Friday, May 28, 2010


I’m frustrated. Had a great picture to go with this post but, alas, my fancy new HP printer does not want to recognize my geriatric computer and share photos. There is no doubt a simple fix for this problem but, if so, I wouldn’t know. Despite the valiant efforts of my 16-year-old son, I remain a techtard.

It’s pathetic to admit that I am, oh, about ten years behind technology. I’m still happy with the simple cell phones that had only one function—contacting people. I’m overwhelmed with the apps offered by Blackberry (which sounds deceivingly old fashioned) and Droid (too Star Trekky). After badgering me for about a year, my husband finally gave me his old Blackberry when he traded up. It felt like betrayal when I relinquished my dated cell phone to my eleven year old daughter. After all, it still worked! Forget being awed by a phone that can GPS somebody’s house or read the bar code off a can of beans, I’m blissfully satisfied and amazed by digital cameras that download the photo you just took onto a computer screen in a matter of seconds. Well, I used to be blissfully satisfied. If only I could get my computer and printer to make amends…Seems, once again, you’re stuck with a picture-less story (that I best get on with).

A few months ago I had one of those overly introspective weeks. My husband was busy reading beside me in bed one morning when I suddenly engaged him in conversation: “Am I a prideful person?”

“No,” he answered immediately. Before I could breathe a sigh of relief he hesitated and added, “Except for maybe with your horses.”

I was first indignant, then embarrassed. “Really?”

“A little,” my wonderful man smiled and leaned over to kiss me. Even when I don’t like what he says, it is still a relief to be married to a best friend that is completely honest. This is a necessity in life.

While I heard what he said, I mulled it over quickly and dumped it in a mental round file. After all, I’ve spent a lifetime with horses and worked really hard for what knowledge I have. It isn’t really pride that I might have, its more like experience.

I’ve noticed that there is a direct correlation to the amount of experience one has and their hearing sensitivity. Maybe its just me but when I feel I have a handle on a topic I can be a pretty poor listener. Yes I know God gave us two ears and one mouth, but I still sense invisible cotton stuffing itself down my ears when someone shares something I feel confident I already understand. One could call it pride, I suppose, and horse talk brings it out in me in the worst way. My husband’s observation was proven true just two weeks ago.

I downloaded my email one day and stared at an unfamiliar address. It took a few minutes of reading the rather lengthy message to remember anything about the stranger who had sent it.

Seems the owner of a horse I looked at once—a year ago—wanted to get a thing or three off her chest. I remembered the horse: small, older mare with a dynamite personality. I forget people, names, dates, directions, you name it, but horse personalities, how they made me feel, obscure names in their pedigrees, etc. stick in my brain like flies on tacky paper. I can see myself when I’m old and senile…won’t remember my own name—or my husband’s, for that matter—but I’ll remember that the grandsire of my child’s bus driver’s horse was Peppy San Badger. Don’t ask me why this is so.

The horse in question, while sweet as the day is long, had a way of going I found odd at the time. It niggled at me during the test ride and I immediately decided there was something wrong, or about to go wrong, with the horse. If I’ve learned one thing about horses it is that when things seem “off,” they usually are. Best to listen to one’s intuition. I knew the horse’s owners were hopeful I’d be writing a check. They seemed nice and I felt bad when they inquired why I didn’t pursue the sale. Since they asked, I decided to spell out (rather nicely, I felt) the reasons I passed on their animal.

I honestly enjoy picking apart a horse in a buying/selling situation. There is not a mean shallow reason behind this, it simply gives me the opportunity to air years of experience and discuss my favorite topic in detail, ad nauseum. I have a couple friends who also enjoy this pastime and we are probably the most annoying people on earth. For the horse in question, I chose a couple of what I felt were major faults and shared them via email. Seven months later, the owner responded. They told me I was wrong, dead wrong, with my observations; the horse was the best thing since cell phones. The various and sundry reasons I was wrong went on for several paragraphs. Further more, they wanted me to know they’d sold the beast to someone obviously smarter then I (or this was the insinuation). Bummer for me. As I stared at the email I heard cotton fibers marching down inside my ears. My brain immediately began humming with the cryptic response it wanted to create—by God, I'm a writer! I would blast the senders of the message with my words, my knowledge. I felt pity for them, stuck as they were, in their ignorance.

I’m not sure what first made me pause. Probably God pulling the cotton balls out of my ears. In a sudden flash of memory (definitely God), I remembered a few things about strangers who owned a very sweet mare; some sadder details that necessitated the sale of an animal they loved. The more I thought of it, the more I could see that not only could I have been wrong, the comments I’d made stung at a time when they were probably extra sensitive. It wasn’t about whether a sale should have happened or not, it was about the way my comments had come across at the time. Without a veterinarian’s exam I couldn’t prove anything at all was wrong with the animal which left me simply with…my own opinions. Rather then blast out an email, it seemed the right thing to do was acknowledge my ignorance and apologize for what had offended. I’d talked when I should have been listening.

Now, if anyone wants to help with my picture downloading issues know I am ever so humble. Seriously, I’m all ears…

No comments: