Monday, July 27, 2009
Our living room is filled with clusters of brown paper bags, some half full, some overflowing, with baby clothes and unwanted Herman junk. We're gearing up for a big garage sale this next weekend. Christopher is on leave, and we've got 4 days to organize all of our things into the most hypnotic of ways, sending strong enough vibes out to lure in strangers from the street, and pull them up into our driveway. I've gotten a head start by posting a few things on craigslist, and a local yahoo yard sales group, doing what I can to get rid of these things. This morning a woman came over to look at little girls shoes for her baby. While she was browsing, I was reading "Bear Snores On" to Eleanore. The woman didn't seem to be very interested in making small talk with me, and Eleanore was bouncing off the walls from her brown sugar and maple syrup pancakes from earlier, so I thought I'd kill the awkwardness before it had a chance to fog up the whole room. When I was finished, the woman gave me a compliment. A really great compliment, actually. She told me that I had a great story telling voice.
...but no. Pffft. I couldn't just say "thank you" in return, could I? I had to say "Thank you", and then quickly bury it with a heavy disclaimer. I always have to spit out a speedy "but, but-" at any sincerely spoken rocket headed my way, stopping it before it strikes. By the time I realized how ridiculous I sounded, counteracting with something about dyslexia and how my "nice story telling voice" usually trips over words with an axe and tends to butcher children's stories like deli meat, it was too late. The woman was gone. Long gone. Would have jumped out the window if she couldn't get to the door to escape fast enough, gone. And I don't blame her. I totally wrecked her compliment, and then threw it back into her face. Why couldn't I just have said "thank you"?
Something else that has been brought to my attention recently, is the example that I'm setting (or not setting) for my children. How will they ever learn how to accept and enjoy a compliment, if I can't? Ugh.
From now on I'm going to make a conscious effort, to just say "thank you". Not "thank you, but-", because nobody wants to hear the "but". From now its going to be just... "thank you".
And that reminds me. I have an invisible stack of thank you notes piling up that need to be sent out. They're probably not going to be able to hold a stamp until their invisibility fades backwards into matter. Translation, I need to sit down and put the pen to the paper already.
A few (cute) ways to say thank you:
1) "Wise Old Owl Handmade Stamped Thank You Note Cards - set of 6", by PrettyHairClippies, $5.00.
2) "Enchanted Unicorn Greeting Card - Recycled Paper", by superfumi, $3.30.
3) "Thank You Cards, set of 3", by sickfeet, $8.00.