A friend of mine returned from deployment, inadvertently parked his car in the wrong stall at his condominium, and awoke to find his car towed. Welcome home. He’s a well-mannered, southern-bred, Baptist soul. But even the best of us can get a little out of sorts when our car gets towed (or you question your existence, once again, see the brave blog). When he was informed that the Grouchy Car Towing Resident would like to meet with him, he relayed the message “I do not need to meet her. I am sorry I parked in her stall. I just returned from deployment. Please ask her how she likes her freedom.” He would be the first to say that he doesn’t like playing the military card. But we all agreed over dinner that THIS was the perfect moment.
I find that I am often tempted to play the “Mom card” these days. She used to tell me to use her when I could – “Hey, there has to be something good about all this – use me in your entrance exam for previous medical experience!” (It worked, I got in). But it’s not what you think. I’m not getting out of speeding tickets or late assignments or missed appointments with “Sorry, my mom died”.
I pull the Mom card on myself. Let me explain.
Example 1: “This person has been talking to me for 15 minutes and I am bored. Can’t they see I lost focus five sentences ago. Was there a question in there? I don’t remember their name. Shoot, why isn’t someone interrupting and rescuing me?”
MOM CARD: She would say something kind to this person. If ignored, she would say something witty. If further ignored, she would say something forceful. If blatantly talked over anyway, she would walk away.”
Blam, conversation handled.
Example 2: “I am sad, mad, irritated. What is God doing with me, where are my keys, why am I so fat?!”
MOM CARD: She would tell every man, woman, child, and current pet to stop talking to her and leave her alone unless they were bleeding, shut the door and have an extra-long quiet time. She would hear from God that she was doing okay, she was beautiful, and he was in control. She’d open the door, declare a treasure hunt for the keys, start a new exercise regimen that would last a couple weeks, and bake the best dessert ever because, seriously, she always looked good.
Blam, insecurities handled.
So, you can use the Mom card or the military card or whatever card works for you today. I give you permission to ask anyone “how do you like your freedom?” Unless you are in the military it won’t make sense. But I bet you will feel better.