Monday Memes 34

In the past 48 hours, Cleveland has received more than a foot of snow. What does that mean? Normally, a little snow in Cleveland is nothing – heck, even a foot isn’t that big a deal. That said, today kinda’ sucked because of the snow. Why? Because I parked my car on the street and snow plows apparently had no option but to PLOW my car in, pushing snow up and beyond the bottom of the doors (I drive a mini van), leaving my poor car to languish and die a slow, frozen death out on the curb. The situation sucked.

Then The Universe stepped in and reminded me that people are good and kind…

Kindness-Quotes-8

My Beloved and I spent about five hours today shopping with a client, then helping install the items she had purchased. We saw the van, looking forlorn and snow-covered as we left for the appointment. In fact, we tried to “unstick it” from its frozen cage before we left, to no avail. (We took our “other car”). When we came back, I was certain the sun had warmed the snow enough to allow me to simply drive out of the 18″ snow bank smothering the van.

It had not.

And so, with me at the wheel, my Angel began pushing the van. We rocked back and forth, gaining and then losing, inches at a time. When I saw that he looked frozen, I suggested we trade places – he would take the wheel and I would push and rock. I’m not sure why but, after about two minutes of pushing, a security officer in a Bobcat stopped and began helping push. Then another. And finally, a LADY – with two bags of groceries, walking down the street – joined in and helped. In about four minutes, the van was free!!! We all smiled, high-fived one another, then the lady grabbed her groceries, the second man walked away and the first man returned to his mini snowplow and drove off.

It was inspiring, and the experience touched my heart. For a moment I questioned if maybe I had looked that pathetic, out there pushing on my own but – no matter the reason – I was truly grateful that The Universe sent those three angels to help Martin and me.

help people

I forget sometimes that the world is full of kind, generous people – people that care about others, even strangers stuck in a snow drift. Thank you, nice lady with groceries, man out walking and security officer in a little Bobcat. I like to think you helped me and were kind to me because I am helpful and kind to others. Whether that is true or not, I will take this afternoon’s kindness, remember it and pay it forward.

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Monday Memes 11

Given a certain situation in my life at the moment, I find myself contemplating what “makes good people.” My personal situation aside, I find these memes very powerful – and very honest. I plan on taking their messages with me well beyond my current trial. I hope you appreciate them as much as I do…

respect

kind people

people

Sound Advice From Ginger

When my dearly departed bestie, Dan Rogan, and I were MUCH younger (like in our mid twenties), we used to be hell-raising bar-hoppers. We were out six nights a week; we only stayed home one night a week to do laundry, LOL! We had a LOT of great adventures, and met a lot – and I mean a LOT – of interesting folks…

One of our favorites was a stunning female impersonator/illusionist named Ginger Manchester. Ginger was, and still is, drop-dead gorgeous, and she has won probably like a gahzillion pageants over the years. Ginger was, and I assume still is, very poised, graceful and gracious. Ginger was the first person I ever heard utter this expression – “It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice.” I think I heard her say it as she was sashaying her way across U4ia to console another performer she had just beaten in the Miss Gay Whatever Pageant. Ginger was, first and foremost, polite and gracious.

It's nice to be importantI have to admit – Dan and I used to say this phrase to one another all the time after that, sort of as an inside joke (we were food servers back then and sometimes the guests… ugh). But, all kidding aside, the message and sentiment of the phrase Ginger uttered so many years ago has always stuck with me. Today I was reminded how true that bit of wisdom is…

At work, we have a client that has entered an order for thirty-two light fixtures, which need to be installed by a specific deadline. For the past five days, I have exchanged around forty emails back and forth with both the manufacturer and our rep – I’m not even counting the emails to our client! Anyway, the company and rep have been champs and it looks like everything will arrive not only on time but maybe a bit ahead of schedule for our project. In reviewing some of the emails I sent, I was worried that I probably came across like a dick, so I called our rep and two of the manufacturer’s agents and left all three of them nice “thank you” messages…

Within like 30 minutes, my email EXPLODED!

I got thank-you-for-the-thank-you-message emails from all three ladies (one even sent me an entire line of giant XOXOXO’s!), as well as an email from the president of the company, thanking me for taking the time to be so thoughtful and expressing my appreciation for his employees’ efforts. He went on to say that for every 100 bitchy emails or calls they get, they probably get NOT ONE call thanking them for things that had gone right.

That is just plain wrong and sad… I am happy I was able to make a the day a little brighter for at least these four people.

So, thank you, Ginger Manchester, for always being somewhere in my head, reminding me of the importance of being nice. And polite, And thankful. And gracious. I have not seen you in a long time but I hope you are still sharing that message – the world needs it.

Angry People Make Me Sad – Grocery Store Edition

I was off work today.  So, today was “Grocery Day” for me and my Sweetie.

