Sunday, January 22, 2012
give and take
We get, we give, we get, we give. Both good and bad. Cause and effect. Karma. Whatever you want to call it.
We found a sweet rose pen fashioned out of duct tape in the Whole Foods parking lot. Someone's gift to us.
A crusty resident yelled at me for leaving the communal laundry door open, then slammed it for dramatic effect. Had he asked nicely, I would have apologized and closed the door on my way out. Since he didn't, I left it wide open. My gift to him.
Third grader came home from school, and in her quest to "cause happiness" (and also to stall on her homework) she was resolute on creating an artsy surprise for our mysterious neighbor (sometimes home, often not) upstairs. Homework's gift to her: she was up until 9:00 that night finishing it. The next day while my daughter was at school, mysterious neighbor came home; I heard her trod up the stairs, pause, then squeal (not knowing anyone was listening): "OH! This is BEAUTIFUL!" My girl's gift to both the mysterious neighbor and me.
Sometimes I let people merge in front of me, because I like to be friendly to those in need, and I like to annoy those behind me. Both give and take.
I fed a few meters with my extra change. My gift to the city.
Then I got a parking ticket. The city's gift to me.
I always include an extra something with my Etsy orders. My gift to lovely people who choose my shop for their purchase.
At Stop & Shop last week some poor soul tripped and went airborne, landing in and dismantling a large display of king size Reese's Peanut Butter eggs. Hundreds of them. My kids made a beeline for the fallout while a checker and I helped the guy out of the eggs and made sure he was OK. I tried to help him feel better by telling him that it is normally my job to cause that kind of ruckus, and told him the story of when I fell down a full flight of stairs at the Wall Street Deli in Dallas and blasted a crowd of corporate lunch-goers with my tossed salad. Meanwhile my kids counted and sorted the eggs back into their boxes, thereby honing their math skills. Can I also say here that I found this more than just a bit funny so eventually I had to excuse myself to the produce aisle to regain my composure, which was then repaid in spades of bad karma the next morning. Gifts exchanged all around.
So many good, kind, genuine people have stepped up to the plate to help me manage my bewilderment and adjustment to the frenetic pace of life here -- gifts that I can probably never fully repay.
Simple thank yous. I try to give them as much as possible. They are free, easy to give, and when they're genuine they mean a lot more than the effort it takes to give them.
I'd love to keep a formal tally for a week of the gives and takes, to try to figure out what's connected and what's not, what is random and what's not, to see how much I'm giving versus how much I'm taking. But for now all I can manage to do is keep up with the actions themselves ;)
Posted by aimee