Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cynic or Samaritan? You choose.

I was in Wichita today, stopped at a stoplight in a busy intersection. And there he was, a disheveled man holding a sign. He was homeless and was asking for help. I smiled and waved, feeling awkward as usual when I am in that situation. And my mind wandered back to when I was 17 and my eyes teared up.

My family was in Albuquerque, New Mexico for a cousin's wedding. I don't remember exactly where we were, but it seemed like we were at some kind of Art Market with my Uncle Ron and Aunt Sharon. I was approached by a Native American couple, smelling of alcohol, the woman had two black eyes and they just begged me for money, telling me a story of how they were living in their car and they were mugged and beaten. I was taken aback because I had never been faced with a situation like that before. I opened my purse and gave them all the cash I had, a whole $4.

My Uncle Ron took me aside and almost scolded me for giving them money. He said, "who do you think gave her those black eyes? It wasn't a mugger, it was her husband. That is their game; to take advantage of naive people, that's how they make their living. They are going to take your money and go buy liquor with it."

Wow. I know he was right and I felt really stupid. I remember choking back tears, partly because I felt really young and dumb and partly because I felt sorry for them. How sad to live a life of lies and addiction. I sort of became a cynic after that and that makes me sad, too. I no longer roll my window down and give my change to the person with the bucket, always skeptical of whether or not they really need money to survive or even if the charity they are collecting for is legit.

How do you know when someone is truly in need? I heard once that in big cities, beggars can make quite the living just taking advantage of generous people. I don't know the answer, but my Aunt Kelly did something this past winter and I think she handled it beautifully. She drove past a homeless man, took off her warm socks and gave them to him. He was so appreciative and I believe she gathered even more items the next day and took him more things. (Kelly, if you're reading this, please leave a comment and tell how it all went memory is foggy).

The next time I see someone in need I am going to react more like my Aunt Kelly and less like my Uncle Ron. Open your heart and your mind and maybe, just maybe, you will make a difference in someone's life.

Friday, August 27, 2010

RAK 15/32

Yes, I know this RAK is not for a stranger but given all of the details I think it is quite worthy of being counted.

Ryan's grandma has a bad back. She called the office yesterday to schedule an appointment with me. I could not get her in today due to the office remodel so the receptionist scheduled her for next week. Poor Betty got confused on her appointment date and time and showed up this afternoon and nobody was there except for Aric. I guess she waited in the lonesome waiting room for 30 minutes before she was brave enough to walk down the hallway to find someone.

After Aric called me and told me what happened, I decided I would make a house call, free of charge (yes, I am a meanie and still charge family when they see me in the office, I do have overhead afterall!) to help ease her pain. She was in tears she was so grateful!

Oh, and to top it off, I was starving and delaying my fabulous steak dinner to take care of her.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Skeletons in My Closet

I was at my parents' house a couple of weeks ago trying to get Tucker to lay down for a nap in my old bedroom. The closet doors were open and I spotted a familiar box on the top shelf. I pulled it down and written across the top in a black marker was "High School Stuff." I decided to take the box home to look through what I had, at one time, deemed important to keep. The box has been sitting in my car until today.

After a particularly trying and difficult day, I decided to drive out to the local dairy farm to pick up some more milk and eggs. Luckily, both kids fell asleep (they were in serious need of sleep so this was a major Woo Hoo!) so I just sat in my driveway with the car running while I took the cardboard lid off the the box full of memories.

Most of what was in the box went in the Trash Pile. I really wondered why I had kept most of it! I found school pictures from my high school, I went through some, shall we say, awkward phases! I'm so glad I discovered the art of the Eyebrow Wax!

Thrown in the box were several returned assignments from my senior English class. In that class, we had to do 15 minutes of freewriting each day. Oh My Goodness!!! Let me just say, I am so glad I did not make any major life decisions at this time in my life! My immaturity was hysterical! The funniest entry was dated January 15, 1996, where the topic of the day must have had something to do with what famous person would you want to meet. And I quote:

"Of course I would include Ren & Stimpy because they are my heroes."

Wow. I was so introspective.

Happy, happy! Joy, joy!

Monday, August 23, 2010

RAK 14/32

Today I was at Dillons and they had paper bags of groceries by the checkout that you could purchase. The items inside are then donated to children who need food on the weekends when they can't rely on school lunches. No child should go hungry, I can't imagine the fear and food issues it would cause to have so little. I would encourage all of you to look for these displays next time you are in line at Dillons!

RAK 13/32

See, I told you I wasn't giving up! Today I wrangled a lonesome cart left in the parking lot at Target.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dear Enfamil,

Thank you so much for mailing me a box today to remind me of Chloe's first birthday! I was so surprised to find a gift in my mailbox and hurried into the house to open it. Wow! I had no idea that babies need formula after turning a year old! Nevermind that I have breastfed Chloe since day one, I will be sure to use the two $5 off coupons to purchase the Next Step Formula to make sure she gets the DHA she needs. However, I was a little surprised at what I found when I looked at the ingredients. The first three ingredients you list are: nonfat milk, oil, and corn syrup solids.

Why the hell would I feed that to my child? Are you kidding me? I'm sure her brain development would really thrive on that. There are many reasons I breastfeed my child, among them being that my body naturally alters the composition of my milk to meet her needs as she grows. Take your formula and shove it.

Very Annoyed Milky Momma

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Friends Like Me

So, on my quest to find "friends like me" I think I need to step out of my little comfort zone and put myself out there. Find a group with like-minded women and become a part of that village. First, let me say that I have a touch of social anxiety. I do not like not knowing what to expect or not knowing what comes next. I've been that way my whole life. My mom always tells the stories of the days when my class would have a field trip. I would quiz her on the order of things, such as:

"When will I get on the bus?"
"How will I know which lunch is mine?"
"Which group will I be in?"

Et Cetera, Et Cetera. Heck, I even asked the orthodontist if my parents would still have to pay for my braces if I happened to die before my treatment was complete. I am just that weird. Hmmm....maybe that is why I am in this position...

So, to find like minded women I have two specific ideas: finding a church group or Le Leche League. I think I am going to start with the latter and see where it takes me. My homework for this week is to find my local meeting time and place and GO. Going will be the hardest part, but if I want my situation to change, I have to be the one to change it. It's not like new friends are randomly going to knock on my door.....unless they are Jehovah's Witnesses or selling new windows and siding.