Punch Bowl, Adult Movies, & Blessings
December 14, 2010
I started to write a Thanksgiving post, and, well that didn’t get published. It’s hard to top the Halloween costume story and I’ve been quite nervous to post again. I just don’t really know how these things happen to me, but I shall now entertain you with two more “This would only happen to Sarah – and apparently now Taylor, too” stories.
A few weeks ago, I was at an import store (you know – the kind that you really don’t like to shop at but has really good prices and is coincidentally where all the “cute” places actually get their merchandise) in Dallas trying to pick up a punch bowl for my mom. The sales person was a nice Hispanic lady, but we were not on the same page about which specific bowl I was picking up. After a few minutes of miscommunication, this kind Hispanic lady says (quite loudly), “Ok. Paaaancchbowl.” And I repeat, “Yes. A punch bowl. PUNCH BOWL” with as much diction as I can muster up. She just kind of smiles to herself then politely says, “I heard you, ma’am. I was calling a man named Pancho.” Sure enough, Pancho himself walked out of the back room a few seconds later.
Arrrggg. Sometimes I curse my couldn’t-be-any-whiter state of being.
Taylor has been out of town for work the past few weeks, and last Friday he did an inventory at a book store chain. Apparently you must audit whichever box/item/product you randomly select, and whaddyaknow he selects a box full of adult films. Not only does he have to sift through this box of movies, he then has to announce the titles of each DVD aloud to the 40-something woman standing beside him while she checks them off a list. What are the odds of that happening?! I bet she’s still blushing.
Maybe my uncanny ability to get in awkward situations is finally rubbing off on Taylor. One can only hope.
Last Sunday was the kind of day where I was moving non-stop. I had class, church, lunch, wedding shower, and then a youth group play. It was a busy day already, not to mention everything was slightly going wrong. We forgot about a meeting in the morning, Fuzzy’s got my taco order wrong, I forgot to wear a coat in the 40 degree weather…not a good start. In the afternoon, I have about 30 minutes between when I got home from the shower to when we were leaving for dinner, so I came in the apartment expecting to do a little cleaning. When I walked in, I saw that football was on and Taylor was taking a nap. For some reason, it irked me to no end that I hadn’t sat down all day and was now having to clean, while he just slept. Furious at the situation, I ran to Target to grab some cleaner, since – of course – we were also out of that. At the time, I felt like I was in the “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”
I’m stomping around through Target grabbing everything I need and head to the checkout where every line has 26 people in it – what else do you expect at this point in my day? The ratio of cashiers to shoppers never ceases to frustrate me. 3:74 is not a good ratio. The checkout lady is taking her sweet old time, chattin’ it up with the current shopper and I am about to flip a lid, since I have to leave in negative 3 minutes to get to dinner with the 11th graders on time.
I look over at the other lines to see if I can do a little line-skipping to get checked out faster. When I look at the line next to mine, I see this tiny girl checking out who was wearing kind of raggedy, old clothes and had two small children with her. The look on her face drew me in for some reason. After I looked for a second, I realized it was probably because she was incredibly sad. She wasn’t crying or anything, you could just see a deep sadness in her eyes. When she turned towards me, I saw that she also recently had the living daylights beaten out of her – enough so that the entire left side of her face was black/blue and swollen.
After my stomach was done twisting and I finally breathed again, I began to tear up looking at this poor girl. She was so beautiful, and so hopelessly sad. I mean – what can you do in those situations? I walked past her a few minutes later as she put her groceries in the car, so I came up next to her and said, “Your kids are precious!” She stopped what she was doing, looked me in the eyes, and (as sincerely as you can imagine) said, ” Thank you so much. I really appreciate that.”
I’m glad I was able to get off of my high horse to tell you this story. Here I was, a grown woman, fuming through the aisles of the grocery store while thinking about how unfortunate it was that I got a grilled fish taco instead of a grilled shrimp taco, and what an injustice it was that I had to clean out the dishwasher for the third time in a row (I keep a record for such purposes), and how freezing the church auditorium was since I forgot my coat…and…well, I could go on forever.
It’s embarrassing, really, to share this story. I think it’s important though, because on some level, I think you do it too. It’s all about perspective. The reality of my situation is that I am incredibly blessed with a Savior who forgives me despite of my ridiculously sinful nature, a husband who loves and protects me (and takes the occasional nap on Sundays after working 60+ hour weeks to provide for me), family who show me daily what it means to follow Christ, a church community that helps me grow…again, I could go on forever.
My challenge to you this week, and throughout the holiday season: Keep things in perspective. We are all blessed with immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.