People who know me know that I to not talk to strangers. I hardly talk to family; I am an introverted loud mouth that does not need a deep personal relationship with my waitress in Denny’s. I do not smile at fellow grocery shoppers nor do I want to tell the clerk “how I am today” when she asks.
So after leaving Henry’s health food store with my groceries I noticed a woman who was probably ten to 15 years older than I am. She was struggling with her shopping cart. Trying to get it out of its storage rack. This health food store’s demographics of shoppers is from age 55 to 90 years of age. I know because I see them, I am there myself and their choice of loud music in the store is from the ’60’s.
About a year ago this older-age friendly store must have hired a 24-year-old marketer fresh out of college with a laptop, still living with his mother. They have made aisle and display changes inside that would challenge a professional stock car racer. And outside they installed these huge metal plates with 2 inch tall steel nubs all over them for safety when it rains.
Now we are in Southern California where it never rains and when it does NO one goes out of their homes till the terrible weather is over. But that is not the corker. This dim-witted, barely out of college idiot also places all the shopping carts in a rack that is directly in front of this steel torture sheet laying on the cement. Plus as you try to pull your cart free, it is on a downward incline so your teeth rattle and shake as you pull your cart out while trying to stay upright without the use of your cane or walker.
But that is a marketing story for another post.
The point is this dear woman was being run over by her bumpy cart so I went over to help her. I stopped and gave her my cart that had already been wrestled free and was already over the bumps of the steel plate on the ground.
So the dreaded happened–she began talking to me and I listened. I don’t know how it happened, I just sorta began listening to her tell me about her fake hips and muscle spasms while we fought to the death to get her and her cane out of the grocery cart wrack.
She was so sweet and had a classic face that still showed former beauty. We probably talked for 2 minutes while we got her settled in with the finally subdued cart. Then suddenly a man of about 35- 40 years old marched up to us with a male frown on his face. He growled at her, “I wish you would hurry up. I have a very important lunch meeting I have to go to.”
Ah—-the son. The wonderful son taking his mother grocery shopping because she was so pain-wracked she couldn’t go by herself.
I instantly noticed the red broken capillaries all over his face and that he was dressed in shorts and sandles and a Tommy Bahama shirt. He was obviously well-to-do and a full on drunk! He didn’t have any ‘important lunch meeting”. He wanted his afternoon toddies and mommy was in the way! Keeping him from his booze.
I looked him in his blood-shot eyes and said, “Oh gee we’re sorry for making you late”……..then reach over and patted her on the shoulder saying, “And on top of everything else we have to put up with the kids now!”
She nodded and he hustled her into the grocery store so she could go really fast and let him get on to the important stuff in his life. Like his liquid lunch.
Next time bring a thermos you self-centered twit! And sit in the car and drink your booze and leave your Mom alone. Or better yet, let me take her or something. Pay for a cab even! At least that would leave her with some dignity and not show what a louse you really are Mr. Preppy.
I wonder if other women have searched their entire adult lives for the Out-of-Africa-Love-Moment like I have? Waiting for it; hoping for it……..looking everywhere for it.
The Out of Africa Love-Moment is shown in the movie “Out of Africa”. The woman was an activist about human freedom for African slaves and natives. At a time when Great Britain was King of the world…………they had colonized nearly every country in the world. They lorded it over all and ruled harshly against the African natives. In the mid-1800’s some whites who owned plantations wanted to change that. They met with resistance and in fact civil war broke out.
The movie portray’s this struggle and the two-man characters, a man and woman (both white) fall in love. The man is an independent little bastard that sorta love’s ’em and leaves ’em. Until he meets the woman plantation owner.
Anyway their love story in this movie is very strong and takes place over many years as they live together and separately.
One scene is where she is at a British tea party with all the big-wigs and walks up to the top guy and falls to her knees to plead with him to treat the Africans with fairness. Suddenly, in walks her lover, sees her on her knees in front of the commander……and ………..here comes the Love-Moment………..FALLS ON HIS KNEES BESIDE HER!
He has NO idea why she is on her knees and making a fool of herself this way. He does lean over and whisper, “This better be good”. But he has no idea of what she is doing. He just joins her. He kneels beside her.
He does not pull her off in a corner demanding she pitch her case to him so he can decide if he agrees or not. He does not stand-off to the side pretending he doesn’t know her, waiting till they get home to demand what the hell she was doing and how could she embarrass him like that.
Nope. He gives her a gigantic Love-Moment. By faith and because he truly knows who she is in all aspects and because he loves her unconditionally, he sees the real issue.
The real issue is to support the one you love; no matter what. The real love-moment is action, NOT words. Words seldom count in real love. It is mostly the actions that prove the depth of love.
I have fallen to my knees beside my lover; but I have never had a lover that has given me the same.
Never. Now married nearly 30 years I still wait for my spontaneous Out of Africa Love-Moment. I even have pretended like some have happened by ignoring reality.
I want that Love-Moment before I die. Maybe I am the only woman in the world that dreams of experiencing a Love-Moment like this.
In the early years of my unwellness, it was very difficult explaining my health to people who had known me ‘before’. Heck, it was hard enough to explain to my self! The problem is that I don’t look sick. I am not in a wheelchair, (although I have a very pimped out scooter for those bad days) there is no leg messing or seeping sores all over my body. I flat look normal and healthy. They call it the “invisible illnesses”.
I also suffer from envy of those who have made it to my age along with me that do not have health problems. I watch them race ahead; doing and planning and winning. It can open the door to self-pity for sure.
Trying to explain to a long time friend I finally wrote this word-picture of what it feels like on my side of the corral.
The Race Horse
I remember the races. The cheering. I remember the feeling of bearing down with my body and mind to finish the race. To reach the goal. Nothing else before me but the win. Or at least to finish with the others. I remember the excitement of being a fellow racer. Encouraging and even competing against others in my race. The sounds and feelings of hooves on the dry red dirt digging up the track as I flew to the finish line. Exhilaration was my energy. Contemplating the next race and how to run it was my passion and power. How I loved to think about what next race I would enter. It was my life.
Now I am a sick and injured race horse fenced in a meadow, just west of the race track. My ears prick up as I hear the cheering crown. I watch as other well horses prance their way into the paddock of the race track. Proud, healthy and strong.
I remember the power of just being in a race. I can even see the lights sometimes from night races and my heart breaks. If only I didn’t remember what it was like before the illnesses. Every once in a while an old friend stops by the meadow on her way to her next race. I have nothing to say and nothing to share. My friend remembers me racing; always racing. Her embarrassed eyes look away from me and I can see the familiar look in them. “How could she of let this happen to her?” I no longer am able to race. What is there to say in that? No one racing wants to be reminded of how fragile their race stance can be in this life.
I wish I could not see or hear the races of the well and healthy. And when a bout of unwellness is over I cannot remember what I was doing or why. My spirit that used to bound across the fields of life is now just simply bound.
I am alone in the small fenced meadow. No longer racing.