steve and if you love chick-fil-a, you should be driving a toyota.

It’s true. Anyone who drives a Toyota already knows what I’m talking about, but for you other sadly uninformed folks, allow me to enlighten you.

toyota and chickfilaExhibit A: the holding area in the 4Runner console is the perfect size to snugly fit a kids meal* container and two dipping sauces.

*Yes, because sometimes all you need is a little kid-sized snack that is a) comparatively more affordable than an adult-sized meal (look at that, husband! There I go saving gobs of money again!) and b) doesn’t make me feel like I’m stuffing my face (because that lovely sensation was lo those 2 hours ago for a different meal. Live in the present, y’all. Here’s to now).

For Exhibit B, I have no photo but imagine with me the console of the Tundra with a long, narrow rectangular cutout that is the PERFECT SIZE to house three Chick-fil-A dipping sauces end to end.

THIS MUST HAVE BEEN PLANNED. I love a good conspiracy theory and those “aha! these things are connected!” moments. Can anyone help me verify here?? In other parts of the country, Toyota dealerships have Chick-fil-As in their waiting room/lounge area – Charles Maund, please take note and act accordingly.

In related news, I love drive-thrus and will unabashedly go out of my way for the convenience. I also love apps that make me feel like I’m more productive or am saving money, so I downloaded Chick-fil-A’s One app. Ordered our food on the app, let them know on the app when I had arrived, BUT THEN had to go inside to pick up the food. I somehow thought there were parking spots reserved for One app customers, and the nice employees would bring out your food, Sonic-style. But no.

It was rough. No makeup, in “workout clothes,” and carrying a squirmy toddler, I didn’t know what to do with my hands as I stood in an awkward area to the side of the packed out registers with Steve.

Oh, Steve.

Older guy pretending to be hip and cool who was incensed that he was having to wait to receive his food. Hands flailing, elongated sighs, shooting better-than-thou looks at the employees who were frantically trying to fill orders while he looked around at the rest of us patient souls with “can you believe it?!” exasperation.

Dude. Did you just order your fried chicken and french fries and whatever likely lame sauces you chose from an app in your air-conditioned car, using money you didn’t have to touch, transferred from your bank, and the food is ready to pick up faster than you were able to get inside?! (This is how I know his name – they called, “Steve?? Steve??” minutes before he was hovering over the counter) Are you able-bodied enough to walk into the franchise to pick up your food and take it back to your comfy car?

Don’t be like Steve. Work together, like Toyota and Chick-fil-A. Here endeth the lesson.

oh houston.

I’ve been trying to come up with a useful post, but I’ve got nothing. Seeing and reading about the catastrophic flooding in the greater Houston area is heartbreaking. Rebuilding efforts will be monstrous, but it somehow isn’t overwhelming: if any group of people can do it, it’s my H-town crowd.

Praying for those without power, those without homes, those who were able to escape and don’t yet know if their home was flooded, for exhausted law enforcement and first responders, for the selfless souls who are helping with rescue efforts.

Here’s a good link to ways we can help.

Let’s all be gentle with each other today, ok? Life and health and wealth are fragile, fleeting things.

pray for houston

put your phone down, people.

LET IT BE KNOWN that I am by no means a model citizen at what I’m about to get all preachy about, but after what I witnessed today, I’m making a massive change in how and where and when I use my smartphone.

I decided that A and I would have lunch at the Cafe Bistro inside Nordstrom today. It was a lovely treat; food was SO good, and A was immensely well-behaved, cheesing it up to the kind waiter and the neighboring tables and not throwing food. We were in the middle of an intense game of tic-tac-toe (kidding: she was taking the crayons out of the box and putting them back in ad nauseum) when I looked up to see FIVE tables around us with inhabitants on their smartphones.

Five.

It was gross.

Four of these tables consisted of moms with their kids. One lady was by herself so I’ll give her a pass. Acknowledging the irony that I was joining their ranks when I whipped out my phone to snap a photo of the perpetrators, I tried to sneakily capture as many tables as possible. Should have used the panorama function. Will work on stealth mode for doumentation in the future.

people on their phones at cafe bistroA and I shared some fries. Don’t judge.

Maybe I’m blowing this out of proportion. I clearly have no clue what’s happening in their lives. They could have all been corresponding with a dear family member or checking in on a sick friend….(one was perusing photos, so no excuses for her – girl yes I saw your screen)…. but I know what’s happening when I’m usually on my phone.

