Restroom Escapades

Public restrooms can be a challenge.

First, consider sink faucets. They vary greatly from restroom to restroom. One type has a cold knob on the right and a hot knob on the left. Another type has a single lever in the center. A third type has a push button on the top.

A push button faucet, according to advertisements, “helps save water, energy, and money.” As long as you hold the button down, the water flows freely. When you remove your hand from the button, the water stops. To wash your left hand, you hold the button down with your right hand. To wash your right hand, you hold the button down with your left hand. When you only have one hand, how does that work? I’ve tried to push the button and then get my hand under the water before it stops. Occasionally, a one or two second shut-off delay will allow me to get my hand slightly wet. But most of the time, the effort is futile.

Second, think about hand-drying devices. They also come in a variety of possibilities. Remember the cloth towel roller system? Sick! Paper towel options include single-fold, C-fold, multi-fold, and roll dispensers. Electric dryer options include push button and hands-free. Now there’s even a turbo dry-your-hands-in-three-seconds dryer.

The hand-drying device I dread most is a paper towel dispenser that says in bold letters on the front: PULL WITH BOTH HANDS. If you pull on the center of the paper towel, a little piece tears off. If you pull on the right or the left, you end up with a small corner of the paper towel in your hand. Clearly you have to place your right hand on the right edge of the paper towel, place your left hand on the left edge of the paper towel, and pull down with both hands simultaneously. The bold letters might as well say: BECKY—WIPE YOUR HAND ON YOUR JEANS TO DRY.

Now I know it’s a little strange to get excited about public restroom equipment, but motion-sensor devices make me really happy.

 

Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart. Psalm 24:3-4 (NIV)

The Dreaded Dispenser

Prissy Girls

I was in a pageant…once. I’m not sure why I entered. Maybe because it was something I hadn’t tried before and I like to try most everything once. So I was a contestant in the Junior Miss Pageant of Butler County, Ohio, in December of 1978.

Oh, my gosh. I hated it. I had never seen so many prissy girls in all my life. I don’t like prissy girls.

“Fitness” was a scoring category. We were judged on “physical stamina, agility, and flexibility.” They made us dance to “The Nutcracker.” I could dance just fine. Just not prissy dance, which was what they wanted us to do.

“Self-Expression” was another scoring category. We were judged on “poise, demeanor, and carriage.” In other words, how prissy we were. We had to wear a long, white, sleeveless dress while parading across the stage in front of the judges. I don’t do sleeveless. Sleeveless shows way too many cables, bolts, and straps on my prosthetic left arm. My mom and I contacted the pageant organizers and asked if I could possibly wear a dress with three-quarter length sleeves. They were understanding and allowed me the option. The prissy girls were not happy. They said it wasn’t fair, that it made me stand out from the other girls to the judges. I really don’t like prissy girls.

The remaining three categories were less painful. I topped the “Scholastics” category with a 4.0 GPA. For the “Talent” category I sang a Donna Fargo song called “United States of America.” The judges seemed to enjoy the only non-prissy performance in the pageant. And I held my own in the private “Interview” category.

Needless to say, I didn’t place in the pageant. I’m sure my joy of participating and my wonderful attitude toward the event shined like the Christmas tree on the stage. But I learned a few things from the experience. First, never enter another pageant. Second, never shake your hips really big when you walk. It looks stupid. And third, when you have a daughter of your own, never let her grow up to be a prissy girl.

 

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

I was Contestant #20.

I was Contestant #20.

Author’s Note: Here’s Donna Fargo singing “United States of America”- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85RFj3TwcAw.

Bionic Woman

(To set the scene, it was 1977. Two of the most popular shows on TV were The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.)

Among my many adventures in life was a run as a singer in a country band. We called ourselves “The Country Breeze.” We were quite famous…in our small Ohio town. On weekdays we dissected frogs in biology class, participated in extracurricular activities, hung out with friends, and ate lots of footlong chili dogs at the root beer stand. But on weekends, we hit the stage.

We were pretty good for high school kids. My sister Cindy played guitar and sang lead. Because she couldn’t harmonize, I always sang the harmonies. Our voices sounded almost the same so they blended well. Mike Barker played bass and his brother Mark Barker played banjo. Mark could make a banjo dance on “Cripple Creek,” “Dueling Banjos,” and “Rocky Top.” Jeff Baker was our drummer and my dad was our sound guy.

One weekend we were playing at the Honey Festival in Lebanon, Ohio. We had just kicked off “Rocky Mountain High” when a little girl in the audience yelled, “What’s wrong with your arm?” I ignored her and kept singing. A few minutes passed and she yelled again, “What’s wrong with your arm?”

I thought, “Where are her parents? Why are they letting her do that?” At 16, I was highly embarrassed. When the song ended, I motioned for the girl to come to the edge of the stage. I patiently explained to her that I was born with one arm and that I was wearing a prosthetic arm to help me do things. She seemed satisfied. She walked back into the crowd and we kicked off our next song.

Two minutes later I heard, very loudly, “What’s wrong with your arm?” As I continued to sing, I watched my boyfriend Tim (now my husband) weave his way through the crowd to the little girl. He bent down and said something in her ear. She slowly looked up at him; then she slowly looked toward the stage at me. She never said another word.

The Country Breeze performed a few more songs before taking a honey ice-cream break. When Tim walked over to join me, I exclaimed, “Thanks for making that little girl shut up! What did you tell her?”

He smiled and answered, “I told her you are the Bionic Woman and I am the Six Million Dollar Man and she better be quiet.”

 

Love always protects. 1 Corinthians 13:7 (NIV)

The Country BreezeMark, Cindy, Jeff, Becky, Mike (left to right)

The Country Breeze
Mark, Cindy, Jeff, Becky, Mike (left to right)