I used to work for a man who had an Type A personality. Or maybe you'd just call him controlling. Not so much a misogynist as a cracker from a small Florida fork in the road. You know the kind that like to keep the little lady barefoot and pregnant. He was all about driving big trucks, dressing in camouflage, spending time in deer stands, learning new turkey calls, Bear Bryant, the Marine Corps and his mama's chicken 'n dumplings. He was always pretty sure of himself. Until he misplaced something. Then he called upon my woman's keen sense of retrieval, as if I were one of his hunting hounds. Sweetie will, of course, guffaw at such a statement. But remember this was a few years and a lot of brain cells ago. So when he would lose something, he'd get all crazy, throwing papers around, opening drawers, etc. Just about the time I thought he was going to bust a gusset, he'd stop, take a deep breath and say, "It's okay. I've just got to panic first." And sure enough, as his panic subsided and he relaxed he usually put his hands right on whatever he lost.
That's what I kept telling myself last night at 12 am, 1 am, and 2 am. I've just got to panic first. My mind raced through every possible job interview scenario. I flopped on one side then flopped to the other. When the alarm went off this morning, I can't say I was very rested, but I was ready to get up and get on with it. I'd panicked enough.
I guess I did okay, because I've been asked back for a "hiring" session where I fill out lots of paperwork and have my hand scanned for a 2nd degree background check. I feel okay about how it went. I'm happy to say I didn't throw up. I'd still like to win tomorrow's lottery drawing so going to work would be my choice, not someone else's. With hindsight I can see how I tend to get myself all worked up into a tizzy before settling down to business.
Then I had lunch with my sister, a new grandma. Like new-fangled strollers, baby carriers, and
rocking chairs gliders, I noticed grandmothers' brag books now come in tablet form where the pictures pop up and you just swipe your finger over the screen to move to the next one. I couldn't help but notice the joy in her eyes. Sure this is her busy season and she's burning the proverbial candle at both ends, but I could tell her life has changed somehow. She had that glow grandmother's get that shines right from the heart.
Later, when I went to visit my senior friend, I noticed a tiny little ladybug resting on a fence post. I think what caught my eye was the color. A tangerine shade of orange instead of red. I looked around but I didn't see any others. I guess she wanted to soak up some sun before the temperatures dropped again tonight. There is something so sweet about ladybugs, don't you think?
I enjoyed the time I spent with my friend. I rubbed some new cream on her sore arthritic hands. We laughed at the cream's "amazing" ability to make her feel better. I doubt there is any cream that can make a pain go away in just a few seconds. Perhaps it was just having someone touch her fingers, and hold her hand that felt so good. I found it pretty amazing to hear her laugh. We talked about what old people talk about - the medicine they take, insurance woes, aches and pains. Then, without warning, the subject changed. She told me about "the fight." How she ended up with a cereal bowl in her face and 3 cracked ribs. The smile retreated as she remembered some dark days. I noticed how blessed I was to be the one to hear her story, and how grateful I am to have learned the art of quiet listening. If you're ever in a situation like that, be still. Honor the story teller by honoring the story.
When she was finished we sat quietly together. What attracted you to such a man, my nosey self had to ask. He had the prettiest blue eyes and wavy hair she answered. The 30 years difference in our ages disappeared. I knew exactly what she was talking about. I remember the first time I saw my Sweetie's blue eyes. It's hard not to be swept off your feet under such a gaze.
Upon leaving I noticed how full my heart felt. I guess sometimes I just have to panic a little so I can get to the feeling on the other side.