Billingsley’s Bullets: Being dumb is OK with me

By From page A5 | November 14, 2012

Our friends Toni and Dan Wright made us a very generous offer to purchase their 1999 Mercedes Benz SUV. Knowing we would never be able to purchase a new Mercedes, we jumped at this opportunity to buy this beautiful, immaculate, “midnight blue” SUV.

Recently, while driving to work in the Mercedes, I decided to check to see if all the windows were up. I pressed the wrong switch, and the window went all the way down. I was 20 minutes from work. The window was down, and it was 48 degrees outside.

I could not figure out which switch would close the window. By the time I arrived at work, I was partially frost bitten and a tad shaky. When I sat down at my desk, I realized that my efficient, intelligent wife probably put the auto manual in the glove compartment, and I was right.

It took me one minute of reading that all I had to do is lift the same switch I pushed to pull the window down to pull it “up” to close the window.

Why didn’t I pull over immediately and check the glove compartment for the manual? Why didn’t I pull over and check all the switches available instead of driving 60 mph in the cold wind? The depth of my dumbness astonishes me!

• The more I live, the more I realize that changing colors in your life is a very good idea, and it is an uplifting experience.

We purchased a home five years ago, and every wall was painted white. I called it “psychiatric white” because it felt like we were living in a hospital or psychiatric ward. The white color was OK with me, because I felt like I was in a therapy session whenever I was home.

Monika was not OK with constant white, and we recently had the entire interior of the house painted with colors such as royal blue, burnt orange, earth tone tan and two different greens.

It is fun and relaxing to go from room to room, and the colors are a conversation piece. Maybe it’s time now to change the color of my hair and buy some new, energetic pictures for the rainbow house? I recommend you hit the paint store and bring some variety into your life.

• Helen Keller wrote, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.”

Probably all of us need to use our imagination more and take a chance to fulfill a fantasy or two? I believe all new adventures lift our spirit and strengthen the old immune system.

• You must be careful to avoid a life of indifference. If your life becomes indifferent, it means impulse has died and surprises are rare, if they exist at all. Routine is your hobby, and passion disappeared a long time ago.

• When you are a partner in an indifferent relationship, enthusiasm is not your best friend. Avoiding problems takes most of your energy, and you spend more time reading the newspaper than you do talking to each other. Indifferent relationships discuss children, grandchildren, upcoming appointments, gossip and the weather.

• People locked into indifference rarely discuss emotions, hurt feelings or what they need from one another. Their lives have settled into a quiet acceptance of boredom and routine. The present is dull and the future doesn’t hold much promise. Everyone gets along, but at least one of you is bored stiff.

• Passion walked away from an indifferent relationship a long time ago. The indifferent couple may have forgotten what passion was like. They may well see passion as an emotion that requires too much energy.

• People in indifferent relationships never rock the boat as they sail into a gray, dismal sunset. I wish them a better life, filled with humor and variety. Indifferent relationships can change if the couple has the courage to start anew. It takes two to admit the indifference, and two to create a better world for themselves.

Bob Billingsley is a columnist at the Mountain Democrat. His column appears bi-weekly. 

Bob Billingsley


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