You Can’t Touch This…

…remember that song? MC Hammer? 1991? Parachute pants? “Duh-nu-nu-nuh Duh-nu Duh-nu…U Can’t Touch This!??

This was my favorite jam back in the day. Grade 5 was killer due to this song and it’s dance (only to be eclipsed in a later grade by 2 Legit 2 Quit).

As I was out for a walk with mi familia this afternoon, I thought up of a list of…untouchables OR things people can’t or shouldn’t touch. Now this is not LOW BROW stuff but rather real things that people should stay away from or at least ASK first. So, here’s my ‘U Can’t Touch This List‘:

  1. Someone’s car stereo or iPod – Chris Tucker said (in a high voice) ‘Don’t ever touch a black man’s stereo, MAAAANNNNE!’ But it’s any person’s music. If you’re in their car, don’t assume that you can. If it’s a long car ride, suggest a playlist, or just put your iPod in. If you really hate their choices…well, you drive next time.
  2. The Brim of someone’s baseball cap – If someone has their cap a certain way, it’s not by accident. If you want to try it on, fight the nerve to fit it to YOUR head. It’s NOT YOUR HAT!!!
  3. Someone’s last nerve – It’s the last one they got. It doesn’t need YOUR prints.
  4. Food on someone’s plate – Gross…simply gross. Especially if it’s with your hands.
  5. Someone’s face (especially if you’ve licked your finger to get something OFF their face) – Why are you touching their face?
  6. Someone’s tie or pocket square – You’re not Heidi Klum or Tim Gunn. If you don’t like their square, let them ‘Not look good to YOUR standards.’ If you grab it, it’s rude. You have no clue what look they are going for. Same for the tie. Plus it looks like a gorilla grooming another one. Not cool.
  7. A person’s parenting skills (unless it is completely UN-legit!) – Just cause you’re good with your kids doesn’t make you the guru of kids. It makes you the guru of YOUR kids. So save your advice for when it’s asked, fair? Not every kid needs a nap when you think it does. Same with being hungry, fussy, teething, etc. Most parents have a handle and feel worse when you say something. You can’t touch this!
  8. Someone’s car (if it’s nicer than yours…) – It’s just sad…
  9. Someone’s baby/Picking up someone’s kid – Why do strangers just touch a baby’s face? Or hands? Or anything? Without even any Purell. They have their face ALL up in the baby’s grill, sharing their Lunch/coffee breath. NOT cool. And if a kid is walking happily, don’t just scoop down and pick them up. And if the kid starts kicking you, put ’em down!
  10. Someone’s computer background – They chose it so leave it. Unless it’s a little prank. But even there…
  11. Someone’s TV remote control (if you’re in THEIR house) – If you hate something they are watching because of artistic differences, go to another room. OR take a magazine and break down every sentence until the show is over. If it’s because of content, simply say something privately…I think…
  12. Someone’s musical instrument…even if know how to play it. – Just cause you’re cool on a guitar, doesn’t mean you can pick up someone’s. And then re-tune it. And fix their strap. Ditto for drums, bass and piano.
  13. Someone’s journal – ARE YOU NUTS???????

Now of course there are exceptions to this rule (based on relationship) but I think this is a fair rule. What am I missing here? What else should people simply NOT TOUCH?

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We all need someone sometimes…

I hate asking for help.

Call me prideful or shy or dumb or whatever but when I am in a jam I hate admitting my need for someone else. Most people are like that. No one likes to put all their dependance on someone else who. We all have a desire to take care of things ourselves…and if you say that you’re not that type, then I think you’re a liar:)

This week has been one of those weeks where I had to swallow my pride and reach out to others. Crazy thing happened when I did: People wanted to help. In fact, they went way beyond what I thought they’d be willing to do. Should I explain? Okay, I will.

So in Toronto this past Tuesday, it finally snowed. EXCEPT that it wasn’t that nice ‘Silver Bells/White Christmas/Stick your tongue out to catch a flake-type snow fall, where you stay home and look our your back window with a sigh of ‘This is beautiful’ while holding your spouse in one arm and your hot cocoa in the other hand. No. This snow looked like crap. It was slushy, wet and tough to drive through. While I was driving, my alternator belt (or something to that effect. I know that if you put key in ignition, car moves…that’s about it.) broke and my car broke down 10 mins from the church. I tried to turn my car over but then our alarm system kicked in…and I didn’t have my remote with me. So much fun. I cry for 10 seconds (I let the fear and sadness in for only that long…I am SO Jack Shepherd from LOST season 1.) and then get out and walk to a tow truck and pay 50 bucks to get the car towed for three blocks to the church. Sad.

Here’s where the kindness comes in. I get to the church, not really saying much (As loud and as talkative as I am, I try not to say too much if that makes sense) about what happened but people being to come to my office to offer their help. Now there are two types of people in the world and you’re either one or the other: 1) You say you’ll help but you’re hoping the person in need won’t call your bluff (‘dude, call me if you need anything…please don’t call) and then 2) there are people who genuinely will help no matter what. I met a lot of 2s! People offering their cars (one of our APC pastors cars in sitting in my driveway until mine is ready…), rides for food, to the garage, etc. Even my boss called his own personal mechanic to have him look at my car so that I wouldn’t get screwed over at a Canadian Tire-type deal. It was so nice. I remember sitting in my office thinking…I have no choice…I gotta ask around. And I’m thankful I did. If not, I don’t know how I would have gotten home, explained to my wife why I had to sleep at work…all downhill stuff:(

Then yesterday I got my car towed to the mechanic (another stupid 60 bucks) and spent 10 mins driving with a guy who decided to tell me his entire life’s story. He had been twice married, get compensation cheques from the government due to a back injury he received on the job in 1981, couldn’t walk for 3 years due to said back injury, had a falling out with his business partner, used to own a bunch of trucks and pay drivers to tow but fired them and kept his own and he hates his job. He told me all that in 10 mins. And he didn’t talk fast. I guess he likes talking or maybe, just maybe, he needed someone to talk to for a while…he needed to know that someone was willing to listen to his story and for those 10 mins, i was.

I guess this blog entry has two points (and I’m not one of those teaching blog people…this will not happen often):

1) I can’t be afraid of admitting I need assistance at times and if you’re like me, neither can you. The value of letting someone in is huge. Not just for receiving help but also to learn more about someone and to see real care. And while there are limits to asking, if you need help, just ask.

2) Be willing to help someone else…who knows how their day is brightened because of your desire to be a ‘blessing’ of sorts. I was glad to help that guy out by simply listening…at least I hope I was. If not, then that was a long ride and I want my 60 bucks back.