I left the house again today. This time with a friend … to meet other friends … at a holiday lunch thing for moms who are fool enough to serve as president of their children’s school’s PTA. If you’ve been paying attention, that fool was me last year, along with my friend, Ashley. So, this year, we’re Past Presidents of the organization. And, yes, it is just as glamorous as it sounds. Sure, we don’t get to live in the palatial estate the school made available to us last year but we do have the protection of secret service agents for ourselves and our families for the rest of our lives.
I knew I needed to look decent today. Like a girl anyway. So, I took a shower and did a dry shampoo of my hair. (Our grandmothers were right, by the way. That stuff is awesome. And another whole blog entry topic.) Then, I got dressed, careful to choose an outfit that wasn’t too uncomfortable … considering I’ve been in pajamas, sweats, yoga-wear or anything that could easily cross over to clothing suitable for a nap at a moment’s notice. And I should point out that I wore not only a bra but also jewelry and even make-up. Truth be told, I’ve become so unaccustomed to dolling up that, when I was done, I felt a bit like a drag queen.
Ashley was gracious enough to do the driving today. I don’t think she’s interested in serving as my crash test dummy in the early days of my operating heavy machinery again. And one of the first things she did was to assure me that I didn’t look like a drag queen but rather just more of my old self again. Here’s hoping that’s a good thing.
It was nice catching up in the car. Girl time. Something I haven’t had much of outside of my meaningful conversations with Lola, my purple pillow pet, the last few weeks. The lunch was fine. I even had a glass of wine. And Ashley and I cut out early as sitting in a chair eating lunch in a public place was starting to tire me out. What a wuss.
And, as we were driving home, we encountered a homeless man (well, I’m assuming he was homeless) waiting at the bottom of an interstate ramp and holding a sign that said ‘Broke for my Birthday.’ I wondered out loud what he was going to do tomorrow when his sign was outdated. Then I felt bad because, the way the traffic was routed, we weren’t able to help. Although I don’t really endorse this kind of giving as I’ve had my hand grabbed when handing over money on one of these occasions. Truly, it was only because the man was grabbing my hand to look deeply into my eyes and tell me ‘Jesus loves me.’ Still, when a man grabs your hanging-out-of-the-car hand at a red light, you take pause and wonder if rolling down your window was really the best idea.
Anyway, before I’ve completely lost your attention (Wake up, you three!), I just wanted to extend a gentle reminder to everyone to do something extraordinary for someone else this season. By extraordinary, I don’t mean that it has to be overly magnanimous or anything like that. I simply mean extra ordinary or out of the ordinary. Something you might not have otherwise done for someone this year.
Maybe it’s just letting someone whose needs are more urgent than yours get in front of you in line. (Isn’t it amazing when someone recognizes that need for you?) Or maybe you could pay for the car behind you at the toll booth. You’ll be surprised at the reactions. Sure, sometimes they’ll speed up beside you and look at you like you’re nuts. But it’s still a good idea. Try to identify someone in your life that needs you, whether or not you know them personally, and see what you can do for them. It doesn’t actually have to cost a dime.
So, if you see me complaining about a line somewhere or cutting someone off in traffic, you can feel free to tap me on the shoulder. I’m not perfect but I’m also making my effort to pay it forward this season. I’ve never felt more indebted to the world. And I’m hoping to spread some of this good karma around.
“That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”