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:
- Great! How are you? How are the kids? or….
- 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?