The Survey Says

Thursday, October 1, 2009
I like taking surveys. I think that most people don't. It seems to me that I'm told I should not like taking them, that there is something annoying, or intrusive, about surveys and I should not want to part with the information or spend the time required to be part of them.

I doubt most of my answers to surveys are considered in the overall results of the survey. In every set of survey results you usually find that certain responses are discounted. Either the one surveyed falls into a category outside of the parameters, or certain answers reveal something no one wants to hear, or are not helpful. Or the responses are out of this world bizarre.

I amuse myself by giving the most bizarre answers possible, that might still be real answers.

You're welcome, by the way, If you're a telemarketer and you've called me for a survey and got answers that made your day.

If you've ever asked me: "Are you aware of Global Warming?"

And I answered you: "Yes. I'm very aware of the ancient practice of warming glow balls. I did my dissertation on various methods of warming glow balls. Did you know that glow ball warming dates back to ancient Egypt? Hieroglyphics have depicted servants warming glow balls by the fire to illuminate the Pharaoh's nursery."

If you laughed at my absurdity and marked "no" then I accomplished my mission.

It's what I do.

I find it challenging to think on my feet and be creative. It's like improve.

I haven't been called to do a phone survey in quite a while. Maybe they've learned this about me.

Last night Sheena and I were out for dinner. The eatery we attended is a family oriented one. It's full of trinkets everywhere. I don't know if the walls are painted or papered because there are so many posters covering them. Things hang from the ceiling, and almost every colour imaginable is displayed in some manner.

Our daughter was with us. She's been pretty much wide eyed her entire life of six months. Every thing gets starred at. Every shape within reach gets touched. Every colour is studied. Every flashing light catches her attention. I don't know if I've ever seen her blink. I don't know how she manages to sleep, except that the constant learning must be exhausting.

I generally overlook much of my world. It's how I get work done when there are papers and other things all over my desk. I literally cannot tell you every item on my desk. For all I know, there could be a cake under there somewhere. I gloss over all the stuff in my world. I suppose it's because I've already experienced it or something like it. She, my daughter, wants to experience it all. For some reason nothing for her is truly experienced until it enters the mouth.

She tastes, observes, feels, stares at, smells, listens to. She experiences.

Last night she was going nuts. It was so much fun to watch her try and take it all in. She couldn't do it. Her head shot back and forth. Her eyes jumped from one thing to the next. Then she'd realize that I left my glass within her reach, but within a second she was onto something new and the glass was gone. I thought she was going to explode from sensory overload.

She didn't.

Before we left a survey was dropped off at our table.

Oh, how delightful.

One question caught my attention. "What, besides hunger, brought you here?" There are a million ways to answer that. Here are a few options I considered:

-A wardrobe in the professors closet
-my car
-I followed my nose, it always knows
-A desire to test my new heartburn medication
-I hear the water is great
-Wanted to try dining and dashing, and this seemed like a good place to do it
-Ducked in here to avoid being seen by the spy satellite that was about to travel overhead
-I'm great at delegating: it was my night to cook, which makes it your night to cook
-I'm researching the correlation between bottomless fries increasing sales at the Gap

Knowing that Sheena would never go for any of these, I simply suggested: "Tell them it's our anniversary." My thought was, maybe they'll give us free stuff. A&W said we'd get free teen burgers if we went in on our wedding day. Sadly we didn't have time. I regret not getting my free teen burger. That may seem like a sad statement, but really it's not. It was a beautiful wedding, it was fun and I was loving every moment of the day. There literally was so much goodness going on that I could not fit anything more into the day. It's just, how often do you get offered something so completely free? And I was hungry.

I also thought that writing "it's our anniversary" on the survey was good because this wasn't the type of place where people generally go on their anniversary and it might make someone laugh. You might go there if you don't have a lot of money, or if you really want to go out but are not sure about leaving your daughter with a baby sitter for the night because you've never done that before and you're not even really sure who to ask. Because of this not being the type of place you might go on your anniversary, I thought the waitress or a manager, who I hoped would be reading this, would laugh. I'm not wanting to make fun of couples who would go their on their anniversary. It is a perfectly reasonable choice for the above reasons and more.

Or maybe, i thought, we'd end up in a commercial for the restaurant. It could be a beautiful touching scene with a romantically involved couple choosing this establishment, above all others, as the place to celebrate their love by dining on greasy, yet delicious, burgers and milk shakes. Maybe there would be a moment in the commercial where he puts one end of a fry in his mouth and she could begin nibbling on the other. Eventually their lips would touch in the middle. Sparklers could be light behind them because the 8 year old at the table next to them is celebrating a birthday. This couple could be lost in romance in the middle of one of the least romantic places.

That is a touching commercial.

I still think Tim Hortons needs to go with my commercial idea of a couple falling in love over a cruller and a late night conversation inspired by our first date.

We go to all the truly romantic spots, don't we? I'm thinking of the pick-n-pull auto parts salvage for our her next birthday. Or maybe that little snack stand at Costco. That place is hot.

Also I though Sheena should write that it was our anniversary because it was true.

On the day marking three years of marriage Sheena turned to me and with a simple sentence she demonstrated how much she knows me: "Let's got to Red Robin."

That was, by the way, not my anniversary gift.

She didn't write anything funny on the survey. Without considering any of my ideas she figured out they really wanted to know what brought her to Red Robin for the very first time. Apparently she has me to thank for that.

Sheena, you're welcome.

And thank you for three great years, and for allowing me to take you to the most romantic places I can think of, and for laughing at my lame jokes.

By the way Sheena, you are the only one I know who laughs by rolling her eyes.