Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Mr. Buckley

Agent Wife and I are definitely back in the saddle as it were. The last two days found us shuttling around (and in Agent Wife’s case, interpreting French) some friends to their doctor appointments. And with one car between the two of us, and with two babies, it can work.

But the real unique moment of the day yesterday came when I had reason to visit Mr. Buckley (my racist neighbor).

I’ve only mentioned him a few brief times in these reports.

A couple of days ago, I had the kids out in the double stroller. His 83 year old rotund body came hobbling out of his house carrying two wrapped Christmas presents for my kids since we were gone for the holidays.

Mr. Buckley and his wife have always given our kids gifts at Christmas. Very sweet of them.

I’ve been resenting the fact that I haven’t spent much time with him this year. But he’s so difficult to be around.

Despite Mr. Buckley’s extreme negativism in life (everything is “gawdam this” and “bastard that”) he’s a terrible listener. I don’t have anything in particular to unload on him, but talking to anyone who won’t let you get a word in or constantly interrupts you is one of my personal pet peeves. Die to self, I guess.

So, I usually avoid being around him since I know I’ll get sucked into being the solo audience of a 45 minute bitch-fest.

But yesterday I had to deliver a thank you card. And I was dreading it.

It’s pathetic of me to want to avoid him since I really am concerned for his eternal well-being. Mr. Buckley doesn’t know the CEO, he’s 83, in poor health, and he’s my neighbor.

One time we got on the subject of death. So, very undercover-like, I ask him what he thinks happens when we pass on.

“Oh...I guess if you’ve been good you go up there (points to the sky) and if you’ve been bad you go down there (the ground). Hope I’ve been good.” Then on to the bitch-fest.

Hope? That would suck if all you had was some vague hope and no relationship with the creator. I pray for him often. But...I can’t stand being around him. CEO, help me.

So yesterday while giving him the card, I somehow stumbled upon an interest of his: coin collecting. This would be easy. I’m not a coin collector, but I like looking at them. And I have a bizarre agenda of populating the local currency with dollar coins (Susie B’s and Sasquatch-something). Dollar’s the Canadian influence, I’m sure. I’m looking forward to next month with the release of the new presidential dollar coins.

So before I knew it, we actually had a decent gathering that wasn’t gawdam-this or bastard-anything. We looked at various coins of his. And I traded for a couple of those state quarters I’m hunting for my father-in-law.

Some guy named Joe Aldrich wrote a book calling moments like this “lifestyle evangelism”.

Glad I finally found something that would make visits with Mr. Buckley more painless.


Miller said...

that's awesome b!

it's so exciting to get this kind of breakthrough. it's also why spending time with people is so important...

i once told my mom something to the effect of "it's about quality time..." while moaning about my time with the kids.

her response was "son, you can't have quality time without quantity time"

she's right.

looks like biting the bullet and spending the time paid off for you and mr. buckley.

praise the Lord


Matthew said...

Hooray for hope. I'll take hope over certainty any day.

Agent B said...

Matt, explain yourself (not that you actually read any of the replies to your drive-by comments).

I assumed that any reader of this post would understand that I do not, nor have I ever wrote off 'hope' as something trivial or non-existant.

I hope in things to come. I have much hope in the creator and in faith.

But I am certain in my salvation. This is not an arrogant statement either. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong.

Sorry if I didn't use the correct intellectual theological verbiage.

Matthew said...


>But I am certain in my salvation. This is not an arrogant statement either.

My preference for hope has very little to do with "theological verbiage" ... although I do find it odd for a person to say that he "has hope in faith".

I just find that, in general, people who live in hope - rather than in iron-clad certainty - are people who continue to grow ... primarily because they allow for the possibility that (gasp) they might be wrong.

Agent B said...

primarily because they allow for the possibility that (gasp) they might be wrong.


Thanks for writing back.

Matthew said...

Thanks for writing back.

No prob, sorry if I've failed to respond in the past. =P