The Edmond Sun

Features

March 1, 2013

Unintended consequences befuddle even the most socially adept among us

EDMOND — Two hundred years ago, the Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote that our best-laid plans oft go astray, and even today they still do. With the best of intentions, who hasn’t unwittingly turned a compliment into a cut, a friendly gesture into an insult, an otherwise gala occasion into a near-disaster?         

In the literary world, no one’s plans go astray more spectacularly than Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervante’s most famous fictional character, Don Quixote. But he does mean well in his ramblings about the countryside jousting with windmills, rescuing fair damsels who are not in distress, righting ill-perceived wrongs in general and leaving us a derivative of his name to describe well-meant but self-defeating acts.

A quixotic deed can go down in the blink of an eye and the consequences are varied. In the best scenario, you and the victim of your quixotic deed can share a good laugh. In the worst scenario, you hope never to face your unintended victim again.       

Suppose your hostess introduces you to what you take to be a young pregnant co-guest, then leaves the two of you alone to make small talk while she flits off to welcome new arrivals. That’s what happened to me in real time. The minutes ticked by and the young mother-to-be and I had exchanged tidbits on every topic including household hints and recipes. Our conversation had grown as cold as our coffee and the silence in our corner of the room had thickened. Even so, seeing that our hostess was still occupied, I felt obliged to carry on. Placing my cup on the tray, I cleared my throat and jumped back in.

“So,” I began in my best twinkling voice, “do you have other children?” She shook her head, and with the best of intentions I gestured toward her tummy, smiled my congratulations and asked which trimester she was in. A huge mistake! She was quick to tell me, and none too kindly, that she wasn’t in any trimester whatsoever. I knew in that instant there wasn’t the remotest chance she would ever become my friend. Nor would my hostess, who it turned out was the mother of my young obese but un-pregnant co-guest.

Perhaps you’ve caught yourself in such a situation, handled it gracefully and learned from your mistake ... as I did, but not right away. I did learn to limit phone calls to my post-surgery friends convalescing at home, but not until after one of them fell out of bed reaching for the phone. How was I to know she’d be allergic to the flowers I sent in apology?

Allergies are tricky. Some time later I slipped a delectable chunk of crabmeat off my plate and onto that same friend’s plate as a treat and I all but killed her again. I knew she had allergies, but she hadn’t mentioned shellfish.

We never exchanged Christmas cards after that, and today I got word she had died of natural causes these many years later. To be on the safe side, I won’t be sending flowers.

MARJORIE ANDERSON is an Edmond resident.

1
Text Only
Features
  • MS_Andy Billups.jpg Local man relies on experience in July 4 emergency

    Andy Billups just happened to have gained experience as a combat zone firefighter/medic while he was serving as a civilian contractor in Iraq.
    The Edmond businessman just happened to have a friend with a place on Grand Lake where he has been viewing Independence Day fireworks for a number of years, and he just happened to be there July 4.
    And he just happened to be relaxing on a hammock when he heard a some kids making a commotion.
    Located two blocks east of Disney on State Highway 28 in the foothills of the Ozark Mountain Range in northeast Oklahoma, the 59,000-plus surface acre Grand Lake is known for its state parks, marinas, restaurants, motels and fishing.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • -1.jpg 5-year-old learns valuable lessons

    It is never too soon to learn about giving and receiving. An Edmond 5-year-old recently learned about both.
    Kendall Kingry will be entering kindergarten at Will Rogers Elementary this fall and she is already looking forward to November.
    “I get to go to Disneyland in November,” Kendall said.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • peach formatted.jpg Hard year for peaches doesn’t dampen summer tradition  

    A rusting, silver-colored water tower tells visitors to this rural town between Muskogee and Tulsa that they’ve come to the “Peach Capitol of Oklahoma.”
    Residents of Stratford, the state’s other self-proclaimed peach capital, might beg to differ. Even so, Porter is known for its peaches, and every year thousands of people flood this town of about 600 residents to taste and celebrate the local crop during the three-day Peach Festival.
    Like the aging water tower, Porter’s peach industry isn’t as vibrant as it once was.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Final step to train toddler with baby on way

    Q: Using your advice, I successfully toilet-trained my daughter by age 16 months. It is now three months later and we are still using diapers at naps and nighttime. At her nap, which lasts several hours, she fully soaks her diaper. At night, she is taking off her diaper prior to falling asleep, wetting the bed after she goes to sleep and then crying for us when she wakes up in a pool of pee. Is this a sign that I should begin night training? I'm hesitant to do this because I am 8 months pregnant and don't relish the idea of waking up several times a night to take her to the bathroom and tending to a newborn as well. I would prefer to continue using diapers until she is old enough to get out of bed and take herself to the potty (even a potty in her room). Is this unrealistic? Or should I just deal with the extra night wakings and start taking her to the potty a few times a night now? If not, how do I keep her diaper on at night?

    July 25, 2014

  • Living Smart: How landscaping can deter intruders, pests

    Done right, landscaping can do much more than attract compliments and boost your property value. It can help you repel intruders, both human and natural.
    Landscaping experts who’ve earned high marks from Angie’s List members say overgrown bushes and shrubs are like welcome mats to burglars. Keep plants and trees trimmed. Place thorny but attractive bougainvillea or barberry bushes under windows, sending would-be thieves a sharp message to go elsewhere.

    July 25, 2014

  • 7-26 YARD OF THE WEEK.jpg Ganns earn Yard of the Week honors

    This week’s “Edmond Yard of the Week” winner has been in existence for 44 years at 105 Barbara Drive, but looks fresh and new thanks to longtime residents Betty and Gordon Gann as they fill their garden spaces to overflowing with colors and textures.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Discard the boredom of family game night

    We’re all about families having fun together, and game night is one of the best ways to do that. But playing the same games over and over can get a little stale. So in the interests of injecting a little more fun into your family’s game night, here are some great choices that will keep you and yours engaged and laughing.

    July 25, 2014

  • What’s normal age for voice change?

    Q: When is it normal for a boy’s voice to change? My son is 10, and his voice is getting deeper every day.
    A.: “It’s a very variable process,” says pediatrician Bonnie Miller, associate director of general pediatrics at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y.. “Puberty will begin as early as age 9. Generally with the advent of puberty, the voice box changes.”

    July 25, 2014

  • IMG_2996.JPG Krazy Daze hits downtown Edmond

    Newly transplanted Edmond residents Hannah Brenning, Cheyenne Middle School 8th grader; Jordan Brenning, Cross Timbers 4th grader; and Sydney Brenning, North High School freshman; check out the items in front of Sterling's in downtown Edmond during the Krazy Daze Sale lasting through Saturday. Businesses will open their doors at 10 a.m. and close at 5:30 p.m.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Living history presented at metropolitan libraries

    Hear stories of pace setting women in different eras throughout history. Biographies of Wild West trailblazers, The Harvey Girls, WWII assembly line champion-Rosie the Riveter, mail order bride Mary Elizabeth Walker, and Oklahoma society lady Stella Louise Wilson-Johnson will be reenacted by gifted and prolific storyteller Barbara Byrd.
    Stella Louise Wilson-Johnson was the wife of a prominent Guthrie attorney who shares her experiences and adventures during the early days of Oklahoma statehood. Her presentation will be at 7 p.m. Monday, July 28, Edmond Library, 10 S. Boulevard. For more information, visit www.metrolibrary.org

    July 25, 2014