Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Someday soon

He had wanted to tell her lies beginning with the word someday.
Karen Joy Fowler, Sarah Canary

The phrase "someday when we're rich" is something of a running joke in my family. That cottage by the lake, that new Lexus, that trip around the world will all be ours "someday when we're rich." We don't play the lottery, so our chances of winning a jackpot are slightly less than that of those who do. There will be no more inheritances. Now that we are retired and living on a fixed income with an ever-shrinking nest egg, that joke is becoming less funny. Or more so. I'm not sure which.

During our week in a Tennessee log cabin, my wife and I watched four Ma and Pa Kettle movies. Whenever Ma asks Pa to dig a well or fix the front door, his response is always some variation on, "I plan to get around to that someday." Then he goes back to his nap, goes fishing or whatever.

We all use the word someday a lot, such as when bumping into an old friend on the street or in the supermarket. "I'll call you someday and we'll get together," someone will say. Sometimes that happens. Usually it doesn't.

Snow White sings, "Someday my prince will come."

Judy Collins sings, "Someday soon, going with him, someday soon."

Dr. Martin Luther King said, "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live up to its creed."

Christians say Jesus will return someday.

Words like someday and one day challenge us to make a choice. Are we hearing a joke or a promise? Is it an ideal, a dream or a statement of faith? Or is it just a pretty lie?

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