Thursday, July 28, 2011

When you're here, you're family?

Isn't that what Olive Garden says on their commercials?  I'm pretty sure, though the truth is, not surprisingly, I COULDN'T BE BOTHERED checking it out for sure.  Regardless, the facebook status update my cousin posted a few days ago is still shocking and disappointing.

He and his family (wife, 3 kids) were at a Florida Olive Garden and discovered that a little girl was there to celebrate her birthday and excited to have the staff sing to her.  However, they'd recently adopted a new policy against singing Happy Birthday to patrons because others had complained.  Others actually went to the trouble of complaining and Olive Garden actually stopped this tradition of singing Happy Birthday.

Every time this happens in a restaurant I must admit I roll my eyes and have no desire ever to have some strange group of waitresses sing Happy Birthday to me.  But what sort of birthday scrooge do you have to be to actually complain?  News Flash:.  You are not at some swanky high-end establishment where they serve 6 courses over a 3 hour period and your bill is equal to a mortgage payment.  You are at the Olive Garden jackhole.  They will bring you soup, salad and breadsticks 'til you puke and you might still get change for a 20 dollar bill. 

Honestly, whoever would go so far as to complain to management about this needs to really take a step back and think about life.  Then - get over yourself and just use the birthday spectacle like I do: as a brilliant opportunity to make fun of yet one more thing.  There is so much to complain about in this life.  HAPPY Birthday is not on the list.  For a complete list, see me!

Oh, and guess what? My cousin and his family don't give a rat's a** about Olive Garden's new policy.  They sang Happy Birthday themselves to that little girl and I guarantee this was a lot more obnoxious than the well-rehearsed staff.  You should hear our family's version of Happy Birthday!

God Made Me Do It

I will never understand how someone can say: "God put me there to help that girl," when the girl being helped was just abducted, raped and tortured by a lunatic.  Shouldn't God just have prevented that from happening in the first place, rather than putting you there to help her?

Can anyone explain this?  Why would God operate this way?

Oh wait, maybe God works the nightshift and this girl was abducted before his shift began so he could only put someone there to help her after hours . . . after her abduction, rape and attempted murder.  That actually makes more sense.  Maybe that's how it goes.

. . .  or not.

If God is what many believe him to be - like a parent watching over us - how many of you parents out there would let things like this and worse happen to your children, only to save them later, but not all of them - just some?   Is God trying to teach us lessons with all of this suffering?  Kids do sometimes have to suffer to learn lessons. 

"God put me there to help that girl" seems to make about as much sense as a father putting his young child in a car with no car seat or seat belt, then driving 65 miles per hour off a cliff, where the child is ejected through the windshield and nearly dies.  Then, the parent calls 911 and first responders save the child.  Would that make sense?  Would that be OK?

Maybe things just happen and maybe those here on earth, not God, are actually in control and responsible for these things that happen, good and bad.  Maybe the universe unfolds as a reaction to all of us and some of us end up in exactly the right place at the right time. And some do not.

I want to believe in a God who watches over us, but it is very hard to do that when there is so much suffering in the world.  Any talk of God is a highly personal and complicated conversation though, so we should stop here.  Maybe I've already said too much and this isn't meant to offend anyone, especially God.  No, no.  I CAN'T BE BOTHERED with the wrath of God!