Have you ever bought one of those For Dummies books? I have. Actually, I’ve bought 3 of them now. The first two were for my husband as he tried to brush up on a subject and was having difficulty locating other materials. I was in a local bookstore, saw two on that topic and thought I’d help him out by getting them. He thumbed through them rather quickly and put them on a shelf up above the computer…and hasn’t touched them since. I believe that was about three years ago. I’ve seen them every day since then that I’ve been at that computer and so has he.
At first, my feelings were a bit hurt because I thought I’d done this great thing for him and there was practically zero resemblance to the “Way to go, Becky, once again you’ve saved the day!” outpouring of thanks I had been expecting. Actually, his response was more along the lines of an absent minded shoulder pat kind of ‘thanks’ and a frantically renewed search online. I was mildly offended…but I didn’t say anything. (Something those of you who know me may find a bit hard to believe, but still true, nevertheless.)
Not too long ago, after I had recently started a new project, I found myself in another bookstore—not local, this time. I was having a grand old time looking through the magazine section, the history section, the cooking section, the art section, the…well, you get the drift…I wasn’t terribly focused on finding a specific resource that day. I was just having a ball just being in a bookstore without a time limit and without a specific target in mind. The bookstore visit was my gift from my husband who knew that I’d been under a good deal of stress and had followed his agenda throughout the rest of the day…it was my reward for being such a sweetheart, you know. (Yes, I know: My husband is a prince!) I’ve found that when God wants to get my attention, He can do so in a variety of ways, so I wasn’t specifically looking for anything, though my eye had been caught by several glossy publications about my new project…and they were included in my growing stack for purchase.
I had finally covered the entire store—at least those sections that typically interest me, in any case–and was beginning to think about heading toward the check out area when my husband called to me from a totally new-to-me area of the store. He had located several books about my new project and had been standing there giving them a review. (Have I ever told you how great my husband is?! So kind. So helpful. So supportive! I really do love that man!) In any case, he had two or three options he thought might work for me and his favorite of them all was the For Dummies guide—even published this year!—so you just knew that it had all the latest information I’d need! I flipped through it, noticed a whole section on my particular area of interest and quickly added it to the pile. We checked out and headed home where I immediately added my new book to the table by my chair for later review and reveling.
The next day, once I had the house to myself, I turned on the music and sat down to increase my knowledge and enhance my newly acquired skills. And that, dear friends, is when I found out why they named this series For Dummies. Between the covers of my newly purchased book was a whole host of information that didn’t make a hill of beans difference to me on what I was trying to learn. In fact, the only pieces of information that I have found to be valuable was contained in the first couple of paragraphs under the section I’d been so pleased to notice in the store. After that…nada…nothing…Not A Thing. At first, I was frustrated. Then I was annoyed. And then I just had to laugh. I mean, what could I say?! The title of the book spelled it out as clearly as was humanly possible for me—and everyone else!—when it said, For Dummies!
I’m not entirely certain, but I think there may have been some payback involved…
(And since it took him three years to do this, I may need to add “so patient” to my husband’s list of virtues.)