The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


November 27, 2013

‘What do you say?’ Attitude of gratitude

“What do you say?”

If I heard that question once as a kid, I heard it a thousand times.

It happened anytime anyone gave me something, whether it was something I wanted or not.

“What do you say?”

When somebody gave me clothes for my birthday or Christmas, instead of a toy, I wanted to say something all right, but it wasn’t what my parents wanted me to say. Since I was a spoiled rotten little cuss, I wanted to say something like, “What were you thinking, giving me clothes? Do you hate me or something?”

But I didn’t. My survival instincts were far too strong for me to say anything else but what my parents wanted.

“What do you say?”

The question was asked sweetly, but with underlying menace. It was usually accompanied by a slight tilt of my mother’s head, and just the hint of a glare from her ever so slightly narrowed eyes.

Those eyes, that tone, spoke volumes. “If you embarrass me, so help me even your grandchildren won’t be able to sit without pain,” they said.

What could I say? I said what she wanted me to. But I didn’t have to mean it. She couldn’t make me mean it.

I said it solely out of rote. I said it so many times when I didn’t mean it, it lost all of its meaning.

“What do you say?”

It was the right thing to say, of course, but I found myself saying it for the wrong reason — to avoid a tongue-lashing, a firm hand against my bony backside, or worse.

“What do you say?”

When I hear parents ask their children that same question today, I am immediately transported back decades. Suddenly I am that petulant child again, saying the words merely to please the hovering parents.

Most children see themselves the way adherents to the Ptolemaic system of astronomy used to view the earth, as the center of the universe. A little seasoning quickly dispels that notion, of course. Suddenly the world is no longer patting you on the head, but kicking you in the teeth.

At some point life gets tough. You start out convinced the world is your oyster, but suddenly you are left with just an empty shell.

You planned to be Batman, but wound up feeling more like the Joker. You wanted to be on top of the world, but ended up convinced those positions have somehow been reversed. Your grandiose dreams suddenly turn into nightmares.

Sometimes everything just gets to you. The job is impossible, the kids are insufferable and your spouse is irritating. Some days it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed.

But then it hits you. At least you have a bed. After all, so many people don’t. And yeah, your boss can be a bit demanding at times, but at least you have a job.

You could stand to lose a few pounds, but at least you have enough to eat. And while your kids and wife can drive you crazy sometimes, they are the loves of your life and you are darn lucky to have them.

Text Only
  • Never leave a child or a pet alone in a car

    With temperatures soaring to near or above 100, parents need to know they can’t leave their children alone in a locked vehicle. In 10 minutes, a vehicle’s temperature can climb 19 degrees. A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s, and it only takes a few minutes before a child can become dangerously overheated, according to Safe Kids USA.

    July 23, 2014

  • Will Rogers web.jpg Will Rogers Daily Telegrams 7-24-2014

    I am beginning to believe that Mellon is the poorest Treasurer we ever had. I would like to be Treasurer. Here would be my policy, and you see if it wouldn’t be the best thing for America:
    Save nothing, have nothing in there. Then Congress and the entire nation could have nothing in view only what they made themselves.
    A Candidate.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg State of the state: Things are not as good as they could be

    Draper wants to split Cali up into six separate states — Silicon Valley, around the San Francisco Bay Area; Central California, including cities like Bakersfield; West California, including Los Angeles and its suburbs; South California, including San Diego; North California, centered on Sacramento and Jefferson, in the far northern part of the state.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Voters have decisions to make in August races

    Democrats will have two runoffs to decide. One will be choosing their party’s nominee for state superintendent. Freda Deskin will face John Cox. The winner will face Republican nominee Joy Hofmeister in the November general election.
    The other race is for the party nominee to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn. Jim Rogers will face Connie Johnson. The winner will face Republican nominee U.S. Rep. James Lankford in November.

    July 22, 2014

  • Going postal

    Waukomis residents have the opportunity to have their voices heard in regard to the future of their post office.

    July 22, 2014 1 Story

  • New dorm

    Breaking ground on a new dormitory at Northern Oklahoma College Enid is another step in the evolution of the campus.

    July 20, 2014 1 Story

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Stars in our eyes

    We caught the vision when, in May of 1961, John F. Kennedy told Congress, and the world, that the space race was no longer to be so one-sided.
    “First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth,” he said.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • thumbs up logo.jpg Thumbs up for northwest Okla. communities, where net taxable sales figures are up

    Net taxable sales were up $1,917,774 in Enid, when compared to sales reported in July 2013. The increase amounted to a 2.6 percent increase in sales tax revenue for the city.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Patsy Sorrels.tiff The key to God’s storehouse is in the giving

    Point being, there are a lot of hungry people out there who need to be fed the Bread of Life, and He needs to be served with a smile and a discerning heart.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • David Christy col. use clip.jpg Water, water everywhere?

    As Americans, we have taken water for granted far, far too long. We assume it will always be there, when we turn on the tap.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

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