I have three wonderful men in my life…my two little guys and my wonderful honey. These three keep me smiling and laughing. Ok let’s be honest, more often than not they keep me shaking my head in bewilderment first and THEN laughing but I wouldn’t trade it for the world! Ha ha.
My sweetheart, Jeff, is an old fashioned Southern gentleman with a PhD in one liners. Some funny. Some inappropriate. Some old fashioned. Some full of advice. But always, they will sneak up on you and make you stop your thoughts and process whatever zinger he just threw. Most often I stop, process, laugh and shake my head. Sometimes I stop, process and the lightbulb goes off. Every once in a while, it’s what I like to call “above my pay grade” meaning that I don’t get paid enough to understand his one liner. Well this past week I walked into the tail end of a conversation he was having with his daughter. Ehhhh perhaps it was more of a lecture. It went something like this…
Jeff: “Look, I don’t have a problem driving you all the way to Dixon to sell your cookies. What I’m irritated with is that you JUST told me now at 5:30 and your brother has football practice until 8:00.”
Daughter: “Well then just drive me to Grandma’s house and then mom’s house and that’s all I will sell.”
Jeff: “How long have you had the cookie order forms?”
Daughter: “Three weeks.”
Jeff: “And when do you have to turn it in?”
Daughter: “Tomorrow morning”
Jeff: (shaking his head) “Remember the 7 P’s honey, next time you’re out of luck. That’s all I have to say.”
I looked at his daughter and she went back to drawing in her tablet not even remotely phased by how irritated her dad was. Just doodling away, doing what she loves to do…drawing.
I knew Jeff was P-ed off but my curiosity got the best of me. I walked into the living room, sat down, rubbed Jeff’s leg and asked “What are the 7 P’s?” He kissed me on the forehead, squeezed my hand and said, “Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.” I chuckled. And then I said “Law of Practice.” He looked at me quizzically and I told him that last week we learned about the Seven Laws of the Mind. I explained how the Law of Practice was explained to us as “Perfect Practice Prevents Poor Performance.” He smirked and told me that he should’ve patented his Grandma’s advice.
Just then my two little guys came running into the living room. The oldest wasn’t happy because he couldn’t find his yellow monster truck. He was whining and had the sour puss look on his face. I told him to relax and I’d help him find it. Jeff leaned over and tried to tickle him which just made my little guy even more upset. He was having none of it. His bad attitude quickly got worse and as I’m looking under the couch, in the toy box, under blankets, in the laundry room for this darn monster truck, I hear this conversation:
Jeff: “Say ‘BUBBLES’ please Sir” (yes, “Sir” and “Ma’am” come standard with him)
My Son: “huh?”
Jeff: “Say ‘BUBBLES’ please Sir”
My son: “bubbles?”
Jeff: “Yes Sir, say it again”
My son: “bubbles”
My Son: “BUBBLES”
Jeff: “I don’t know anyone who can say the word ‘bubbles’ in a mad voice. Now go find your monster truck and if you get mad again just say ‘BUBBLES.'”
As I watched my son go on a search (it was in the bath tub if you all were wondering) his mood was changed. He was happy again and I heard him chanting ‘bubbles’ a few times during his search which made me smile.
I thanked Jeff and said, “The Law of Substitution. You can’t think about two things at the same time. If something negative enters your mind, think of something positive.” Now HE was shaking his head at me. As it turns out, these old school Southern folks know a thing or two about how the mind works!