4 for good measure

Rural legend #1: Pastor’s wives are perfect.

Rural legend #2: Christian moms don’t yell.

Rural legend #3: God is silent.


Rural legend #4: The true-blooded lady is prepared for every situation.

Believe it or not, this is the myth with which I tortured myself during my teenage years.

Last Saturday morning I went out for breakfast with friends, and when I ordered my eggs—over medium—I had a little flashback. I remembered ordering breakfast out for the first time, as an adolescent.

Our family went out to eat fairly often, and I was used to ordering for myself, but generally lunch or dinner; rarely breakfast. I was ordering along, innocently enough, when my waiter interjected this simple question: How would you like your eggs?




Nothing in my past or present history gave me the slightest inkling of how to meet this situation. How would I like my eggs??


So I stammered.


Uh, well, I guess just. regular…

For the rest of my life, the phrase over medium is engrained into my psyche, burned there by the memory of a situation I was unprepared for. Over medium. That is how I like my eggs.

In truth, I just like eggs. Scrambled. Poached. Boiled hard or soft. Just eggs. White and yellow orbs. From a chicken. That is how I like them.

A true-blooded lady may (or may not) be equal to any situation, but she cannot be prepared for every situation, because she has not faced every situation before. When she tries to avoid shame at all costs, she ends up a) slanting her experiences, and b) missing a lot of fun.

When I was a teenager, I worked hard to bring impeccable grace into every situation. And I am still stuck with this aura, my friends tell me, of looking like I’m inscrutable and put together when I’m actually awkward and desperately uncomfortable.

I am changing. The thing I want to take with me into every situation is no longer impeccable grace, but flexibility and a great deal of humor. It’s more fun.

How do you like your eggs?

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11 years ago

This is not a gender specific issue. My problem was that I learned egg classifications in PA Dutch, so I always just asked for scrambled eggs because it lacked a Dutch equivalent. Down with saving face(ades).

Joanna Yoder
11 years ago

I’m laughing! I clearly remember the time I ordered eggs “sunny-side-up”…and learned (to my chagrin) that that meant the eggs were not flipped during the cooking process—resulting in whites that were uncomfortably close to underdone. Eeeww. Like Josh, I settled for ordering them scrambled after that!

I, too, struggle with expecting myself to always be prepared for everything, to never be surprised by anything. My husband has taught me much in this area, but I still have so far to go.

11 years ago

So… when I admired the gracious response of a teenager to her glasses being broken by an errant volleyball, she was actually feeling “awkward and desperately uncomfortable”? Wow. You still learn things after years of marriage.

11 years ago
Reply to  The Boss

And the many years will continue… Here is the thought that flashed through my mind, “wonder if the spiker was NTB of the month.” Don’t answer it’s not your blog of confessions. Love how you affirm your fine lady!

Alvin S
11 years ago

Don’t be so quick to discard your impeccable grace. A lot of people would love to cultivate that…..

Mama Zook
11 years ago
Reply to  Alvin S

and some don’t mind not having any at all, and it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of those around! I love the Shari that “Not The Boss” fell in love with…it doesn’t hurt to cause a few people to think you have it all together when inside you know you don’t always!

Rachel Shenk
11 years ago

very very true! Im learning that lesson too…when to show graceful graciousness and when to show the loss or dismay Im actually feeling. I totally agree that sometimes showing the “vulnerable mess” can be totally satisfying!

11 years ago

Well, I for one, admire your gracefulness and poise. While flexibility and humor do have their positive attributes, they have failed me miserably at times as well.

I am beginning to think that perhaps we all have some sort of story to tell about our first experience ordering eggs… 🙂

11 years ago

While I admire a lady who shows poise and graciousness in the midst of chaos, it is so nice to know that that is not always the case on the inside. I know I could do with more flexibility and humor in my life.

Cathy M
11 years ago

I should ask for Andrew’s permission on this one, but… When visiting Gerald in KS one time some of us went out for breakfast. I’ll never forget when Andrew ordered his eggs “medium well”. I think he had eaten 1 too many steaks in his life.

11 years ago

I remember you as a gracious, and very caring teen-ager . . . I loved you then. I still love you . . and your blog has been such a wonderful, enjoyable place for me each time I come to it.

God bless your gracious, honest heart!

LaDonna Nice
11 years ago

Love your graciousness and honesty! We need a lot more of both in today’s world!

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