My Deep Philosophical Question

Have you ever had one of those moments where you just have to look at your life and ask some deep philosophical questions of yourself? I had one of those moments the other evening.

It was Friday evening at the end of a beautiful week. Most of you know that autumn is my absolute favorite season ever, and those of you who don’t know have obviously spent very, very little time with me in the fall. I love everything about it–crunchy leaves, crisp mornings, gorgeous colors, sweaters, harvest. It’s like one of the prettiest things ever!!! And, much as I adore my Ozark Octobers, Appalachian autumns are thus far appearing to be equally pretty.

Now, that really has nothing to do with the deep philosophical question I had for myself Friday. I just wanted to throw it in there. Ok. Real story beginning.

In addition to being a beautiful week, it was a full week. Thursday and Friday were homecoming, and Saturday was the annual ladies’ luncheon, so campus was busy with extra activities. As a Jubilate member, I got to play both for homecoming and the ladies’ luncheon; as a chorale member, I got to sing for the homecoming banquet; as an orchestra member, I got to accompany the chorale during  another song at the same homecoming banquet. On top of that, one of our veteran librarians recently got a new job, so we each gained a few shifts each week, and one of the other librarians was going home for the weekend, so I got to sub an hour for her. Lest you believe, however, that I tell you all this with my hand dramatically on my forehead with an “I-am-SO-swamped-I-can’t-even-update-my-Pinterest-boards!!”, be aware that life isn’t always that full, I am thankful for each opportunity God has provided, and I do get on Pinterest once in a while.

So, Friday. Thankfully, it didn’t begin too terribly early; with homecoming, we got classes off for the day, so I wasn’t worried about homework, and we had just had a surprise room inspection the previous day (graciously, no infractions were given to our room), so I didn’t have to worry about cleaning before I left, so, after eating a nutritious breakfast, I made it up to Anderson to do our last bell sound check at 8:45. You know how you play a song nearly perfectly until your last rehearsal and then suddenly fail at the passage you’ve had mastered since the very beginning? And you’re about to play for the very first time for homecoming chapel? And Dr. A himself is sitting right in front of you? And you’re borrowing someone’s dress from last year and it’s too long and you’re pretty sure that with your skills you’re going to trip as you lead the way up the stairs? And then there’s a certain someone you really really REALLY want to impress and you just know you never will? And you’re also seriously afraid you’ll suddenly develop an allergy to cats and never be able to get one of your very own to love furrrrever?

(I’ll let you figure out which of those worries weren’t actually worrying me Friday morning.)

To ease your fears,  I did not miss that bell change; I did not accidentally fling my bell at Dr. A; I did not trip leading the way up the stairs. In fact, our very first Jubilate performance went pretty well, I think. So we congratulated each other when the morning chapel was finally over (not, finally! as in it dragged on forever, but finally as in we had been nervous and we made it), moved the bell tables back to the other room for Saturday’s luncheon, changed out of the long blue nightgowns choir dresses, and went to lunch. Kristen let me sit with her–ohmyword I think she likes me!!! YAY!

Emily’s shift meant I had to be in the library at 1:40, so I got my backpack and my violin and headed over. The afternoon passed fairly normally. I re-shelved books, worked on some accessioning, helped some students locate resources, answered questions, did some homework. [You notice the way I wrote “homework” last. That’s because 1) I always feel sort of guilty about doing homework while I’m working, so I try to make it sound like I wasn’t actually doing it, and 2) I did it after I had done those other things.] When 4:00 rolled around, I left a note on the circulation desk, clocked out of the library and headed to the dining hall for chorale rehearsal.

(This is what the note said, just in case you’re interested:
Due to chorale ministry, the librarians will be briefly absent. We apologize deeply for any
inconveniences this causes. In the event of an emergency (e.g., a fire, a flash flood, a hurricane,
a dead body mysteriously appearing in the stacks, or the need for an emergency blind date)
you may reach us at [number redacted for privacy purposes]. Thank you for enabling us to
serve our alumni in this way! [insert official library stamp] <– official stamp making this an
official notice.
Thankfully, I didn’t get contacted about any of those issues.)

It went well, so I went back to the library, took the note down, and took stock of my situation. I was scheduled to be in chorale at 5:20 and work until 9; Mr. Dunkerton had already given Matthew and I permission to leave the library again to go sing. However, this left me with the problem of supper. Supper was being served all the way down in the gym, and I had already taken time to leave the library. Plus, who wants to sing on a full stomach? I decided to skip supper and have a granola bar or something afterwards.

5:20 rolled around; we performed; Matthew and I headed back to the library for the evening shift. I was hungry.

Because I had been working earlier, all my stuff was already at the main desk with the fun swivel chair, so I reclaimed it for the evening. Besides, I’m a lady, so Matthew definitely needed to let me have the swivel chair anyhow. Besides, his legs are like twelve feet long, so he probably wouldn’t even have fit in the swivel chair. Anyhow. I sat down in the swivel chair, hungry.

“I’m hungry,” I announced to Matthew. Because he obviously wanted to know. He began describing the rice he had made for himself in his room. It didn’t assuage my hunger at all. (Hey, I used assuage in a sentence! Mr. Dunkerton, aren’t you proud of me?)

Now, the main desk with the swivel chair where I was reposing oh-so-gracefully and hungrily is also where the behind-the-desk garbage can in located. I happened to glance down at it.

“Someone threw away a bag of chips,” I remarked. I pulled them out and showed them to Matthew.
“Oh, those were mine from lunch,” he replied. “I was full.”
“So you just threw them away?!” I responded in disbelief. “Don’t you know people around the world are starving?!?”
Actually, I don’t think I said that. But I could have. It’s something I say.
“If I eat one, will you eat the rest?” Matthew continued.
I squinted my eyes. Was he daring me to eat an entire bag of Doritos? (Though it was one of those individual-sized bags. But still).
He noticed my hesitation. “No, like to show you that they’re still good to eat.” He ate one. “You’re hungry. Here.” He handed the chips back to me.

I ate them.

Then I wondered, “How on earth did I get to the place where I’m eating Doritos out of the garbage can?” Deep philosophical thoughts washed over me as a flood.

Guys. Has college changed me that much?

Or have I always been a dumpster-diving, garbage-eating freak?

I think I need to get more sleep.

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6 thoughts on “My Deep Philosophical Question

  1. You do come from the family that took home chicken remains from a church party, that someone else was going to throw away, so Mom could make soup stock from them . . .

  2. The crab moves when you scroll up and down. Hehe… Also, I feel like I would have totally done the same thing. I would’ve even been like, “No, you can’t eat one! I’m hungry and need all this nutritious [hah] food!” So maybe it is in our nature? When in doubt, blame it on the fact that we had older brothers, who developed in us a dog-eat-dog (or human-eat-trash) nature.

  3. You must learn to avoid heavy philosophical questions on an empty stomach. You were hungry, you had been busy, you probably were a bit short on sleep, you had been here and there and back again with a full schedule. Avoid asking about the meaning of life on an empty stomach – eat some chips or something! And, much of the time the question should be rethunk – as in, Why was the other person going to throw it away?

  4. Yes, blame it on Simeon! Remember his approach to food, “You going to eat that?” You just learned survival!

  5. “Mr. Dunkerton had already given […] I permission…”
    Ahem. You DO need more sleep.
    “Mr. Dunkerton had already given […] ME permission…”

    This background is soooo distracting… I keep looking for cute stuff to move.

    I think the philosophical question is not “WHY are you eating the chip from the garbage” but rather “what does it mean?” and “How will this impact my future?” Life’s deepest questions.

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