Monday, February 16, 2009

72 - Joy in a piece of candy

First of all - awwww, you guys are very sweet and did help me get out of my frumpy mood. Lost in Space (Brenda, right?), what's a MAC store? I'm assuming you didn't mean the fun place where you purchase laptops, iphones, and ipods? Perhaps my rock is a little wider and heavier than your's :-).

So Alex and I had a big, over-the-top Valentine's night...and for good reason. We most often spend this holiday apart in different countries, so to know he was going to be home and plan an evening in advance was quite a treat. He made reservations at this restaurant on top of the RenCen in Detroit. It was on the 72nd floor and is apparently the second highest restaurant in the US. The food was good, typical high-end chophouse stuff, and the view was great. Poor Detroit, definitely a city that struggles (even more so in this economy), but at night, with all the lights, it's just another beautiful city.

We got all dressed up. That day I had to get some shoes to go with the dress I was wearing. As I was shoe shopping, the mantra of "I am not frumpy. I am not frumpy." ran through my head. The following shoe selection was the result. Can you believe it? I have never worn 3 inch heels in my life, and, let me tell you, it was quite a sight to see me attempt to walk in them. But then, miraculously, after a half bottle of wine, I was a heel-walkin' would have thought that I trained on a runway :-).

Alex got me a cute little black number and a small box of chocolates. And that's about where the evening ended. I was plugged up with disgusting volumes of snot, and Alex, although he wasn't feeling bad, had residual intestinal issues from Africa. SUPER HOT AND SEXY! :-) We both popped the appropriate pills and headed to bed.

The small box of chocolates he gave me got me thinking...the littlest gestures do that sometimes. Back around the holidays, I was walking at the mall (yes, for exercise, NOW try to tell me I'm not frumpy :-)). As I turned a corner, I noticed three mentally-challenged, middle-aged adults in wheelchairs letting out these squeals of joy...I mean, it was a level of joy that I may have only been able to match by receiving a BFP the day of our beta. Seriously. I was so intrigued by this that I hid off to the side and observed - I was a cross between a stalker and a scientist conducting a sociology experiment :-). Come to find out, their caretakers had just informed them that they would be heading over to the candy store and that each one of them would be allowed to pick out a piece of candy. Joy! Joy! Joy! I got a little closer and quietly watched the whole thing. The candy selection process, their reactions as the cashier handed them their selected piece, their savoring of every last morsel, unaware of anyone around them. These folks were truly living in the moment. They knew how to really savor the small things in life. They had a piece of wisdom that I have somehow lost along the way, and I observed them with envy.

As I opened the box of four little chocolates on Valentine's Day, I thought about what if that was it...what if there was no over-the-top dinner, no sexy little black thing, no Alex at home to celebrate with...and, in the long-term, no children to come home to after our night out. Would I still be able to experience an abundance of joy as I savored a single piece of that chocolate? I would like to think that I could say "of course!", but I really don't know the answer. I get into these ruts of thinking the only true joy will be the joy we will experience when there is a child in our home...and in the meantime, I lose so many opportunities to savor all the little pieces of decadent chocolate that come into my life.

So I think of those three middle-aged adults at the mall often. Their squeals are imprinted in my head. And I think "if they can find that level of joy in something as simple as a piece of candy, so can I". They have been the greatest teachers I've had in a long time.


Sky said...

Those are some very sexy, funky, hip, Sex and the City-ish shoes! The opposite of frumpy!

The MAC store...MAC cosmetics (black packaging - pretty cool, pricy stuff (I use it 'cause it's great quality and good shades). There is usually a MAC counter in Macy's or Nordstrom or a store of that kind. I tend to be very frugal too about many things (cars, furniture, clothing - but if you're going to buy a few items of make-up, I'd splurge a bit and use MAC. It stays on nicely and you can just tell the quality is great).

DAVs said...

That's a cute story (and some cute shoes, too!).
I think the challenge is holding on to that can be so hard to think like that in the midst of the chaos, fear, and sadness that IF can bring on...but it sounds like you are doing just that!

coolcapmom said...