We have to have a dedicated grocery “day” because we have a store we like for produce and meat, a store we like for staples, like cereal and soft drinks and a third store where we get everything/anything else we can’t get at the other two stores.  It sounds like a lot of work but it is actually fun – I love to shop and spend money (no matter on what or where) plus it is still fun to watch my Angel discover new things.  For example, today we gambled on a new salad dressing, Newman’s Own Lighten Up! Cranberry Walnut Dressing.  We are currently on a big healthy eating/salads kick so we treat ourselves to a new salad dressing each trip to the store.  BTW, that dressing?  Delicious!!!

dressing

Anyway, we were at the second of our three store tour when an incident happened that made me sad.  As we were waiting to turn into an aisle, a well-dressed woman in her 30’s turned in before us (which was fine), only to get shouted down by an older woman – clearly in her 60’s or older – who accused the younger lady of cutting her off and being “pushy.”  When the younger woman apologized and said she was merely coming into the aisle to pass the older lady, whom she thought had stopped to shop the shelves, the older lady shot back, “No, I was waiting to exit the aisle and you just pushed in” to which the younger woman replied, “Well, I can’t read your mind! and scooted on right past her.

Road Rage, in Aisle 12, Road Rage in Aisle 12!

Cart

It made me sad inside to see what are probably two lovely women – just two people – all but shouting each other down about something so insignificant.  I assume each had suffered some sort of earlier aggravation and this moment just allowed each of them to vent their anger, albeit at each other.  Sad, really…

I have a need to “make up” back stories for people when I don’t know them (I know, my therapist tells me all the time NOT to do this).  Anyhow, for the two ladies today –

The older lady was shopping alone, using oxygen to help her breathe (this part is true) and she had been dropped off by one of her ungrateful children who were inconvenienced by the fact that she needed to go to the grocery.  They had dropped her at the door and gone to get a Starbucks while she was left to fend for herself alone (this is the part I made up)…

The younger lady was smartly dressed with a really cute haircut (this part is true).  She had just come from the hair salon where her appointment had been late and was just running in the store to grab a few things quickly before rushing to pick up her daughters from swim lessons and was really on a tight schedule (this is the part I made up).

Both were frustrated and anxious, hurrying to complete their shopping and get on with their respective days (this I believe to be true).  Then the cut-off/smack-down incident happened…

I know I have unreasonable expectations for human behavior but I wish we would/could all just be a little kinder to one another.  I wish we could all just “slow it down” a bit and extend simple courtesies and respect to one another.

I was always taught to “Smile at old people – they deserve it” and, now that I am an older person myself, I wish more people would smile at me, and just smile in general.  Even though I tried to pass both those ladies in the store to give them “smiles,”  they got away before I could find them.

So, even though the events of today happened as they happened  this is how I am gonna’ write the ending in my head:

Friends

Today, I hope everyone reading this will smile at a stranger – and, I hope they smile back at you…

I wanna’ start a war

I am sad by many things happening in society today – crazy gun “stuff,” the inequality that still exists between men and women – heck, what about the inequality that just exists in general? – growing unemployment/lack of opportunity, the list is almost never-ending. It makes me sad; it actually makes my heart hurt at times, to witness how uncivil and cruel the world has become. The world has to change – and soon!

And, as rudimentary and overly-simplified as it may seem, I think the solution to many, MANY of the world’s problems would begin if everyone would just make an effort to say these two words every day:

thank-you2

(click image above for a discussion of thanks)

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I think that for the most part, today’s world exists largely devoid of manners. It’s appalling how badly we treat one another. Here’s what I mean – think about the last time someone not paid to do so (think retail store clerk or coffee house barista) actually said “Thank you” to you. Can you remember? Even better yet, when was the last time YOU thanked someone – sincerely – for a kindness or favor?

Here’s another exercise…

Thank-You

Think about the last time you “cussed somebody out” or gave someone “a piece of your mind” (and hopefully it’s NOT the aforementioned retail store clerk or coffee house barista!) It’s kinda’ sad that we can all remember THAT situation, right? I guess I am lucky – I had old-skool Southern grandparents that taught me that, even when I didn’t like someone, I still had to be polite. I mean I say “Sir” and “Ma’am” – that is so uncommon here in Ohio that I routinely have people comment that it is “…clear I was in the service because no one has manners like that who hasn’t been a soldier.”

Really? Do only ex-soldiers have manners/social graces?

And don’t even get me started on thank you notes. Wow, I know – it takes effort to actually get a card (buy a box – it’s easy!), hand-write a personalized note inside, address an envelope and actually stamp and mail it. Ugh! Such work…

So, here it what I propose – let’s all go to war…

thank-you-cards_fresh-grass

 

Let’s begin a cultural war on impoliteness and crude manners. I  mean, it would be like being mean, only to mean people – follow? Get cruddy service at a restaurant? THANK the server for his/her time and attention. They will wonder what the heck is wrong with you but, that small investment of your time will make the NEXT person have a better experience, I promise.

(click image above for “how to write a thank you note”)

Picking up some dry-cleaning? THANK the counter person for getting your clothes so quickly. That “kindness seed” will grow and then they, in turn, will give a THANKS to someone they encounter. It’s like the whole concept of paying it forward; eventually, the goodwill you put out – the civility, the politeness – it WILL come back to you, I swear…

Listen – I cannot fight this battle alone, so PLEASE help me make the world a kinder, gentler place. THANK YOU in advance for all your help…   😉