Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Shirt Off Her Back

Most, almost all of our behavior is unconscious. We've said it before.

But here's a good one.

Both my parents passed away in the last four years, so I have accumulated a lot of things, hard as we try to donate, sell stuff on Ebay, and pitch. And my mom and I wore the same size. Cut off our heads, same body. So naturally, it is impossible to merely give away her wardrobe, and ditto for the jewelry, some of it, most of it, sort of. . . dated.  Retro.

I'll be at a brunch, or a holiday party, and one of my kids will compliment me on something, say a flamingo pin. My response, conditioned, unaware:
You like it?  Take it!  It is yours!
  And I proceed to fiddle with the pin.
No! No! That is not what I meant!  I did not mean, by complimenting your obviously very rare and lovely pin that I want it. It looks good on you!  Wear it in good health! Why do you always do this. We compliment something and you immediately begin to disrobe?
Flummoxed.  Makes no sense.

But this is exactly what I do, and what my mother did with me.  Oh, Mom, I love your blouse.
You like it? Take it. Please. Take the blouse.
Right then and there, she goes for the buttons. Luckily, although not really luckily, in her last years she couldn't work buttons.

So I totally loved this story about a woman at a drive-thru Whataburger in Liberty, Texas. "Nadine" reaches for her order in the drive-thru and is complimented on her mink coat. She doesn't even take a minute to reconsider, takes it off, hands it over to the window employee, Cheryl Semien. Cheryl is overjoyed and promises to pay it forward.

Maybe she will give it to her kid. Or a neighborhood kid.

Picture it, myriads of people in downtown Chicago handing off their coats. My daughter actually did this at a stoplight on her way to work one morning, so apparently it isn't a novel idea. It can get cold in Chi-town. Texas? Not so much. Not to take away, not at all, from Nadine.

Have a Happy, Merry, Awesome, warm, too, Chanukah, Xmas, Kwanzaa, Eat A Red Apple Day, World Aids Awareness Day, National Fritters Day, or Whatever-the-December holiday-you-celebrate, and yes, darling, you really should take the pink flamingo. It is too heavy for me, and your grandmother would have wanted it this way.



Mound Builder said...

This sounds familiar. Yes, pay it forward, whenever possible. Impossible to keep everything. Some things are harder to give away. My mother was clergy and so I inherited the robes she wore in the pulpit. What to do with those? Couldn't bear to give them away to Goodwill where they might be regarded as entertaining Halloween props. I mean, that was my mother's life work. I think I found the solution, found some clergy I think well of, passed them along. Don't know if that was weird of me or not. Happy to you, too, of whatever sort, including New Year.

therapydoc said...

Thanks for that one!

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