Love the shoes!!! Even I could have told you about MAC :) I don't know, as someone who knows you in the "real world" I think you do a pretty damn good job of living life to the fullest. Or at least faking enthusiasm. just have to fake it until you can make it :)

Lost in Space said...

Sky gave a really good description of MAC. I think we would get along pretty well IRL as I thought the same thing.....why are we going to look at computers? LOL. It really is good stuff though.

Your shoes are very Carrie Bradshaw. I'm so glad the 2 of you were able to have some fun despite the ailments. (-;

Your story about the mall is so sweet. My oldest (literally as we were the only 2 babies in our hometown hospital and born on the same day) and one of my dearest friends has Downs Syndrome. I sometimes get Xmas cards in April or pictures of her from 10-15 years ago. Her zest for life and simplicity is amazing and she always makes me smile. She is one of my amazing teachers.......

Jill M. said...

I've never worn a pair of high heals in my life, I would have been on my face in those! You would think I'd be willing to learn considering my dh is 16" taller than me. Good for you for trying something new. I too have never heard of MAC.

Thanks for your story of the 3 at the mall, very neat. Society has a tendency to look down on the mentally retarded and think their lives are unfulfilled... I think it's sometimes just the opposite. We could all really learn something from them. They have this amazing ability to be happy and content with what they have been handed and find joy in the smallest things. I wish I had that gift. Thanks for your post!

Sue said...

Great post! I agree about the people you saw at the mall. In a similar way, I try to let my dogs teach me. They are so easy and live-in-the-moment that they remind me to be that way. Nothing is better than lying in the sun on the carpet (it hasn't been sunny for a few weeks it seems) or nothing makes them happier than DH getting home from work (even if he's grumpy).

Oh- pretty shoes! I love shoes, but DH is short, lol, so since we married, heels are out! (which makes my knees and back very happy, thank you:-)). I don't usually miss them, but sometimes shoes like that just make you feel sexy!

Jacqueline said...

Hey Aunt Chris! Those are super cute shoes!! The fact that you were willing to purchase and wear cute shoes proves you are not frumpy. I always feel "silly" trying to wear things that are in style because I'm sure I didn't match things properly. My Mom usually still buys all of my cute outfits and shoes ;) I know how sad right, I'm almost 25 and my mom still picks out my cloths so that I match. I love you and I'm dropping something in the mail that I saw when Ezra and I were out and we both thought of you!

onwardandsideways said...

"you've got to work (to be a super model), work (to be a super model"... everybody sing it now, girl those are some shoes!

you could not be frumpy if you bought those. no way.

good story... so hard to bring ourselves back down to earth and simply be glad we are alive.

MamaSoon said...

I think you should send frumpy back from where it came. It sounds like a negative label that you are torturing yourself with. THe opposite of frilly is not frumpy. I'm pragmatic in my clothing and style. If I am sick, I might go to frumpy. I'll never go frilly unless I am in a strange mood or being coaxed by DH to go back to the 50s pinup cheesecake girls.

Oh and what an amazing story about the candy store in the mall. Something to think about today.

Angie said...

Wow, what an amazing connection.....I work in the developmental disabilities (DD) field - I work with children 0-3 years, but my company serves people of all ages. So, I have the opportunity to engage with people with DD a are absolutely right - they have this geniune joy for life and for the little things the rest of society takes for granted. I have never connected that to our IF struggles though - but again, you are right, if only we could step back and have that joy for the small things in our lives....maybe, just maybe, we might feel better about ourselves. Thanks for sharing this've got me thinking.

Also, your shoes are absolutely gorgeous!!! WTG! Oh and BTW, we LOVE RenCen!!! We've made annual trips to D the past few years for various events and stay there each time! The views are amazing, esp at night! Was your box of chocolates from the God.iva store? We got choco-covered strawberries from there last time....I forgot about that until just now! See, we need to remember the *small* things! (sorry about the novel!) :-)