I mindlessly turn to my phone to fill the time, to numb my emotions, to distract me from annoyances, to feel important and check likes/follows/comments, to escape from the monotony… Sure, there is a great deal of good that these fascinating pieces of technology can foster, like facilitating meaningful, authentic connections with others, but I get sick to my stomach when I think of the hours I waste scrolling through other people’s lives when my life is passing by right on the other side of the screen.

Back to the restaurant. Holy cow, moms. Can you please pay attention to your children for the brief 30-45 minutes it takes to eat lunch? Summer is nearly over and your kids will be back in school. They, as you well know, grow up entirely too fast.

And we aren’t promised tomorrow, you know?

I’m thinking of people who have lost loved ones, who would give their right arm to have a child of their own, who missed their chance to apologize, who ache when they look back at how half-awake they lived their lives…

WHAT ARE WE DOING??!?!

Andy Crouch has a book called the Tech-Wise Family (here’s an article about it and here’s where you can get the book – I’m reading through some detailed book notes – shoot me a note and I can forward the notes to you!) that is gently convicting and contains practical ways to appropriately incorporate technology in our families.

So yeah. Lunch today was an odd and eerie look into other people’s lives and I couldn’t quite stomach it. This is a strange time! We are becoming programmed to be so incredibly dependent on our smartphones and many of us are missing the lives that are right in front of us. After today’s observation, I’m massively curbing my smartphone use, especially in front of A.

Does anyone have any other tips or tricks for being available but not glued to their phone? I need some help in this department. And some mental discipline, big time.

that’s enough.

Y’all. I promise this isn’t going to turn into a political, polemical blog. I hate politics. POLICY is exciting and challenging. POLITICS makes me sick at my stomach. But this is really about something else.

Human decency.

This heartbreaking thing made the news today. Sadly, this happens more often than we care to admit. Before you start rehearsing your cleverly compelling stance on comprehensive immigration reform in the mirror, would you just take a moment with me to imagine what it was like inside of that truck? What it’s like to watch people die right in front of you? What it’s like to go in and out of consciousness, your body on the verge of heat exhaustion as you are banged around in the back of a truck, then sit cooking in a parking lot for hours? Wondering who is going to pick you up and if you’ll be in any better a situation than where you came from? Wondering if you’ll even make it out alive?

It’s hard to imagine because many of us have things pretty dang easy in America compared to this. And it’s apparently pretty dang easy for us to jump to conclusions, assuming these people were on a joy ride, heading for our sanctuary cities like they were on their way to some pathetically gluttonous hot dog eating contest.

Maybe these poor souls were trying to escape horrendous conditions and start a new life. Maybe they’d been trafficked (THAT IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR SLAVERY, PEOPLE) from their homes and families. Maybe they were taking a massive risk, trying to provide for their family the only way they thought they could. Or maybe they were wanting to enroll their kids in our public school system, ranked 43rd in the US. Yeah, that’s probably it.

And maybe the driver knew what cargo he was pulling. Maybe his heart is more evil than we can fathom. Maybe he’s in the trafficking ring. Or maybe the cartels have threatened his loved ones and in making this trip he was just trying to keep his own family safe from harm.

The point is, there are lots of unknowns. In this tragedy and in countless situations in our world. ENOUGH of rushing to cover our tails or make ourselves or our legislative initiatives look great or passing judgement on others without knowing all the facts. What if we would first take a deep breath and imagine just for a moment what it might be like to be in someone else’s shoes? And not posture or make things political? Can we please try that?

“When I was a boy
and would see scary
things in the news,
my mother would
say, ‘Look for the
helpers. You will
always find people
who are helping.'”
~ Fred Rogers

There are a number of brave people across the globe that are committed to helping. In the story above, I’m thinking of San Antonio Police Chief McManus and Fire Chief Hood  – good men who do hard things every day to make their community a better place.

Here are some other helpers: International Justice Mission is an organization that partners with justice systems around the world to help victims of violence. They fight slavery. Learn more here.  The Polaris Project works to eradicate modern slavery and they have a big focus on the United States. Check them out here. There are so many ways to get involved: you can donate your time or money, work for them, learn about how to spot a victim of trafficking, contact your state and federal legislators to let them know your stance on various pieces of legislation, and you can always tell others about these groups. There’s the National Human Trafficking Hotline. in Austin, there is Refugee Services of Texas and Allies Against Slavery. These are just a few off the top of my head – please let me know if there are others I should include!

This is bigger than Republican vs. Democrat, Liberal vs. Conservative, Texas vs. Everyone Else. This is about human decency. And that’s enough.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