Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I Married Superwoman

     14 years ago today, I waited with great anticipation to see my fiance' in her wedding dress walking down the aisle towards me. Part of the anticipation came from the fact that I was going to sing to her a song I wrote in the middle of the night a few months earlier for our wedding day. I had two prayers for that April 19th, that it wouldn't rain, and that I wouldn't cry when I sang to Marty. God acknowledged one of my prayers: It didn't rain. I choked, snotted and heaved through most of the song. I could hear the thoughts of the entire congregation as I bawled my way through the first verse: "Bless his heart." I cried the hardest at lines that meant the most to me. When I sang the lyrics "Can you believe here we are?" my voice went up five octaves to a pitch I've never hit before or since. Musically, it was abominable, but I couldn't believe there we finally were, at the wedding altar, pledging to spend our lives together forever. Plus, look at this beautiful woman standing before me! How did I land her??
     The second verse was about the future. "Like a shepherd, He'll lead us through whatever comes our way, just as His loving hand has led us here to this day." In 14 years, there has been a lot of "whatever." And I've found my wife to be the best partner in life I could have ever asked for. She is strong, stronger than she gives herself credit for. The fact that she pushed three human beings out of her body would be enough to prove that she is Superwoman, but she's endured so much more, like kidney stones and brain surgery, me...
     I never felt more married than when she was recovering in the hospital after a tumor was removed from inside her head. She was hurting so badly from the surgery and there was nothing I could do to take that pain away, but I knew I wasn't going anywhere, for life. She couldn't handle visitors, but she mustered up every ounce of strength she had to talk to our kids on the phone that were separated from us by hundreds of miles. Her voice was so weak, but the sound of love for our kids was so strong, and I was proud of her. I admired her as I watched her in that hospital room. Here she was facing the biggest trial in her entire life, and I had the privilege of being by her side. I felt honored to be married to this incredible woman.
     There were many obstacles for her to face once we returned home, deafness in one ear, dizziness and balance issues, paralysis in her face, ongoing pain from the incision in her head ("incision"... that's putting it lightly), and all with three little kids under her feet still needing her to be mommy. But she faced the challenges and continued to live life. And she continues to live life to the fullest, and I get to be her husband.
     Standing at that altar 14 years ago, I never could have imagined all that we would endure, but looking back, I can say the words I sang to her have been true. God led us through everything we have faced, and I can say now more than I did then, that it is truly "'til death do us part." I love my bride. Happy Anniversary, Beautiful Marty.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Shocking Study Reveals Most People Don't Actually "LOL"

Santa Clara, CA
A recent study has shown that most people do not actually laugh out loud when they type the popular abbreviation "lol." A survey of one thousand texters and facebook users revealed that only 48% of those who  typed "lol" actually laughed out loud. "This is not good," said Artie Malone of The Next Text Communications Group. "If people continue to type 'lol' without actually laughing out loud, it can cause an overuse of the term, depleting  the surplus of the letters "l," "o," and "l," which would cause a shortage of these letters. The end result would be said letters would not be available for those who are actually laughing out loud and wish to express that through a text or type." Malone stated that the situation is especially critical when people flippantly type "lololololololololololol." He says, "First of all, using that many of the letters in danger is wasteful and careless, like the person who cleans off his driveway by spraying it with the water hose. And secondly, how is it possible to 'laugh out loud out loud out loud out loud?' People just aren't being very conscientious when they type or text, and this needs to change."
     An anonymous high school-aged girl from the survey was asked if she was worried about the misuse of the phrase. "I'm not worried," she said. "If we run out of those letters, we'll make up other names for stuff. No one calls them lollipops anyway. They're suckers."
     A parent was asked if they were concerned about their teenager abusing the term. "It's alarming," said a mother of two middle school students." "If they're not actually laughing out loud when they say that they are, then how do I know they're going to school when they say they are going to school?"
     "If this continues, legislation may be passed to regulate the use of 'lol'," Malone said. "It has been reported that there have been less traffic accidents since the passing of the law banning people from using their hand held cell phones while driving. We're hoping for similar positive results."
     In the meantime, Malone says texters and facebook users can all help by not typing "lol" unless they actually laughed out loud. "If people will be honest about what they're typing, this problem will rectify itself." He further suggests that if someone actually does laugh out loud and wants to type or text "lol," to add an "ir" at the beginning of the phrase that would indicate "I really laughed out loud." "Everyone wins this way," he says. "It promotes honesty in communication, it does not leave the recipient of the message wondering if their friend or relative actually did laugh out loud, and it will promote conservation of the endangered letters."
     When asked about the less used term "rofl," (and the sometimes used "roflmbo,") Malone said the concerns aren't as tantamount at this point. "'Rofl' isn't used as often as 'lol,' so we're not that concerned yet. However, the study shows only 27% of people who type 'rofl" actually roll on the floor laughing. To prevent a future concern, we offer the same counsel, only type 'rofl' if you actually rolled on the floor and laughed. And in regards to 'rolling on floor laughing my butt off,' it isn't medically possible so the phrase should be legally banned. We're working on getting that law passed."