Tuesday, February 2, 2010

STOP and REMEMBER

I wrote this almost two years ago and was going through old files on the computer this morning and found this one. I think it is worth sharing. The women in the story are real. They are not people I know personally but women that I have interacted with or seen out in the world. Take a moment today and read this and REMEMBER who you really are, unearth an old dream. Dust off an idea that just won't let go. Be brave. Be bold. Life is rather ordinary so much of the time....but we can make it extraordinary.

I SAW YOU TODAY
I saw you today. I was in line behind you at the convenience store. Your hair was bleached, you were wearing too much of the wrong kind of makeup, you were at least 100 pounds overweight, you were wearing cheap rings on every finger and a short top that revealed all of your excess weight and your belly ring, your clothes were stained and you kept tugging at your shirt as if you suddenly realized it may have not been the best fashion choice. You were buying 3 king size Butterfingers, a super-mega soda and a bag of Cheetos. You also purchased several dollars worth of scratch off tickets. My car was parked next to yours and I watched you get into your car which was old and dirty with several dents in the doors. The back seat had a car seat that was surrounded by garbage - old McDonalds bags, clothes, toys and a laundry basket filled with dirty laundry. I wanted to scoop you up and bring you to my home where we would immediately throw your clothes, your soda, your candy bars and your lotto tickets into the trash. You would soak for hours in my antique claw foot tub, surrounded by candles listening to Michael Buble’ sing ‘Everything’ while the full moon sparkled through the trees. When you emerged from your bath there would be a beautiful, soft pink towel waiting for you and a pair of comfortable cotton yet feminine pajamas. I would show you to the porch where a bowl of soup and fresh salad was waiting for you. The vegetables all organic, the ice water with a slice of fresh lemon and the warm bread just out of the oven. All prepared just for you. I would sit next to you and ask you about your dreams and what you wanted to be when you were a little girl. If you say you don’t know or can’t remember I will sit with you until you do. When it was time for bed I would show you the guest room where you would fall into 700 thread count sheets, layered with a down comforter and lots of scrumptious pillows. The windows would be open and a slight breeze would flutter the curtains. You will see the porch light from the window and you will hear the stillness of the woods and you will begin to remember who you really are.



I saw you today. You were at the school picking up your children. The epitome of a PTA mom. You were wearing the Mom clothes, you hair perfectly done, you lipstick on just right. You stepped out of your mini-van with your day planner in hand. Your children came running to greet and you knelt down to hug them. They were dressed perfectly with their hair neatly trimmed and smiling from ear to ear. I can tell they are loved. You are really listening to them tell you about their day asking each of them to wait there turn and not interrupt. You are patient and kind and loving. A good mother. But why can I feel a sense of quiet desperation seeping out of every cell of your body? Could it be that you too have forgotten who you are?



I saw you today. I was taking my daughter to the movies and you were there with your boyfriend. He was joking with you and saying things that were kind of funny but not respectful. When you were trying to tell him about your day he interrupted you. When you were telling him about an idea you had for an upcoming project at school he started yelling to his friends who were sitting on the other side of the theatre. He is handsome in the ‘I play football, everyone has a crush on me’ kind of way. You are pretty and obviously smart and well spoken. So tell me why if you are so smart you are willing to let someone treat you this way? Don’t tell me that you too have forgotten who you are. I am beginning to think it is an epidemic.



I saw you today. You were walking at the park with what looked to be your husband. You appear to have been married many years. I would guess by looking at the two of you that you are approaching 50 years of being married. You have on your jeans and sweatshirt, with your squeaky clean white sneakers. You are pulling a camper behind a very nice looking Chevy pick-up. I find myself making up a story about your life. You were a stay at home Mom, lived in the same house that you bought when you got married in 1958. Your husband worked for the electric company and you have a son and a daughter. You are grandparents now and really enjoy spending time with your grandchildren. You struggled with money when you were young but managed to build a nice little retirement account over the years. Your social security checks along with your savings allows you to meet your bills and of course your house is paid for. You purchased the camper and have set off across the United States. The two of you are feeding the ducks and sharing an ice cream cone. You seem happy enough. But why are you wearing a t-shirt that says I survived breast cancer? What is it in your life that isn’t working, what part of yourself have you neglected for so long that your body had to get your attention with cancer? Did you too forget who you are?



I saw you today. I went to Subway for a quick lunch. I had my baby with me and you were admiring her while you made my sandwich. You said you daughter was a year old and you were also 7 months pregnant with your third child. Your oldest is only 3. You look to be about 23 or 24. You are pretty with sandy brown hair and a full smile. You look tired. I wonder how in the world you meet all of you financial needs by working at subway. I wonder if the father of your children loves you. I wonder if he takes care of not only your home but your heart and your dreams. I wonder what you dreamed about when you were 5 years old. I thank you for making my lunch and say goodbye. I get into my car and see you coming out the side of the building. Your pregnant belly emerges before you do. The next thing I see is a cigarette hanging from your mouth. Let me guess…………you have forgotten who you are.



I saw you today……………I saw myself.

1 comment:

Jayme, The Coop Keeper said...

Oh my heavens. Girl. This needs to be published, if it hasn't been yet. It cut me to the core. Thank you so much for sharing that.

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