quick trip” to pick up a “few things.” Which, if you speak Target, you know means 20 minutes in the boys’ toy aisle because look at this little rubber mallet. Imagine what we could do with this little rubber mallet! How have I never considered getting a little rubber mallet before?!

Naturally, all of that time spent considering the little rubber mallet made me realize that, while I was there, I should probably get some face wash too. Which of course led us to the pharmacy section of the Great American Wonderland, where (to my delight) I found one of those health assessment machines.

While Derrick moseyed around the heartburn relief aisle, I sat on the machine for 7 minutes while a recording of a doctor asked me about my vegetable intake, exercise habits, and family health history (bless Derrick’s patient heart). Then, after taking my blood pressure, the recorded doctor told me to lift up my feet so the machine could measure my weight.

After another 45 seconds, the doctor came back on screen and told me, “CONGRATULATIONS. Your weight has been recorded.” Which was thrilling to say the least; it’s always nice to be congratulated for a job well done.

But when I told Derrick a few minutes later, he was disappointingly less congratulatory. Actually, he just told me to go get my face wash already so we could leave.

Now, I know it’s the trendy thing today to be on the “not everyone should get a trophy” train because the decline of society all started with that uncoordinated kid with straps on his glasses thinking he’s good at tee-ball, after all.

But you know what? Sometimes a little congratulations is good for morale, even if all you did was pick dandelions in the outfield or lift up your legs so some doctor with unnaturally white teeth could measure your weight.

Maybe that kid won’t grow up to be the next Derek Jeter, but at least for a moment there he could enjoy that feeling of golden plastic glory.

So today, to hell with the betterment of society: I want to congratulate all of you, whether you’re a Little League All-Star or the kid who got in trouble for peeing in left field. You did it, regardless of what “it” is.

Congratulations if… you have ever looked presentable in an airport. (You’re doing better than I am.)

Congratulations if… you plan ahead, so you don’t cave to the overpriced beef jerky at airport newsstands. (Again, you’re doing better than at least one person at this crazy game of life.)

Congratulations if… you did not change your screaming 18-month-old’s diaper on the plane seat behind me this morning.

Congratulations if… you did not shout at your screaming 18-month-old that you are “CHANGING YOUR DIAPER” on the plane seat behind me this morning, like clearing up this situation to your toddler (and the rest of the plane) might help.

Congratulations if… you aren’t the loudest peanut eater in the world. Which I know you aren’t because she’s sitting next to me on this airplane.

Congratulations if… you do not feed pigeons. And if you do, I wish 7 million deafening peanut munchers on you and your children.

Congratulations if… your public laugh is limited to 140 decibels. (At least on 6:30 AM flights.)

Congratulations if… even if your public laugh ISN’T limited to 140 decibels on 6:30 AM flights, you at least share your mimosa with me.

Congratulations if… your keyboard doesn’t have an airline pretzel crumb stuck under the “d” key. (Although I know from personal experience that avoiding the hellish ordeal of typing a blog post with a stuck “d” key is enough of a reward in itself.)

Congratulations if… you’ve made it to this point in my list. The world needs more people like you.