My younger brother Larry often amazes me. He has the skillset to blend in with the locals in whatever venue he finds himself. Did I mention he lives in Oklahoma? That’s not to say he is opposed to making a sale or two in Texas, Arkansas or Kansas, but he’s got Oklahoma covered. He knows Oklahoma like the back of his hand. Consequently, he probably would say that he’s always surrounded by knowledgeable, compassionate and thoughtful people. After all, Oklahoma is not only “OK”; it definitely is on top of Texas.
Larry is never a fish out of water. He is always amicable and very much displaying a servant leadership role. Long story short, he is likeable and carries his weight in any conversation. He is very much a people person and is equipped with the gift of gab like no other. He could talk the horns off of a billy goat. He knows when and how to initiate a thoughtful conversation. I suspect the conversation generally goes in whatever direction Larry opts to steer it. He has the uncanny ability to garner instant credibility because he seems like such a genuinely nice person. Of course, those skills were honed in Texas, but they play well in Oklahoma. Maybe it is his ear-to-ear smile that captures the heartstrings of those he generally meets.
Larry is also resourceful. He is well read and knows when to quote an author or simply when to choose his own way of making a point. He participated in Toastmaster for years to initially become comfortable with public speaking. Later it had more to do with how to capture your audience in the first thirty-seconds. Now he could teach a course in effective public communication. Three words out of his mouth, and he has you hooked to see where he is going with his story. Honestly, I don’t know how he manages to always come out a winner, but he generally gets exactly what he needs and he makes it all seem so easy.
I suspect that at times he is as clueless as I sometimes appear to be, but he masks it well. That has to work in his favor. If I’m having a senior moment, I’ll own it and ask for help. Not Larry, he is going to wait until he cognitively catches up or simply say nothing pretending that he is on the right page. He is a very smart man. His confidence always works in his best interest.
Yesterday evening I got into a world of trouble with the General because according to her, “I turned on the defroster in her car”. I immediately countered: “I haven’t touched anything.” Honestly, I was being truthful. I did nothing of the kind and said so much as well. The General then pointed to the indicator on the dash reflecting the defroster was selected. How did that happen? I still don’t know, but reportedly, according to the General, “I mess up her car every time I drive it”. Stupidly, I fell into the trap she laid out. “We’ll from now on, you can do all of the driving when we go anywhere”.
I have the potential to be a little over the top in the drama category at times, but I had been unfairly accused. I had both of my hands on the steering wheel and had not touched anything amiss in her fancy car. I added: “I am no longer going to drive your car ever again. This is the last time”. She said, “Good! We will go in the truck”. She didn’t refer to it as “my truck”, only “the truck”. After years of working for attorneys, she has the mindset that it is all hers.
See, at times I can’t win for losing. I don’t want to drive my truck. It puts too many miles on it and I’d prefer to save the miles and keep the truck looking newer longer. The truck is five years old and I’ve been averaging 4,000 miles a year. Why wear it out?
At any rate, my younger brother is too smart to ever get into that kind of mess with his wife. He is the quintessential diplomat in resolving all disputes and orchestrating a win/win for every problem. For example, he and the Mrs. recently purchased a new washing machine. Actually, I’m a little hesitant to tell his story even though I gained his permission for fear I’ll get something out of order and express it in not the exact verbiage in which it was shared. He will call my hand on that rather than simply acknowledging that I have the storyline correct.
At any rate, you can’t have a new washing machine without also purchasing a new clothes dryer. When you live in Oklahoma everything has to match perfectly. I don’t know if the new dryer was an after thought or if there was another explanation that they weren’t delivered at the same time. At any rate, the washer was in place and Larry subsequently gave their perfectly used dryer away on the premise that it be picked up on Tuesday before the new dryer was delivered the next day.
It worked like a charm until the person at the appliance store telephoned the Mrs. with the news that the delivery schedule wasn’t working out and that the clothes dryer would not be delivered on the day it was promised. I think the new day was Friday.
Larry and the Mrs. are equally yoked. She is also smart. When she has a problem, she also has a solution. This time the solution involved my brother. He has a shiny red pickup truck. He could go by the appliance store and pick up the dryer. There was no way she could wait until Friday for the dryer to be delivered.
I can almost hear Larry now: “You want me to do what?” Larry would be quick to say that he works for a living and couldn’t be gone from his office. He had the good sense not to tell the Mrs. that her solution was preposterous. He wasn’t about to do that. Like I said, “He is a smart man.”
Picking up the phone, he telephoned the appliance store. The scenario went something like this. “My name is Larry Forrester and I really need your help. My wife just learned that the dryer that was scheduled for delivery tomorrow can’t be delivered until Friday. Consequently, she wants me to come by and pick it up. I really can’t get away from the office. I have to work and time just doesn’t permit. I need your help because my wife needs my help. She can’t wait until Friday for the clothes dryer. She has to have it. Is there anyway possible you could deliver it? It would really be helpful to me”.
Like I said, “The conversation always goes in whatever direction Larry opts to steer it.” The appliance salesperson just became a miracle worker. “I don’t know what time we can deliver it, but I’ll make sure it gets delivered the day you need it.” Larry is smooth. I can imagine that he reconfirmed what he just heard. “So are you saying you can deliver it on the day previously scheduled?” I can see the smile on his face as he hung up the phone. “If you want it done right, get me to do it” was obviously the thought running through his head.
Thinking he was the hero, he telephoned the Mrs. to let her know he had effectively solved her problem. He didn’t get the response he expected. The Mrs. couldn’t wait all day for the dryer to be delivered. She had lunch scheduled with some ladies and plans for the afternoon. The dryer had to be delivered in the morning.
Being very much the take-charge, solution focused diplomat, Larry came up with another solution. Their daughter lives only a few minutes away. Perhaps she could wait at their house until the dryer was delivered while the Mrs. fulfilled her social obligations? His simple solution worked like a finely oiled machine.
All My Best!