Tink and My Nerves


Tink is getting on my last nerve.

I am trying to do business and keep my company going but he’s like a little, dark cartoon cloud popping in on my deal making. Normally, he would only know what I tell him which means he wouldn’t hear an entire conversation.

However …

Since video conferencing has taken over a majority of meetings and since I prefer not to be troubled with technical aspects, he has to set up my conference calls. Then, in the biggest joke of all, we have to go to Mama’s house because the internet there is 10 times faster than our house.

Mama and Daddy were simple people. If they were still alive, I can promise you that they would not have a cell phone. Not even a flip phone. They would not own a computer and have internet.

Though the driveway from Mama’s house to ours is no more than 40 yards, her house is serviced by a cable company with blasting speeds. Our house is practically on dial-up with AT&T. By the way, the driveway on the other side of us, is also about 40 yards away and it, too, has cable fast WiFi. Xfinity refuses to come up our driveway.

Tink edits television shows from that humble little house and any important conference calls have to be made from there. This means that Tink goes with me to set up, make sure I have a connection, goes into the living room to watch Marlo Thomas on That Girl, which plays 24 hours a day on a cable channel, then listens with an ear to any business discussions I have.

My company is 22 years old and, in that time, has produced 1,000 newspaper columns, a television movie, around 2,000 speaking engagements, eight books including five bestsellers and had almost as many prospective projects fall off the edge of existence. I found a contract the other day on a gift book that a major publisher had contracted for then decided not to do. My clever agent made sure I got paid anyway.

Both Tink and I have agreed that if the good Lord should grant us the health, we, like Queen Elizabeth, will just die, working. Now, is not the time to quit. We provide the kind of entertainment that good folks need in hard times like this. Uplifting. God honoring. Kind and colorful.

The other day, I did two calls in a row. One concerned a television project. The other pertained to an exciting new book. From Mama’s kitchen table, I signed off from the publisher’s meeting. Tink was standing at the sink, his back to me, writing on a piece of paper.

I expected excitement from the good news that had just arrived by video.

He turned around to me, held up a piece of paper that reeled off all the balls I have in the air: Column; TV Project One; Speaking Engagements; Documentary; TV Project Two and three other projects that are in full swing.

With a pen, he emphatically pointed at each project and named it. “You better be careful,” he warned, arching an eyebrow. “You’ll going to get in over your head.”

I live my life in over my head. That is nothing new.

Not long ago, Tink and I had a meeting with Reba McEntire to discuss a possible project. We were sitting at the table in her kitchen. When we finished the discussion and edged toward her interest, Reba, a personality as big and bold as her TV persona, reached up and mimicked making a toss. “We just keep throwing mud against the wall to see what ‘s gonna stick!”

I repeated that in my best Reba imitation.

“But everything you’re throwing is sticking.”

Yeah, but here’s what I’ve come to know: At any time, another rain storm can come and wash it all away.

[Ronda Rich is the best-selling author of “What Southern Women Know About Faith.” Visit www.rondarich.com to sign up for her free weekly newsletter.]