I sort of learned to dress myself at a young age. I mastered zippers, buttons, buckles and, ultimately, tying shoelaces. I say “sort of” because although I learned how to put clothing on, apparently, I never learned how to choose which clothes to put on.
For example, this very day I had an appointment in Denver, a very fashionable city a mere two hour drive from our rustic rural home. It was for a legal matter. I selected my favorite sports jacket. My beloved wife, a former model, informed me that my favorite coat was not her favorite coat. She selected another one. I complied, of course. I inquired whether the tie I already had tied goes well enough with the coat I had not intended but was then wearing. It was okay. She explained why — something about subtle green tones.
I said above that I know how to tie my shoes, and that is true, but the only shoes I have with laces are gym shoes. Otherwise, I always wear cowboy boots, even to court. Miss Sugar asked which pair of boots I was going to wear, then looked at my socks and gasped. I had a hole in my left sock.
I explained that when my boots were on, no one would know that I had a sock with such a hole. The conversation turned to what I thought was an urban myth, but which is, according to Sugar, common knowledge as a universal truth. That is, and you readers probably know this already — if one gets in an accident, the emergency personnel are shocked by dirty underwear. A corollary to such common knowledge about the disadvantages of dirty underwear is that if one has a hole in one’s sock, the health care professionals often refrain from assisting. I suppose it follows that if one does not care enough about one’s self to wear clean underwear and intact socks, then why expect anyone else to care?
Further, as you know, mothers and wives take it personally when anyone in their care presents to EMTs in such a manner that it is clear the injured person is unloved by mother or wife. The fear is that such an injured person will be refused an ambulance ride and refused admission to the emergency room at any hospital. In addition, the photos of such a person’s wife and/or mother will be displayed on the front page of every newspaper in the nation as the party responsible for the unacceptable socks or underwear. And, on the six o’clock news for pity’s sake.
We just couldn’t take that chance of humiliating Miss Sugar, so I put on a sock that would not bring embarrassment to the family.
I made the round trip without any incident. I did not want to be in a traffic accident, but I was ready to be seen without my boots on just in case.
How To Be Missed
His wife drove the car to the car wash. It was not a self-serve car wash. Rather it was one that involved going inside to pay and wait while the car goes through the line. It was an arrangement that involved interaction with employees, or at least an opportunity for that. Or not.
The man at the counter commented, “So Forrey has you bringing in the car today. That’s a surprise. How is he?”
“Forrey died last week. A massive heart attack.” She started to weep.
The car wash employee joined in. He too wept. “Forrey was always so nice to me.”
Forrey was my uncle. He was a man who quietly made people enjoy contact with him. He was generous and kind. He had a good sense of humor without trying to be the center of attention. He was cool and humble at the same time.
I don’t know, but I guess that the guy at the car wash got to know Forrey (Forrest) because he came in a lot. He always had nice cars. (The week before I left for college, Uncle Forrey brought over his Mercury convertible and had me drive him home so I could keep it that week. That was cool. That was fun for me and my friends.) The car wash guy recognized the car. Forrey probably gave remarkably big tips. Forrey probably learned the man’s name, called him by name, and asked about him. He probably learned about his family. He might have said, “How is your son’s little league team doing? Did your mother get back from her trip?” The man felt that Forrey not only noticed him, and appreciated the work of keeping cars nice, but cared about him. The car wash guy wept because he lost a friend.
You never know who will miss you.
Not only me, but everyone who knew Forrey misses him still.
What would Jesus do? Forrey knew. I doubt he ever thought of himself as Christ-like. He just was.
See also, https://cowboylawyer.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/brothers/