so there's probably a thousand ways to do this. i'm going with sharing four instances of kindness that others have shown me that have been a sort of salve in some unpleasant situations.
one. i was sitting at pappadeaux's reading an email from yet another dude who'd decided i wasn't worth knowing on a day that i was feeling a little too susceptible. i'd gotten too quiet, and one of the bartenders noticed. she's gorgeous, this bartender, but more she's incredibly charismatic. she's buoyant and bold and maybe a little brash at times, floats like a butterfly and is probably quite capable of stinging like a bee. i'd pegged her for the sort who steers clear of sappy and sentimental. but she noticed and asked me what was wrong. she was pouring a beer as she did so, so it wasn't like she was still, but her focus on me in that moment was. that she noticed, that she asked when i would've thought concern would've come from one of the other gals tending the bar... i was moved by that, and that paired with the disappointment of yet another rejection... my eyes welled up and i said i couldn't talk about it, that if i did i would cry, and i didn't want to do that today. i packed up my stuff and went for a drive. when i saw her again a couple of days later, i thanked her for asking about me and let her know that i was okay. she'd said she'd been worried about me and was glad to hear that i was alright.
it's moments like these, when i don't expect kindness to be given, when it's so simple as this... these make quite an impression.
two. my family had gone to colorado the week of fourth of july one year to spend the holiday with my mother's brothers and their sons. usually after spending too many days with too many people, i get angsty. on the fourth, i'd started to feel a little crowded, but i'd managed to keep it under wraps... until that night. after the fireworks we left my uncle's to go back to the house we were renting for the week. my brother's girlfriend (now wife) had asked me to drive because they were sauced and i was sober. so there's six of us in a small car: my brother's bitching about the way i'm driving; his girl's demanding music; his children are being typical children. too much noise, too much pressure. i lost it. we were almost to the house. it was just a few blocks away. but i'd had enough, so i stopped the car, yelled at my brother that he could drive and that i was walking home. of course he had to argue with me. of course his children are observing all this, and i'm hating that this is a memory i'm making for them and i'm praying that it won't leave too much of a mark. when i get to the house, there's half a dozen relatives gathered in the kitchen; my cousins had come over to play drinking games. all but one of them clear out; my youngest cousin, who is built like a bear, wraps me in a hug and holds on for several minutes. he doesn't say anything. it was exactly what i needed, and i didn't have to ask for it.
three. coincidence is a beautiful thing. the day after i learned that i'd been laid off work (i'd yet to tell anyone), a friend messaged me with this photo:
four. buoyant is most assuredly NOT a word i would use to describe me and so often i feel as though my presence isn't all that welcome. i know most of that's depression talking. i haven't really felt like i've mattered much. the other day, a friend from my college days put this bit of lovely on my facebook wall:
how do you show or define love? share with lauren and me!