Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Granite Countertops

One of the neat things about losing our house in a fire has been the opportunity to meet people we would have never met and have conversations we would have never had. Our latest conversation with a new friend (our builder) revolved around granite counter tops. The minute we mentioned that prior to the fire we had planned to remodel our kitchen in the spring and replace the basic counter tops with granite, he rolled his eyes with a chuckle. When we asked about his body language he said "granite counter tops are very complex". He went on to talk about the need to travel to numerous locations to choose a "slab" because each slab is different. We said, "of course each slab is different, that is the beauty of granite. Quite frankly,that is why we love it " All of a sudden, the room went silent with our builder and the general contractor making curious eye contact. When we asked about that they said "no really, you will need to pick out the slab or we won't install them."

For the first time in this process, I didn't know how to respond to this dilemma. As we talked more about it we learned that through their years of experience they have worked with a very large percent of people who don't want to spend time choosing exactly what they want but complain when they see it and realize it is something they don't want. This got me thinking about why it seems easier to express our don't wants in life.

We have all types of interesting ways of expressing our don't wants. One that is popular where I work is "I'll know it when I see it". This is code for give me some samples and I can tell you everything that is wrong with them until you hit the mark. My personal favorite is sarcasm. I use sarcasm to get my don't wants across without actually having to say I don't want it or more importantly what I do want. I use sarcasm so much that people refer to it as my sense of humor. Another fun way to express don't wants is to talk about something to someone or something when you know the person you want to get the message is within earshot. I have a ton of fun with this one. My favorite is to talk to the sink full of dishes when I get home from work. "Oh my goodness, look at all you dishes, I can't believe you haven't learned how to jump into the dishwasher on your own yet."

So, why do we have so many fun ways of expressing our don't wants but struggle expressing our wants? As I explored this in myself, I realized that I have a belief that don't wants are always changeable but wants are more permanent. As you know from other blogs, I have decision and commitment issues. Stating a want feels like I am committing to really wanting it and what if I change my mind? As I continued my self exploration, I realized how bizarre this belief really is. I can always change a don't want to a want and vice versa. So where does this bizarre belief come from? All of a sudden I heard an agitated voice in my head. It said "You said you wanted it it, take it, play it, do something with it.... etc." Aha! Mystery solved.

What beliefs have you explored that now seem bizarre? Do you know where the belief came from? What new beliefs do you have that others think are bizarre? Where did they come from?

PS, by clearly stating (and signing disclosures in triplicate) that we wanted whatever slab we got of our chosen granite, our builder agreed to install it. SMILE

Love to all,


1 comment:

  1. Kathy,
    As I read your post, I couldn't help but agree: it seems that expressing 'don't wants' is often easier than expressing 'wants'. My first thought was that the phenomenon is an artifact of not knowing what we do want.

    I think that your description of people at work "knowing it when they see it" may in fact provide a strong metaphor for how most of us go through life, we cling to the status quo until something floats by that spars our interests, and then we go for it, sometimes. We don't actively clarify and specify wants. It could be fear of it being written on our permanent records; it could be fear of disappointment; it could be a sense of not deserving what we want; it's probably a mixture that varies from person to person.

    I think I may have had more beliefs that I now consider to have been bizarre than I have beliefs currently. Here are a just a few.

    Bizarre Belief 1: I used to believe that "success" meant making money, being recognized by others and having a high status job.

    Bizarre Belief 2: I used to believe that "success" was important.

    Bizarre Belief 3: I used to believe that when I didn't say what I was thinking in order to "protect" someone else's feelings, I was doing it "for them".

    Bizarre Belief 4: I used to believe in God and that God would send people to hell if they didn't accept Jesus as their savior.

    Bizarre Belief 5: I used to believe that I couldn't do math, that I could never do math.

    Bizarre Belief 6: I used to believe that you could never change your mind regarding life's "important" decisions, e.g., college, career, marriage, job, house.

    Bizarre Belief 7: I used to believe in experts.

    Bizarre Belief 8: I used to ascribe meaning to almost any event. What does this mean? What is this telling me?

    Of course, my new beliefs would seem bizarre to the old me. Isn't that bizarre?



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