Show and Tell

My week thus far has consisted of work and more work.  Kind of boring for a Show and Tell unless you’re dying to see photos of my office.  So…. back we go to Sunday.

Having a rare two hours of free time, I headed to the mall.  If you’re not a football fan, let me just tell ya that the absolute best time to go shopping is during the Sunday afternoon game when the hometown team is on TV.  The advantages are…

  • husbands don’t notice you’re gone;
  • no traffic on the roads;
  • plenty of parking by the door;
  • no waiting in line at the register; and
  • open tables in the food court.

 A quick trip to the mall was exactly what the doctor ordered.  My weekends are always emotionally rough, since I spend most of them at my parents’ house helping them through hard times.  My mom’s health is getting worse and each visit tugs at the heartstrings. 

So, as I was browsing around in Ladies, someone said my name.  What??!  Isn’t the entire world as we know it watching football?  I turned and saw a classmate from high school.  She’s a super sweet, genuine person and Facebook friend, but we’ve only seen each other a few times in the past 20 years. 

Out came the standard “Hi!  How are you?”  At this point, two options flashed through my mind about how to respond:

  1. Great!  How are you?  How are the kids?  or….
  2. I’m doing okay.  My parents are ill.  I’m tired, emotionally drained, sad, but hanging in there, blah, blah, blah.

In a typical situation like this, I usually put on a #1 happy face.  This time, I was caught off guard.  The shopping trip hadn’t cleared my mind.  I spilled out the #2 blah blah blah.  It was out there.  I couldn’t take it back.  Help!  Get me out of Ladies, and quick!! 

Up the escalator I fled, which put me in Electronics.  And, smack dab into the middle of a crowd of men.  Time for another What??!  There they stood.  In the isles.  In front of the display TVs.  Watching the big game.  Some were even wearing the team jersey. 

  • Did their wives force them to go shopping? 
  • Did they journey to Mecca Electronics on purpose? 
  • Have their TVs at home been taken by the repo man?
  • Are the sports bars at capacity?
  • Is there beer here? 
  • Is it a coincidence that the Lazy Boy display is in full testing mode? 

For what it’s worth, the ridiculous scene broke my stress and allowed me to carry on with a happier day.  As to my high-school classmate, she sent me a very nice note by e-mail the next day.  Words of encouragement.  Offers to lend a hand.  Had I fibbed in response to the how are you question, this exchange of human kindness would not have occurred.  It showed me that it’s okay to be raw and honest in the real life game of Show and Tell.  It’s okay to reveal your BACKBONE and allow someone else to show you theirs. 

Do you typically hide your emotions or let them show?  Does it depend on who is on the receiving end?

 If you liked this post, you may also like The Man Mall and When Roles Reverse.

6 responses to this post.

  1. I am a guarded person on the whole so I am very measured about who I show my emotions to and to what degree. I have sadly found that some people aren’t gentle with my feelings so they don’t get the privilege of knowing the real me.
    But I will share this: I too love going to any shopping destination while the Steelers are on! Shopping mall, boutiques, grocery store. It’s all great.


  2. Posted by Renee on October 27, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Very much an open book to my friends and family. If I don’t know someone well, then I’m more likely to give the canned responses too.

    Go Steelers!


  3. I like this post. Whether I answer that question of “how are you” honestly really depends on the person and what’s going on. I tend to hide stuff a little bit more than I should because I figure that no one wants to hear about my problems. I think it’s great that your friend sent you that sweet email. 🙂


    • Yes, she was very sweet. It’s not good to hold everything inside – eveyone needs some healthy outlets. I think more people are willing to provide support than most of us think. We just need to give them a chance.


  4. Posted by Stacey on October 28, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    I typically am such an open book I am sure some people would like to slam it shut! I guess there are some things I keep private but not many. I do, however, share more with those I love and trust than those I just like and think are fun! I rely heavily on my true friends, those that I expect to throw dirt on my dead body at the gravesite. Sometimes I show my backbone too much and people are AFRAID but I won’t change. This part of me helps me get through stuff. I am a Super TYPE A and if I held all the “yuck” in, I am afraid I would be a very lonely person because I would not be very pleasant at all! I loved your story and encourage more show and tell amongst good friends!


    • Just be sure you are really gone before you invite your good friends to throw dirt LOL. I’m glad that you don’t hide your feelings – it’s one of the most wonderful things about you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: