Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tis the Season to be Helpful, Fa La La La La La Wha?

We just spent an amazing 24 hours in one of my favorite places-San Francisco.  It seems as though Sky King was doing some catching up on a certain blogger's work (rumor has it he's trying to get in her pants) and he happened upon a list of things I wished I could do this year, but probably wouldn't have time or energy. One of them was to go to San Francisco to see all the decorations, do a little shoppy shoppy, and maybe tax the liver just a tad.  So, he spontaneously planned an overnight, complete with wonderful accommodations and a Christmas movie with the kiddos. It was amazing, and just what I needed.
We got to San Francisco and checked in.  Then, the adult members of the group bundled up and left, in search of adult beverages.  The kiddos were left to their own devices with explicit instructions to not die, nor kill each other, nor leave the room without permission. (Truly, you just MUST get yourself a 12-year-old. Especially the kind that likes his cell phone. They are sooo handy.)

All around, people were being overly kind and seasonal, and the spirit of the season was truly in the air.  People were rushing around, loaded up with bags and boxes from all kinds of lovely shops, and everywhere we turned there were people being gracious, kind, and helpful.

Princess got into the spirit once we were appropriately lubricated for a children's movie, and was asking for $1 dollar bills all day and night, trying to choose "the right hobo" to give it to.  She had been upset when her mean old daddy ignored a man who "asked with his best manners for some food". I explained that not all people that ask for money really need it, but she was free to make her own decisions when I give her her own money. So she did, and got to ring the bell for the Salvation Army, and gave a couple people money directly.

Doors were opened, cabs were hailed, and people were in generally happy moods.  It was a great trip overall, and it left me with a generous mood.

We came home, and the helpfulness continued: the children helped unload the car, and then made great strides in hiding all our shit in the garage, because we had friends coming over and didn't want people to have any ammunition against us in case the producers from "Hoarders" ever drop by.  (You know when you have people coming over, and you spend a ton of time cleaning like mad so you don't appear to be complete feral animals that live in utter filth-but then you realize that there isn't enough time to clean, so you just stack all the clutter up into any available space/closet/bathtub/garage?                         No?                        Me neither.)   It was great, and the kids were awesome, understanding the level of clean we were going for like champs. (Princess said, "Wait, Clean? Or tidy?"  Me: Tidy.  Princess: Tidy? Great, 'make a path'. Yesssssss"-in which she shovels all her items on the floor to the walls, so that people can walk in her room and quickly retrieve her toys that 4,947 pieces.)

Then, I had to run out to get the makings of spaghetti sauce. I zipped over to my store around the corner, loaded up, and came home. Sky King began the pasta sauce, and remarked that he needed more. I waited for him to drop what he was doing and run out to get it.  When he didn't, I said, "Ugggghhhh. I'll go....." and waited about 15 seconds for him to say, "No, I'll go, you chill for a while, get caught up on Pinterest and Disqus, sweetie."  When he DIDN'T say that, I shuffled to the car, defeated.

At the store, I got into line with my two jars of sauce and my cash.  One of the reasons I love this store is how friendly they are. As if on cue, the cashier was quite chatty, engaging the customers in lengthy discussions.  When it was my turn, she asked was that all I had today, and I said yes, and she proceeded to ask me how my weekend was going.  We were chatting back and forth, when an employee walked by that she wanted to address about something that had apparently happened right before I arrived.  She said to him, "Hey, Joe!  Next time, don't give me such a hard time!" Joe, being a 400 pound former sumo wrestler, gave her an incredulous stare and a sad little head shake.  She then turned and remarked to me with a half-joking quality, "I just don't know why he doesn't fear me like he should", which was funny because Joe was exceptionally large and of the not-taking-shit variety. The cashier was slight, wispy and cute. Less "fear-because-she-takes-no-shit-and-will-put-a-cap-in-yo-ass", more of the "cute-enough-to-put-in-my-pocket" variety.  Immediately, I sensed that she and I were kindred spirits-soul sisters if you will. I was thinking, "Hey!  That's the kind of thing I would say!  She totally gets me! We connect! Now, I will say something equally witty and totally appropriate, and we will be friends forever, and she will hold my hand when I get my nose pierced, because she's just that thoughtful."

Now, here is when I realize should have realized that my filter is off.  You know that thing that keeps you from saying horrifically inappropriate things to strangers, or worse, people you know and respect?

at all. So, let's go back. The cashier has just remarked that a very large intimidating man does not seem to show this cute little waif of a cashier the respect and/or fear she feels she deserves. And, I am in "Helper" mode-and, this cashier is my new bestie, she gets me.  So, I say the first thing that pops into my mind:
Me: I bet if you sneak up behind him and stab him in the neck, he'd learn real quick to respect you.

:::Stunned silence:::

Cashier: Heh heh. .........Ummm, yeah.......Great, alright, you're all set (thrusting my change into my hands)

See?  That was a truly helpful comment.  What better way to garner respect, than by doing the unexpected? Oh, and my filter was on. For a split second, I was going to add, "...with a fork".  But I didn't.  I'm a model of self-restraint.

What gifts can your family not live without this holiday season?

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